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Celebration held for Ilkeston
A special celebration was held for a historic narrow boat which has been moored in Rickmansworth this month.
Ilkeston was restored by the National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port, Liverpool, and is making a centenary cruise to the London Canal Museum in Kings Cross.
On Saturday a public event with entertainment, music, and a chance to climb aboard the 100-year-old, horse-drawn boat, took place in Batchworth Lock.
Organiser Clive Fennell said: "It was an amazing day, enjoyed by all who attended and has hopefully raised some awareness and interest about the canals and their history; which ideally leads to a safe and secure future for them."
Fabian Hiscock, who steered Ilkeston down the canal, said: "It was lovely to only hear the sounds of the countryside, without the thudding of a normal canal boat engine."
The boat left Rickmansworth today for her journey into London, where she will be resident at the London Canal Museum for a month, before finally returning to Ellesmere Port.
The celebration on Saturday was a festival of music, featuring Tom Craven and Phoenix Jazz, along with Linda Birmingham.
The boat has also been towed along the lock by Clive and Sue Fennell from Rickmansworth Waterways Trust, using their boat Roger.
Ilkeston was then harnessed to Joshua, a three-year-old shire horse and pulled in the fashion it was designed for.
The 200-mile journey will pass through more than 100 locks along the Shropshire Union Canal and Grand Union Canal .
It will take nearly three months and Ilkeston will see it stop off at many points along the way, giving people the chance to see the boat glide past.
Ilkeston was used for carrying general goods up until 1945 when it was sold to the Manchester Ship Canal Company for £344. The boat worked on dredging operations on the Bridgewater Canal, before being converted to a camping boat and was finally sold to a family in Nottingham in 1980 for use as a home.
Nottingham Industrial Museum bought the boat in 1987 before, in 1999, it was transferred to the National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port.
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