Creating upcycled copper jewellery from the waterside in Market Drayton

A floating jewellery-maker has cruised into a Shropshire town this week and hopes to find inspiration for some new pieces down by its canal.

Rich MacKenzie with wife Jackie, son Bobby and daughter Fleur
Rich MacKenzie with wife Jackie, son Bobby and daughter Fleur

Rich MacKenzie runs 'by Bike & Boat' from the narrowboat he lives on with his family, travelling waterways making and selling his upcycled copper creations along the way.

The 41-year-old has set up his workshop from his 60ft narrowboat moored on the Shropshire Union Canal in Market Drayton this week.

He said: "We’ve already had a great welcome in Market Drayton – and I am looking forward to setting up my workshop to make some pieces, and hopefully sell a few whilst we’re here.

"Market Drayton was a place that we wanted to stop off as we cruise from Oxford to Llangollen and then onto Liverpool and Manchester before returning to Oxford for Winter."

Mr MacKenzie, who lives on the boat with his wife Jackie, 10-year-old son Bobby, four-year-old daughter Fleur as well as their cat and six-month-old rescue puppy, said trade has been hit this year already due to lockdown.

"I make each item of copper jewellery to order so that it’s just right and fits the customer perfectly. This also is great as living on a boat we don’t have a great deal of room to keep a stock of made up pieces. I usually use copper gifted to me from local plumbers we find on our travels to make my pieces."

Mr MacKenzie's love of creating developed when he lost his father last year.

He said: "When dad passed away it just hit me like a ton of bricks just how short life was. Having a trade that I can do from the stern deck of the boat means that we can travel the UK’s canals and rivers to our heart’s content."

By Bike & Boat will be open in Market Drayton most days from 10am, along the towpath by the aqueduct over Berrisford Road.

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