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Gifford and Harry Arnold are centrepiece of sunniest Easter Boat Gathering

This year's Easter Boat Gathering at the National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port turned out to be the hottest and sunniest ever, and also the most popular, with around 2,500 visitors and around 40 boats and barges attending.

A special visitor was historic horse-boat Gifford, towed by Lynx, and ceremonially welcomed back the museum after 18 months of work by Ade Polglase.

Gifford is a favourite of Di Skilbeck MBE, the chair of the Waterways Museum Society and an early member of the museum in 1976.

“She looks magnificent now and it was thrilling to see the response when she sailed back into the museum,” said Di.

Di has herself worked on the boat over many years and describes an unwelcome secret revealed during the refurbishment: fungus had developed between the outer and inner planks. Ade has replaced and repainted all the timbers, with signwriter Phil Speight supplying the decorative paintwork.


Harry Arnold remembered

Harry Arnold, the legendary waterways photographer – and first editor of Waterways World – is being remembered in an exhibition of his photographs at the National Waterways Museum until the end of October.

Harry was also one of the five founders of the museum in 1976, and in a 60-year career seems to have been simply everywhere and at every event on the Midland and North West canals with his camera.

Michelle Kozomara of CRT said: “Harry’s photographs show the transformation from disuse and dereliction to regeneration over the years.”

Harry’s wife Beryl and daughter Julie curated the selection and were special guests at the opening of the exhibition on 19 April.

Di Skilbeck and Ade Polglase at the National Waterways Museum Ellesmere Port Easter 2019.


Harry Arnold's photographs are on show at Ellesmere Port until October.

Tuesday 21 May  | Andrew Denny  | 4.12pm, Tuesday 21 May 2019

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