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Kennet on the Canal

Coming from the northwest of England, one thing you can be pretty sure of is that you are never too far away from the canal.


The Leeds Liverpool canal makes its way through the Borough of Wigan from one end right through to the other and you will all kinds of boats moving along through the locks.


Wigan also is home to a Dry Dock down near Wigan Pier and this attracts even more traffic along its banks. One of those boats to visit the area was Kennet.

A view of the cargo vessel, now community barge, Kennet.

Originally constructed in 1947 as a cargo vessel to transport goods from the warehouses on the canal the barge is some 19m long and just over 4m wide, making it look distinctly different from the narrowboats moored up nearby.


It was built in Northwich and has a steel hull, super strong to make sure its cargo reached the destination safely and dry. The single diesel engine is more than capable of powering it up and down the canal.

A view of the cargo vessel, now community barge, Kennet.

During the 1960s the Kennet switched from being a cargo vessel to a care and maintenance craft for the canal before becoming a community exhibition barge in 1986.


Its function these days is to provide a moving history tour of the canal and the boats that sailed on it - it can cover all 127 miles of the Leeds Liverpool Canal, so I was quite fortunate to see it down in Wigan.

A view of the cargo vessel, now community barge, Kennet.

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