WOOL traders have used a Lancashire canal to transport cargo for the first time in 46 years.

Carole and Colin Wareing, of Colin and Carole’s Creations, in Burscough, have spent the summer months supplying wool and yarns to local knitters in East Lancashire.

The couple are preparing for their return journey on the Leeds and Liverpool canal passing through Reedley, Rishton, Wheelton and Adlington in their trade boat Patty Ann.

Speaking from the canal boat, Colin said: “We were speaking to shops alongside the canal and soon found out that wool was hard to come by in various locations down the waterfront.

“We have been turning heads with the boat because there are no other boats selling anything on the water.

“It’s been a grand trip so far, and we are really exicited about the remainder of our journey.”

The bitter winter of 1963 finished off general cargo carrying on the Leeds and Liverpool canal after thick ice prevented the boats moving the cargos.

Following discussions with fellow boaters about the demise of knitting wool shops close to the canal, Colin planned a journey through the canal providing a range of knitting wool from the narrowboat to members of the public.

Carole, a hand-knitter by trade, has sold a range of garments, hats, fingerless gloves and jumpers, based on the traditional “Gansey” as worn by the working Leeds and Liverpool boatmen before the big freeze.

Colin added: “We will set out again next year. but try different locations further into Chesire.

“We set out in April, so it has taken us a very long time to get to Leeds and back, but we are in no rush.”