WoW – Maesbury Canal Festival features Wild over Waterways activities for children,

and much, much more

Canal Central, Maesbury Marsh – 1st and 2nd September 2012

The Maesbury Canal Festival on 1st and 2nd September at Canal Central, Coed y rae Lane, Maesbury Marsh, will provide activities and interest for all, and will be the best yet.

The popular WoW – Wild over Waterways – activities will be there for children, including making fog horns, painting boatmen's lace plates, and making dragonflies and bird feeders.

Children of all ages will enjoy music and entertainment from The Street Band, Percussion Unlimited, Beck Sian, and Chris Thorn on the didgeridoo.

 Other activities for them include swing-boats, hoop-la, football fun, face painting, story telling and Professor Squeezyjig.

With over 50 stalls and attractions, visitors will be able to see canal ware, Kenya Crafts, North American handicrafts, handmade Christmas crackers, alpaca goods, plants and poultry products, ecological gifts and stained glass ware.  On the canal boats will be selling cheese, candy and canal ware.

There will be demonstrators making rag rugs, spider's web belt embroidery, wood turning,  peg looming, painting roses & castles, and spinning dog hair.  Visitors will be able to try their hand at rope-making on a 50 yard rope walk and iron-working on a blacksmith's anvil.

Food stalls will supply sweet & savoury crêpes, home-made scotch eggs, home-made cakes, wood fired pizzas, ice cream, pickles and preserves, and wine.  And of course Canal Central will be offering their locally sourced lunches and snacks.

Over 30 boats will be moored along the towpath, some having come over 100 miles to join the event.  Pride of place of course will go to Saturn, the beautiful locally-based traditional canal boat.  All weekend the horse-drawn trip-boat Countess of Maesbury will be running trips from Crofts Mill Bridge, a short walk along the towpath from the Festival site.

A raffle held at the Festival will offer prizes including a narrowboat day-hire donated by Anglo-Welsh Waterway Holidays and a family ticket for a ride on the Llangollen Railway, bicycle lights donated by Stuart Barkley Cycles, a basket of fruit, a slate cheese board and knives.

On the Saturday evening there will be a supper and entertainment by Naomi Paine's Quartet.  Tickets are £12.50 including lasagne or a vegetable pasta, salad, crusty bread & butter and a choice of sweets, and are now available from Canal Central.

It will be competition day on Sunday 2nd September with ...

an under-16s fishing competition at Morton Farm, Redwith

a dog show looking for the handsomest dog, prettiest bitch, best scruff, fastest sausage-eater and best in show

and a gurning competition for visitors who can make ugly faces.  

Chairman of the Festival Committee, Judith Richards, said, “This is the third Festival we have held at Maesbury and it promises to be the biggest yet.

“The canal was reopened to Maesbury in 2003, following many years' effort by volunteers, British Waterways (now the Canal & River Trust) and the local authorities, and since then Maesbury has become a popular destination for boaters.  For our Festival over thirty boats are coming from across the canal network.  

“On the Festival site next to the canal there will be entertainers, craft demonstrations and stalls, with special activities for children. Some of the boats on the canal are mobile shops which move around the country selling cheese, sweets and canal ware.   Also on the water The Countess of Maesbury will offer the opportunity to ride on a horse-drawn boat, and there are not many places where you can have a ride like that today.

“Thanks to funds raised by two successful events we held earlier in the year, a concert at Llanymynech and the Montgomery Canal Triathlon, and with the generous support of Shropshire Council and Canal Central, we are able to offer free entry to the Festival.

“While we are celebrating the canal in Maesbury, volunteers will be at work a mile away spending another weekend to extend the canal towards Llanymynech.”

Volunteers of Waterway Recovery Group, from Scotland, France, Wales and England, are completing two weeks' work on Aston nature reserve,  two miles north of the Festival site, and surfacing the towpath south of the site.   On the Festival weekend volunteers from Shropshire Union Canal Society will be continuing their work to restore and waterproof the length south of Redwith bridge, one mile south of the Festival site.

The Festival is on Saturday and Sunday 1st and 2nd September, opening at 10am on each day.

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Michael Limbrey                          Greenfields, Weston Lane, Oswestry SY11 2BD    Tel: 01691 5654081                           

Peter & Judith Richards                Canal House, Morton, Oswestry SY10 8BQ           Tel: 01691 831455

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