A FORMER market trader who came out of retirement during lockdown has set up a successful sweet shop - on a canal barge.

Pat Creaven, 61, and his wife Jill sail their boat along the Leeds-Liverpool canal and opens his floating sweet shop at various stops on the route.

The couple sail between Rodley in Leeds to Foulridge in Pendle on board their home and shop, called Pendle Witch Sweets.

Lancashire Telegraph:

And they sell hand-measured traditional sweets for £1 per 100 grams during stops at stations along the route to the delight of customers.

The couple bought their barge in 2017 and planned to spend their retirement cruising the canalways of the UK and Ireland.

But during lockdown, entrepreneur Pat purchased an old pair of scales and decided to open a sweet shop on the boat.

Lancashire Telegraph:

He added: "We bought the boat in 2017 and we were retired for a small section of the time.

"During lockdown, we purchased some old fashioned Woolworths scales, so I decided to set up a sweet shop business, to my wife's dismay.

"I started on the markets when I was 15, so I thought 'I'll finish on the markets'.
"We set the sweet boat up and it's been a success since."

Sweets are colour-coded for people with dietary requirements, including gluten free and items suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Pat has a 'memory lane' section which houses old-fashioned classics such as toffees and eclairs as well as boiled sweets like Yorkshire Mix and rhubarb and custard.

And he even says each area has its own favourite flavour of sweets.

He added: "It's a trip down memory lane, who didn't love a sweet shop when they were a kid?

"It's that memory of sweets, you can walk along the canal and bring back memories.

"We do things the old-fashioned way, we weigh the sweets out for the kids and try to educate them on the way things used to be done.

"We travel up and down the Leeds-Liverpool canal and stop at various stations.

Lancashire Telegraph:

"We travel from Foulridge to Rodley and we turn around and head straight the way back again.

"We know where we are by the popularity of the sweet. If we're in Gargrave, they love their sarsaparilla-crazy. In Rodley, they love their midget gems and wine gums."

He added: "You can't beat it, every morning you wake up and you have a different view. When you get used to one view, it's time to move.

"We enjoy travelling by the water, we were in Ireland for a long time. We have done most of Ireland and most of the UK canal system."