Unforgettable Holiday Aboard a Narrow Boat
by Pat Frow © 2009
In June 2008 my friend, Adrienne, and
I flew from South Africa to
Heathrow. After spending a few days in
Plymouth we were joined by my brother, David, and his wife, Toni. Then we headed
for Lynea Wharf on the
Llangollen Canal where our narrow boat, Shropshire Lass,
Pat aboard the Shropshire Lass.
She was beautiful and so well adapted for someone in a wheelchair like me. There was a portable ramp which could be put down to enable a wheelchair to be pushed from the bank into the boat and vice versa. Once on the boat. there was a platform which could be lowered to the level of the cabin or raised to the level of the deck.
Inside the boat there were two double bunks at the rear of the boat, a bathroom with a handheld shower and a seat, and a toilet with a grab rail.
There was also another separate ordinary loo. Then there was a well equipped kitchen with a fridge, stove, etc. At the front end of the boat there was a seat that folded down into a double bed. During the day we could erect a table in this area to have our meals at. It was very comfortable and suitable for someone in a wheelchair.
We had a wonderful time cruising along the canals, greeting people on other boats or on the shore. From time to time we got off the boat to explore a village or to have a pub meal.
Adrienne and Toni operated the locks and tilt bridges, David did most of the steering of the boat but Toni and Adrienne also did some. One day I had a go at steering but I had to stand up to see over the top of the boat to the front. Adrienne held me up and David held my hand on the steering column. I couldn’t stand for long before Adrienne and I became tired. But I was happy to be able to say that I had steered the boat
A stroll along the canal.
On a couple of evenings after we had moored Adrienne took me a walk along the canal or into a village. I enjoyed these walks so much!
Adrienne enjoyed feeding the ducks and swans.
After six wonderful days on the Shropshire Lass, we had to say goodbye to her and to the lovely Llangollen Canal. We went to Shrewsbury station where we said goodbye to Toni and Dave and caught the train to Birmingham airport.
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