Retired couple's floating sweet shop down the Leeds-Liverpool canal

A retired market trader has come out of retirement to set up a successful floating sweet shop – on a canal barge.

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 4:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 10:46 am

Pat Creaven, 61, and his wife Jill set up the floating treat during lockdown and sail their barge along the Leeds-Liverpool canal route, the longest in Britain, opening up shop at various stops along the way.

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The happily married couple sail between Rodley in Leeds, West Yorks, to Foulridge in Pendle onboard their home-come shop, Pendle Witch Sweets.

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Pat and Jill Creaven opened their floating sweet shop during lockdown and float up and down the Leeds-Liverpool canal. Picture: Lee McLean/SWNS

They bought their barge back in 2017 with the plan of spending their retirement years cruising the canal routes of the UK and Ireland but during lockdown, entrepreneur Pat bought an old set of scales and decided to open a floating sweet shop.

The couple sell a selection of traditional hand-measured sweets for £1 per 100 grams and speaking on the venture Pat commented: “During lockdown, we purchased some old fashioned Woolworths scales, so I decided to set up a sweet shop business, to my wife's dismay.

“I started on the markets when I was 15, so I thought 'I'll finish on the markets'.”

Sweets are colour-coded for customers with any dietary requirements, including gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options.

Pat Creaven, 61, weighing up sweets aboard his floating shop. Picture: Lee McLean/SWNS

Pat even has a special 'memory lane' section which houses old classics such as toffees and eclairs as well as boiled sweets like Yorkshire Mix and Rhubarb and Custard.

He even insists that every area has its own favourite sweet adding: “We know where we are by the popularity of the sweet. If we're in Gargrave, they love their sarsaparilla-crazy. In Rodley, they love their midget gems and wine gums.

“It's a trip down memory lane, who didn't love a sweet shop when they were a kid?”

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Pat and Jill also live aboard their floating sweet shop - Pendle Witch Sweets.Picture: Lee McLean/SWNS