PRESS RELEASE: Over 100 Boats Cruise to the Erewash Canal for IWA Festival of Water

Issue date: 31st August 2017

Over 100 boats arrived at Gallows Inn Fields in Ilkeston over the Bank Holiday weekend to enjoy the spectacular IWA Festival of Water, an annual event that this year came to the beautiful Erewash Canal.

The event was opened by Councillor Chris Corbett, Deputy Mayor of Erewash representing Erewash Borough Council who gave their wholehearted support for this Festival.

Boaters took the opportunity to cruise along the whole length of the 11.5 mile long Erewash Canal, past the historic lock cottages at Sandiacre, and under the spectacular 1500ft iron Bennerley railway viaduct to visit the bustling Great Northern Basin at Langley Mill, where the Erewash meets the partially restored Cromford Canal.

Over 15,000 people attended the three-day event, which included classic cars, live music, craft stalls, birds of prey, children’s rides and the chance to drive a digger under the guidance of restoration experts from IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group.

Jane Elwell, Chairman of IWA’s Events Team, said: “We chose Ilkeston for the 2017 IWA Festival of Water because it’s such an attractive yet underused part of the national canal network. Our volunteers also wanted to highlight the threat to the canal from the currently proposed HS2 route to Leeds.”

A 16m (52ft) high railway viaduct at Long Eaton will overshadow the Erewash Canal, including the canal lock close to the East Midlands Hub Station.  A proposed diversion of the M1 motorway to accommodate the high speed rail line may also have to cross the canal.  IWA is working alongside local groups to mitigate the impact on the canal and neighbouring communities.

Next year’s Festival of Water will take place on the River Great Ouse in Riverside Park in St Neots. Booking is open for boats and campsite pitches.  Visit www


A selection of photographs are available to download from Google Drive.

Press Contact
For further information please contact Gemma Bolton, Press Office, The Inland Waterways Association, by emailing or phoning 01494 783453 ext 617.

Each year, The Inland Waterways Association, holds a waterways festival to campaign and raise awareness of local waterways issues and to attract greater usage of and engagement with the local waterways.

Aims of IWA’s Festival of Water, Ilkeston

  • To encourage more boaters to cruise the underused Erewash Canal.  
  • To raise awareness and involvement in IWA’s campaign to mitigate the effects of HS2 Phase 2 on the Erewash Canal
  • To raise awareness of the restorations of the Cromford Canal, Derby & Sandiacre Canal, Chesterfield Canal and the work of the Erewash Canal Preservation and Development Association
  • To encourage new volunteers to get involved with the work of IWA in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire.

The Inland Waterways Association

IWA is The Inland Waterways Association, a membership charity that works to protect and restore the country's 6,500 miles of canals and rivers.  IWA is a national organisation with a network of volunteers and branches who deploy their expertise and knowledge to work constructively with navigation authorities, government and other organisations.  The Association also provides practical and technical support to restoration projects through its expert Waterway Recovery Group.


Boats arriving at IWA Festival of Water - Photo by Margaret Beardsmore.

A selection of photographs are available to download from Google Drive.

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