All aboard! Free Leeds-Liverpool Canal boat trips


Fancy taking a free boat trip on the Leeds Liverpool Canal? Now’s your chance!

As part of the Leeds Inspired-funded Flotsam & Jetsam project a canal boat has been transformed into a work of art by artist Gemma Latham and local residents.

The boat, Caddis, takes stories, data and objects from the areas of West Leeds affected by Storm Desmond floods on Boxing Day and features a giant artwork on the front of a canal boat.

  • The free canal boat trips start on Saturday, July 2, at Armley Mills Industrial Museum and include free admission into the museum itself.
  • And on Sunday, July 3, trips will move up the canal wo allow you to explore the TCV Hollybush Farm in Kirkstall. There will also be craft activities on the day.

Admission is free and no booking is required in advance.

Caddis artist Gemma Latham joined the flood clean-up organised by Team Kirkstall last month with the aim of collecting items to be included on the boat.

Gemma said:

“It was amazing to see so many people turn out, people of all ages and backgrounds. It gave me a sense of community spirit that I imagine pulled people together in the flood clean up (with less of the devastation and urgency).”

A mosaic for Caddis was made at a workshop held at Seagulls Paint, which was flooded when the River Aire burst its banks at Christmas.

Flotsam and Jetsam
Flotsam and Jetsam fundraising

Dreamboats – Collecting Flood Recollections, Advice, Hopes in Kirkstall

Bramley resident Marie Millward has blogged about about how the folks at Flotsam and Jetsam  have collected the stories for their floating work of art on the canal.  Here’s the post:

One of the tough nuts to crack for an organisation called Playful Anywhere is how to inject an element of playfulness into collecting responses to an event like flooding.

If you have been impacted, its was probably not much fun and we didn’t want to make light of that.

Also, we were very concerned to not lay claim in some way to the amazing community response to the floods – the glory very much belongs to those who did the messy, cold, hard work to get Kirkstall back onto its feet and continue to do so – we just want to find a different way of documenting it.

With this in mind, we took this question to Playful Anywhere’s People Place Play event held at ODI Leeds on 22nd April.

This was a gathering of people “doing amazing stuff in neighbourhoods, city centres and with communities which bring smiles to peoples faces.”

The workshop part of the day gave opportunities to prototype how you might approach a community project in a playful way, so we used this as a chance look at how we might use origami boats to collect stories, ideas, advice – we called the idea “dreamboats”.

Thanks to everyone at event took part and helped us to work out whether making boats might practically work, what sort of questions might work well and how to approach a difficult subject.

The teamwork paid dividends! There were loads of other brilliant ideas prototyped, including Elaine Cresswell from Blue Green Liverpool’s and team’s crazy golf course!

Before releasing the dreamboats idea onto the world we further gamified it by adding a spin the bottle select a numbered question and we also decided to add the boats to a giant bottle – a ship-in-a-bottle message-in-a-bottle to the artist, Gemma.

We collected messages, drawings, advice, stories and plans, on specially printed paper, and then folded them into boats at the Flood Clean Up Party organised by Team Kirkstall, and at a six-day residency in Playbox01 at Cardigan Fields Leisure park, right next to the River Aire (a site that flooded back on Boxing Day).

Check out more posts on this subject here.


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