James Brindley - 300th Anniversary Events

2016 marked the 300th Anniversary year of the birth of canal engineer, James Brindley. The following events took place across the country to celebrate his life and works.  2016 also marked the 250th anniversary of the cutting of the first sod on 26th July 1766 of the Trent & Mersey Canal.  Some of the events listed below celebrated both anniversaries. 

Every Sunday
Details:  Exhibition to mark 250th anniversary of the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal and the 300th anniversary of the birth of James Brindley.
Location:  Tettenhall Transport Heritage Centre, Meadow View, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton
Time:  10am to 4pm

9th January 2016 - South East London Meccano Club Challenge
Details: A challenge in 2016 for people to build canal and James Brindley related structures out of Meccano.  Look at the website to see what they made...

9th February 2016 - Talk: Celebrating James Brindley
Details: Presented by Dr Michael Nevell, Head of Archaeology, University of Salford.
Location: Renold Building, University of Manchester, Sackville Street, Manchester M1 3BB
Time: 6.30-8.30pm
Organised by: Institution of Civil Engineers
Contact: janice.parkinson@ice.org.uk

2nd March 2016 - Talk: James Brindley - His life, His Last Canal and its Unique Boats
Details: Presented by Christine Richardson and John Lower
Location: Chesterfield Theatres, Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Time: 7.30pm

2nd March 2016 - Talk: Canal Visionaries
Details: Presented by Victoria Owens
Location: Worsley Court House, Manchester
Time: 7.30pm
Booking: Admission is free but advance booking is necessary. For booking details and further information, please contact Katherine.Rice@Salford.gov.uk

Thursday 10th March - Talk:  "James Brindley and the Gilbert Brothers" by historian Peter Lead
Location:  St Luke's Church, Fountain St, Leek, Staffordshire, ST13 6JS
Time:  7.30pm
Booking: 
Anyone is welcome to turn up on the day for this free talk which is being put on by the Brindley Mill Trust

Saturday 1st May - Brindley 300 Heritage Walk
Details: Guided walk from Harecastle Tunnel to James Brindley's grave at St James, Newchapel. A walk of approximately 4 miles followed by refreshments. Booking essential. 
Time:  11am - meet at the Tunnel Keepers Lodge, Harecastle Tunnel
Booking:  essential via www.gokidsgrove.co.uk or 07946339110

2nd May 2016 - "Brindley, the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal and the town of Stourport"
Details: Talks by historian and author Victoria Owens as part of Stourport's Canal Basins Heritage Day
Location: Old Ticket office, Stourport Basin, Worcestershire
Time: 1pm and 3pm
Booking:  Space limited so places need to be pre-booked. Further information is available from www.stourporttown.co.uk

Saturday May 7th – Chesterfield Canal Society and the North East Derbyshire Industrial Archaeological Society – a talk about Brindley and a celebration for members at the Hollingwood Hub, Works Road, Chesterfield, S43 2PF. 

Saturday 28th May and Sunday 29th May – IWA National Trailboat Festivalwill include a photographic exhibition about James Brindley
Location:  Chesterfield Canal, Hollingwood Hub

28th to 30th May 2016 - Crick Boat Show
Details: Crick Boat Show 2016 will mark the birth year of canal pioneer James Brindley with a range of activities, displays and special talks.
Location: Crick Marina, Northamptonshire

4th June 2016 - Talk: Vision of a Lichfield Canal
Details: The Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Trust will be celebrating the 300th anniversary of James Brindley with a talk by Peter Buck. 
Location: Lichfield , Minster Pool , Lichfield Speakers Corner on Dam Street
Time: 11.00am

Sunday 26th June - Lymm Historic Transport Day with a James Brindley theme
Details: At this year's Lymm Historic Transport Day you can meet James Brindley “in person”  next to a collection of 20+ historic working boats and see him lead the sail-past. Also historic cars, motorbikes, commercial vehicles and lots more attractions. 
Location: Lymm, Cheshire, Bridgewater Canal
Time: 10am to 5pm

