Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Shipwreck on the River Weaver.......................................................................

My boat trip along the River Weaver a couple of days ago was an unexpected but wonderful experience.
Scroll down a couple of posts if you haven't read about my river journey.

There was a new road bridge over the river leading to Dutton Locks.
There are a few houses alongside the locks... the old rickety bridge was replaced due to heath and safety
Fire Engines and Ambulances now have safe access... in an emergency.

A few yards from the lock is the wreck of the M.V. Chica... she has a fantastic history.
I have walked past this sunken vessel many times over the years but this was the first time I had the chance to see it and take images from the river.

 Built in Norway during 1894 she was originally named "Flora".
 She was built to freight salt fish from the north to the south of the country.

During 1940 she was commandeered by the Germans and renamed "Bjorg Haukus"  being returned to the original owner at the end of the war.

In 1965 she was renamed "Lill Tove" after her new owners daughter and based in Gibraltar she traded in the Mediterranean and down the west coast of Africa with tales of smuggling cigarettes and illicit booze.

Renamed "Chica" she arrived on the River Weaver as a pleasure craft... holiday makers from all over the world would enjoy cruises from Runcorn to Northwich... that's one chemical works to another?
The owner was apparently a real character and gin flowed on the Chica from dusk till dawn.
 She capsized whilst moored at Dutton Lock in 1993 just a year shy of her centenary.

She is now under the control of British Waterways who look after our canals and rivers.
The "Chica" isn't in the way where she is... and removing her would be expensive.
 She will be an attraction on the River Weaver for many years to come.

Weekend Reflections

38 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

that girl has quite the colorful history. wow!

love the bridge reflection shot. really nice.

Nancy said...

What a great story and an interesting subject for photos. :)

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Thank you for releating the history behind the boat. I would not have imagined such adventures.

heyBJK said...

Talk about a lot of name changes! And she's seen some travel. It's a shame she capsized so close to her centenary. It's a very cool thing to be able to photograph, though. Most shipwrecks are inaccessible.

Sandra said...

the photos are beautiful, she is a fine old boat, loved the history of her and glad they will leave her be. wonderful captures of her.

barbara l. hale said...

That is one cool boat ruin! Terrific photos!

Liz said...

Amazing reflections, Brian! Excellent shots of the shipwreck. Thanks for sharing a bit of history.

Kay said...

Interesting photos and fantastic subject.

Rohrerbot said...

Extremely interesting history! I'm surprised she's still around with all the crazy weather around:) Love the shots and story!

Eva Ason said...

Great story and fantastic photos, love the one of the bridge.

JM said...

Amazing reflections, Andrew! Great pics.

Susan said...

That little boat has quite a history and an interesting one too! Totally cool!

Bob Bushell said...

99 years of beauty, it is for now, at rest. R.I.P.

cieldequimper said...

If that hull could talk!

Hilke Breder said...

What a sad ending for such a widely traveled vessel! :-)

Gary said...

That's great stuff, Andrew!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Sallie (FullTime-Life.com said...

What a history and great photos -- I am always fascinated by beached/wrecked boats and always wonder about the story; this time I got a great one! Thanks for sharing. So glad they are able to leave it there.

Indrani said...

How well you have captured these with reflections! Fantastic photos.

Gillian Olson said...

Thanks for this little bit of history, she had quite a varied life.

Pantherka said...

Andrew, these are very beautiful photos.
The new bridge looks good.

Shaun_ShutterBug said...

Stunning photos Andrew, i would love to see that boat image converted to a gritty mono or HDR

Shaun
Valleys ShutterBug

grammie g said...

HI Andrew...Great history and nice photos to go with it !! What a gorgeous day it must have been the water is like glass and made lovely reflections!!
Grace xx

BlueShell said...

Oh...Drew...The first one is gorgeous! I love the reflections!
The others are too...well done. And I learned something here. Thank you for that!
BShell

Amish Stories said...

Slap some paint on her and lets go sailing, just kidding............Id like to invite everyone to a post I've just published honoring the TV show "Big Valley", and also actor Peter Breck. Included with this post are 2 personal recipes that was sent to me by Peters wife Diane, so please stop by and say hello and share your memories of this classic TV show. Richard

Scriptor Senex said...

What great shots of the Chica. Haven't seen her for years.

Sylvia K said...

Great reflections for the day, Andrew, and what a fascinating history the old boat has! I really enjoyed reading about it! Thanks for sharing it with us! Hope you have a great weekend!

Sylvia

Julie Storry said...

Enjoyed your story of the 'Chica'. I am glad she will be allowed to wallow there for years to come. She is a delightful contribution to river lore.

Valerie said...

Stunning captures all, Andrew - thanks for sharing with us. Happy weekend.

Gemma Wiseman said...

The tilted shipwreck has so much character in every perspective! Beautiful series of photos!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I love a an old wreck with a great history and yours is the best I've heard in a while.

HansHB said...

Awesome!

Linda said...

Very nice reflections in your shots! And thanks for sharing the history - very nice to know why things are left the way they are!

Laurel's Quill said...

that boat looks like it's seen better days. Nice capture!

MARGARET GOSDEN 2 said...

Fascinating shots of the ship wreck!

Owen said...

Maybe if just a little more gin flowed freely again on board she could be re-floated? Wonderful story... would love to see her one day, before she sinks down under the surface forever...

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Oh so close to a hundred! What a colourful life this old lady has led Andrew, wonderful story and like Julie I'm glad she's not being towed off somewhere and dumped! Must make a great point of interest for folk taking cruises down the river.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Andrew, thank you so much for sending me the link and what a marvelous story she had. What a shame to just about get to the 100 year mark...yet where she is now, at least she shall not be forgotten any time soon. Very cool~

Andy said...

Nice to keep the pictures rolling in. At the time Chica capsized and a quarter of a century before I was the Son-in-Law of the now departed Captain Thomas Barlow, the last Master of Chica.

I have written articles about Chica and her history which will give anyone interested a slightly closer insight into her career particularly so from the 1970's until her demise at the end of the Century. These may be found on the Norwegian website www.shipsnostalgia.com (you will have to register to access).

The only other person alive who may have more information is Cap'n Barlow’s ageing widow, Muriel, who lives in the warmth of the Gibraltarian sunshine overlooking the harbour and the Mediterranean.

To the very best of my knowledge Chica was not involved in gun running or smuggling on the Barbary Coast, although it makes for a good yarn, nor was she in any way part of the Liverpool based shipping fleet and nor was she ever registered at Liverpool despite that claim on her stern. She was though involved in many other exploits including transporting Coca Cola to the rebels in the Angolan Civil War, for a time acting as a Offshore (floating outside territorial waters) Companies Registration Facility which hacked off Her Majesties Inspector of Taxes and The Bank of England (reputed to have had its own currency, the ‘Chical’ with a fixed exchange rate of 1 Chical:10 £Sterling) and had been boarded by the Spanish coast guard for infringing Spains territorial waters when Captain Barlow put out a distress call requesting the immediate intervention of Her Majesties Royal Navy then stationed in Gibraltar – alas to little avail.

It is well worth looking up www.shipsnostalgia.com – it is a good read.