More than 6,000 visitors came to Huddlesford Junction over the weekend of 23rd/24th Sept. for the 7th
biennial Huddlesford Heritage Gathering. Encouraged no doubt by the fine weather,
especially on the Sunday it was our best attendance yet.
Over 50 historic narrowboats, floating traders and private boats, and more than 200 classic cars and motorbikes were joined by a huge range of other attractions and activities including birds of prey, belly dancing, wool spinning, cats, dogs and children’s art and craft activities and a veritable mini-music festival.
The Gathering was officially opened by local MP and LHCRT Patron Michal Fabricant accompanied by Richard Parry, Chair of Canal and Rivers Trust and Phil Sharpe, Chair of the Lichfield IWA branch. Lichfield City Council Mayor, Janice Greaves, a keen supporter of the work of LHCRT, visited the show on Sunday and tried her hand at operating the Trust’s excavator.
Michael Fabricant MP had this to say: “This event is fast becoming a Lichfield tradition! It is now the 7th occasion for this water based weekend family fun day. I was honoured to officially open the event and see the scores of narrow boats from all over the region and beyond.”
Christine Bull, chairperson of Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust said: “It's been a huge success with this year’s Gathering being bigger and better than ever before. We’ve had more attractions and more people attending, coming from far and wide to enjoy the festivities. Some travelled from Wales and even from as far as Ohio, USA. We have been overwhelmed by everyone’s support, not only by coming along but by supporting the Trust’s urgent need to raise £1m for the Tunnel Vision appeal, which will allow the restored Lichfield Canal to go under the mainline railway on the southern edge of Lichfield.”
The Commodore of Lichfield Cruising Club David Hancock added "It was truly a pleasure to invite LHCRT to our club. The Heritage of a boat gathering at Huddlesford can be traced back to 1959 with a small rally by the Coventry Canal society at the junction. The next year the first 4 boats took up moorings at the canal junction in the badly silted up and weeded Lichfield canal (as it is now known). That started the slow clearing of the canal and restoration of the canal cottages and surrounding lands into the delightful Club we have today. LCC is supporting LHCRT in its plan to restore and open the Lichfield canal to through navigation. As Commodore of the boat club I am very proud to belong to this super community and able to invite you all to come along and enjoy this hidden gem."
The canal festival is jointly arranged by Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust and Lichfield Cruising Club. The organisers wish to say a big thank you to all those who worked so hard to make this event possible.
Photos by Paul Marshall
More photos in the Website Gallery and Facebook Album
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