PRESS RELEASE: IWA Festival of Water Comes to Pelsall

Issue date: 16th June 2016

IWA’s annual Festival of Water is set to bring over one hundred boats to the underused Wyrley & Essington Canal, when the event takes place at Pelsall Junction over the August Bank Holiday weekend (27th to 29th August 2016).  The location has been chosen to encourage greater activity on and around the northern section of the Birmingham Canal Navigations, and whilst 20 or so boats will arrive as part of a BCNS Explorer Cruise, over 80 more will arrive by other routes from across the inland waterways.

The main festival site will be on Pelsall North Common and admission and parking are free.  Mooring or camping for the weekend costs just £35 which includes wristband access to the evening entertainment.  Entertainment runs throughout all three days from 10am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday and 10am to 4pm on Monday, and on into the evening for boaters and campers.  There will be traders (both afloat and on land) selling everything from jewellery, clothing, cards and treats for your dog to stoves for boats and homes, as well as plenty of food choices and a real ale bar. There will also be historic narrow boats to see, and the opportunity to learn about local and national waterway projects including the Lichfield & Hatherton canals restoration.  

The Mayor of Walsall commented “Our local canal network is an asset of which we can be proud and we look forward to welcoming boaters and visitors from across the country.  The IWA Festival of Water is a celebration of what we have and I hope will encourage the people of Walsall to get to know our local waterways better.”


Additional information about attractions and entertainment over the weekend

Attractions over the weekend will include:  a collection of classic cars, a fairground organ and a miniature steam engine offering rides around the show.  The less than usual sound of bagpipes will pipe festival goers around the site and children’s entertainment includes rides, water zorbing, birds of prey, the chance to drive a digger or build a wall with WRG and to get up close to some reptiles and mammals including a skunk!

Musical entertainment is to be provided by both local and nationally renowned artists, many well known to regular boaters, including:  Chase Jazz Band, Harvesters, Somerville Gentlemen, Duchess and the Dukes, Dave Fry and Braunston Pickle.  Chucklefoot, the one man band and family entertainer, will be on site all weekend.  There will also be two local dance troops performing over the weekend, Walsall Academy of Dance and BFAB Street Dancers.


Photos - Views of the festival site at Pelsall Junction taken at previous events

Press Contact

For more information please contact Alison Smedley, Press Office, The Inland Waterways Association, by emailing or phoning 07779 090915.

Notes for Editors

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.

For more information about the Festival and the Explorer Cruise go to
IWA - Keeping our waterways alive.

Photo - Views of the festival site at Pelsall Junction taken at previous events