Mystery Whaley Bridge cruiser dodges scrap yard thanks to new buyers

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A boat left to rot in Whaley Bridge’s transhipment warehouse for 14 years has been sold to loving new owners - for a modest £500.

The abandoned late 1960s Norman 23 De Luxe canal cruiser was towed into the warehouse in 2005 when its owner could not be found.

Ian Kidd, of the Whaley Bridge Canal Group, told how the 23-foot vessel - known as Connie - stayed there and became home to a group of otters which regularly left pike’s heads aboard.

Connie was set to be towed away and crushed but has now received a stay of execution when new owners the Canal and River trust agreed to sell her to Neil Yeoman and Jan Hawks, of North Cheshire Cruising Club.

She was towed away on Wednesday by the pair - who promised to drop by with the refurbished boat on the way to the Norfolk Broads.

Ian, who is working with other volunteers to bring the warehouse back into use, said the group would plough the cash from Connie’s sale back into the group’s fund.

He said: “The boat’s been a real pain for us but it was nice to see her being towed away by new owners.

“They liked the boat because she is in her original condition and really dry with absolutely no hull damage

“And the fact that they’re going to bring her back in once she’s refurbished is great.”

For more information on the canal group visit whaleybridgecanal.org.