The Montgomery Canal Coming Alive – Making Waves – Full programme of events under way preparing for Montgomery Canal Triathlon and Welsh Waterway Festival
Making Waves, a programme of events showcasing the Montgomery Canal in Wales, is under way. The lively summer-long programme of events will bring the Montgomery Canal alive.
Several successful Making Waves events have already taken place: a towpath walk at Four Crosses, a litterpick in the centre of Welshpool, and in Llanymynech – on the border between Wales and England – The Great Egg Race, a children's event, and Llanymynech Rocks! the story of limestone and the Montgomery Canal, with demonstrations of a limekiln in action, films in the unique Hoffman Kiln, and activities for children by the Montgomery Canal Artist-in- Residence.
Another Making Waves event is the current exhibition in the Powysland Museum, Welshpool, with a comprehensive display of boating artefacts, from lace plates and Measham teapots, to horse tack and examples of Roses and Castles painting. The exhibition also highlights the influence of geology on the building of canals, marking the 200th anniversary of the first geological map produced by William 'Strata' Smith, built on knowledge developed when working on the Somersetshire Coal Canal. The exhibition runs to 28 April.
Making Waves also includes the first public trips being run at weekends by the Heulwen Trust, whose boats are busy throughout the week providing trips for the less able. The new arrangements include regular weekend trips and longer trips to Brithdir on selected weekends, all bookable through Welshpool Tourist Information Centre. Trips have also started again on the George Watson Buck at Llanymynech.
Coming events include:
• Montgomery Canal Triathlon (9 May): cycling, walking and canoeing the 35 miles from Newtown to Welsh Frankton in one day. The event will be started by Newtown Mayor Rina Clarke off Lower Canal Road Newtown SY16 2AP at 8.30am, and it is expected that CRT Chief Executive Richard Parry will be taking part in the final (canoe) section from Morton to the Weston Arm.
• Making Waves with Canoes (17 May): canoe activities at Welshpool Town Wharf.
• Flicks in the Sticks, Welshpool (8 June): a showing of 'The Bargee', a canal comedy classic with Harry H. Corbett, Ronnie Barker, Eric Sykes, etc.
• Making Waves with Coracles, Welshpool (27 June): Coracle racing, the Welshpool Coracle revived, coracle building and demonstrations.
• Making Waves in Welshpool – The Welsh Waterway Festival (4/5 July): with visiting Wilderness, steam, electric and model boats, music and entertainments, demonstrations and activities, including walks organised by the local Ramblers, Wild Over Waterways activities for children and processions of decorated boats on Saturday afternoon and at twilight on Saturday evening.
• The Montgomery Canal Forum, Welshpool (6 July): the annual public meeting to catch up with what is happening on the Montgomery Canal.
Michael Limbrey, Chairman of Making Waves, said: “The Montgomery Canal is coming alive this year with our Making Waves events celebrating the canal in Wales showing what the canal brings to the borders of Montgomeryshire and Shropshire and what it promises for the future.
“This story is told in the current display in the Powysland Museum. Put together with expertise by Tony Lewery and Andrew Jenkinson the exhibits include a fascinating selection of boating items, from a horse's harness, to painted ware, tools and documents. I cannot remember seeing such a good display of the canal story in this area, and it is in a building which is one of the finest on the canal system, with boats passing right outside the Museum.
“Restoration of the Montgomery Canal started in Welshpool and continued with the restoration of the Prince of Wales section north of the town. One day it will be connected again to the national canal system, but today it is isolated and though the towpath is well used, the canal has not seen enough use by boats.
“Making Waves will bring the canal alive. The popular Montgomery Canal Triathlon on 9 May will see two hundred people cycling and walking the towpath from Newtown, finishing by canoeing the final 7½ miles to the Weston Arm, just below the northern end of the canal at Frankton Junction. The Triathlon is again bringing entrants from as far as Lancashire, London, Kent and Cornwall, and though places are still available now, we expect that it will be fully booked.
“Bookings are coming in too for Making Waves in Welshpool. There will be a selection of motor, steam and electric boats bringing life to the canal in Welshpool, and there will be public trips on the boats of the Heulwen Trust. This will be the Welsh Waterways Festival and, based in the centre of Welshpool, will be busy with entertainers, exhibitors, demonstrations, and children's activities.
“Making Waves in Welshpool is a special opportunity for boaters to visit this attractive section of canal and we still have places at the moment. For me, the highlight will be Saturday evening's twilight procession of decorated boats, something Welshpool has not seen for some years.
“One day boats will again be able to reach Welshpool from across the canal system, bringing a lively canal scene to the centre of the town. Making Waves shows what that will be like.”
Up-to-date information about Making Waves can be found online at www.MakingWaves2015.co.uk and on Twitter, @MakingWaves2015.
Making Waves is supported by the Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust, the Friends of the Montgomery Canal, and the Inland Waterways Association’s Shrewsbury, District & North Wales branch.
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A quick introduction - I'm John Waine, Director of TheBestOfOswestry. Having lived in this beautiful area for around 20 years now, I have decided to stay. :)
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