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our wonderful canal history

September 2016

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Canals are part of our heritage, so it is great news that the Nottingham Canal Festival is going to be held again this year.

It is proving to be a hugely popular event for all ages, but particularly resonates with the over 50s who were often brought up on stories of canals. Indeed, it was part of the school curriculum in some years to teach about the history of the British canals and also about the families that lived on working barges on the canals.

Today genuine working boats are rare, and the only people who live on the canals are generally those who are holidays or have transformed their narrow boats into luxurious accommodation. However, the Nottingham event, being held on October 1st,  will include historic boats from the past moored up on the towpath to give people a flavour of what the wharf would have looked like in its industrial heyday.

But there is much more to this event as well. Run by the Canal and River Trust, the idea is to celebrate Britain’s 2,000 miles of historic waterways and also the River Trent which winds it way throughout Nottinghamshire.

There will be lots to do at the event for all ages, including waterway activities, the history of the canal, stalls of local handmade crafts, boat trips and even fishing.

Danny Brennan, chair of the Canal and River Trust’s East Midlands Waterway Partnership, said the event is hoping to build on all the aspects that made the first festival, held last year, such a success.

 “The first Nottingham Canal Festival brought thousands of people down to the canalside to enjoy a boat trip, try their hand at fishing, enjoy some of the traditional music or just have a bite to eat in a really friendly atmosphere,” he said.

“This year we will have all those really popular attractions again but we also want to encourage more people to come down and experience what life is like by the waterside and to see more people getting their first view of Nottingham from the canal, rather than the towpath. “

Mr Brennan says they would still love to hear from anyone who might be able to bring a historic boat to the event to help bring the colourful history of the waterways to life.

The event is being held Castle Wharf, Carrington Street, Nottingham NG2 1EE on Saturday October 1st between 10am and 4.30pm. Entrance is free.

For more information, visit the Nottingham Canal Festival Page or call 0303 040 4040.

If you are interested in canals, then the Canal and River Trust have a great page of news which is continually updated and covers a wide range of related subjects and events. They are even looking for volunteers to help with local canals, rivers and towpaths. 

More information at Canal River Trust.

 


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