Saturday 9th July - Penkhull Mystery Plays
Details:  outdoor performance of a mystery play charting the progress of the River Trent through the ages, including James Brindley's taming the river with his Trent & Mersey Canal in the 300th anniversary of his birth and the 250th anniversary of the canal. 
Location:  Penkhull Village Green, Stoke on Trent

Saturday 23rd July -
Bells for Brindley, Middleport, Stoke on Trent
Details:  An event to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the cutting of the first sod of the Trent & Mersey Canal and the 300th anniversary of the birth of James Brindley.  Attractions will include canal information, sales stands, hands on childrens activities, archive canal film footage and the mobile belfry of the Lichfield Diocese.  During the day, bellringing events (quarter peals) will take place at different churches along the line of the Trent & Mersey Canal to mark the occasion. 
Location:  Middleport Pottery, Stoke on Trent

Tuesday 26th July - Brindley 300 Heritage Walk
Details: 
On the 250th anniversary of the cutting of the first sod of the Trent & Mersey Canal.  Guided walk from Harecastle Tunnel to James Brindley's grave at St James, Newchapel. A walk of approximately 4 miles followed by refreshments.
Time:  11am - meet at the Tunnel Keepers Lodge, Harecastle Tunnel
Booking:  essential via www.gokidsgrove.co.uk or 07946339110

2nd & 3rd September 2016 - Brindley at 300 Conference
Time:  Friday 2 September 1pm to 5pm and Saturday 3 September 10am to 4.00pm
Details: A conference to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the birth of James Brindley
Location:  National Waterways Museum Ellesmere Port South Pier Road, Ellesmere Port CH65 4FW

2nd & 3rd September 2016 - First Cut Weekend, Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal
Time:  Saturday 3 September and Sunday 4th September 10am to 4.00pm
Details: A weekend of events at Compton Lock and Tettenhall Heritage Centre, including guided walk and first sod cutting ceremony re-enactment, to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the start of the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal
Location:  Tettenhall Heritage Centre, Henwood Road, Wolverhampton

Saturday 10th September - Brindley 300 Heritage Walk (Heritage Open Days weekend)
Details: 
Guided walk from Harecastle Tunnel to James Brindley's grave at St James, Newchapel. A walk of approximately 4 miles followed by refreshments.
Time:  11am - meet at the Tunnel Keepers Lodge, Harecastle Tunnel
Booking:  essential via www.gokidsgrove.co.uk or 07946339110

Saturday 1st October - Floating on Brindley's Dreams - a musical entertainment celebrating the life, loves and legacy of James Brindley
Details:
Devised by Greg Stephens, musical director Kate Barfield, with the Clay Chorus, Loudmouth Women, Village Voices, David Bowen and the Brindley Band
Time:  3.30pm to 4.30pm
Where:  Mitchell Arts Centre, Broad St, Hanley, Stoke on Trent ST1 4HG
Booking: 
for free tickets go to www.liveagefestival.co.uk 

Friday 9th December - Floating on Brindley's Dreams - Animating the Archives
Details: 11am talk by Victoria Owens, celebrated Brindley biographer. 1.30pm archive canal films introduced by Ray Johnson. Come along, celebrate the achievements of Stoke-on-Trent's celebrated hero James Brindley, creator of the British canal system, father of civil engineering and all-round good egg. It's also a grand chance to have look at the pottery, the best place to see Stoke-on-Trent's industrial history still in action.
Time:  10.30am to 3.00pm
Where:  Middleport Pottery, Port St, Middleport, Stoke on Trent ST6 3PE
Booking: 
Booking not required, free entry (courtesy of the Heritage Lottery Fund)

If you know of any other Brindley 300th anniversary events taking place please contact Alison Smedley (alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk)


Photo: Great Haywood Junction, the meeting of two Brindley Canals - The Trent & Mersey and the Staffordshire & Worcestershire. Photo by Adrian Padfield.