A JEWELLERY maker with a twist will be floating into Whitchurch and Ellesmere this week as part of a UK-wide canal tour.

Rich MacKenzie runs By Bike & Boat and travels the waterways making and selling his upcycled copper creations along the way.

The 41-year-old will be setting up his workshop from his 60ft narrowboat moored on the Llangollen Canal in Whitchurch this week.

Rich, 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.

But despite the difficulties presented by the pandemic, Rich says he has already been made welcome in Shropshire.

He said: "We've already had a great welcome in Shropshire – and I am looking forwards to set up my workshop to make some pieces, and hopefully sell a few while we're here.

"Whitchurch 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."

He added: "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."

Rich's love of creating started when he lost his father in 2020.

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 Whitchurch Monday and Tuesday from 10am along the towpath between the two A41 bridges which cross the canal, and in Ellesmere along the canal towpath on Thursday and Friday this week.

Rich added: "We've just come from Nantwich but we're not sure where we will stop next on our way out to Llangollen."

People can keep an eye on By Bike & Boats UK's movements on their website bybikeandboat.co.uk or on their social media pages @BikeandBoatUK