IWA Events Across The Country This Weekend03 July 2014
Events organised by IWA are taking place across the country this weekend. Boaters will attend gatherings hosted by IWA branches in Ware and Leeds. IWA will also celebrate the restoration of waterways in Warwickshire at Stratford River Festival.
80 boats will attend the annual Ware Boat Festival which is organised and run by IWA Lee & Stort Branch volunteers. The festival, taking place from 4th - 6th July on the River Lee in Ware, is part of a weekend of activities around the river and the town including Ware's Carnival Day and Town Fair on Saturday 5th July.
Boaters will be treated to a barbecue on the Friday night ready for a weekend of attractions including a boat parade, boat handling, boat jumble, quiz evening, open-air service on the Sunday, teddy bears picnic and Ware Brass Band on Priory Island. A variety of stalls will be at the event selling items from rope fenders and rag rugs, chandlery and painted canalware, as well as willow weaving demonstrations.
IWA West Riding Branch is hosting a boat gathering on the Rochdale Canal in to mark Le Tour de France The Grand Départ 2014. On Sunday 6th July, cyclists will follow the Rochdale Canal between Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd as part of Stage 2 of The Grand Départ, 200km section from York to Sheffield.
Local attractions will include a talk about the history of the Rochdale Canal to include a short walk, parade, performing artists, fairground rides, food and drinks as well as places to watch the race on the Sunday.
Additionally IWA will celebrate the reopening of waterways in Warwickshire at Stratford River Festival. The 6th annual river festival of music, drinks, entertainment, fireworks and great food will celebrate anniversaries for the restoration and reopening of the Southern Stratford-upon-Avon Canal 50 years ago, and of the Upper River Avon 40 years ago. Friday afternoon will be dedicated to a re-enactment in Bancroft Basin of the re-opening of the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and the unveiling of a commemorative plaque for each anniversary. Among the 130 boats attending, are three boats that were present for the reopening in 1964, having returned to Stratford-upon-Avon this weekend. Tavy Cleave, a 1964 canal cruiser, will be there, along with nb Chertsey and nb Jasmine.
IWA has organised an exhibition at the event with The Stratford upon Avon Canal Society and Canal & River Trust featuring historic photographs and film footage from the 1964 and 1974 periods located in a marquee by the Bancroft Basin. IWA's Waterway Recovery Group which organises restoration work on canals and river navigations throughout the UK, will be present to promote their work as well as running taster bricklaying activities.
IWA volunteers regularly organise and attend events across the country to encourage the use of local waterways, promote campaigns as well as celebrating achievements and anniversaries.