Waterway celebration at canal Family Festival

Stoke Bruerne Canal Festival.John Gascoigne on Fazeley,a butty boat.'090614M-A280
Stoke Bruerne Canal Festival.John Gascoigne on Fazeley,a butty boat.'090614M-A280

A fun-packed programme of boats, canal crafts, food, drink, live music, theatre, dance and children’s activities will keep the whole family entertained at Stoke Bruerne’s annual Family Festival.

Centred on the Canal Museum and organised by the Friends of the Canal Museum, the event, on Saturday and Sunday, will host a large number of canal craft demonstrators.

These include ‘Roses and Castle’ painters, rag rug makers, lace and crochet makers, wood carvers, sign writers, fender makers, a stained glass artist and Stoke Bruerne’s very own blacksmith, who will be giving demonstrations at his canalside forge.

This year’s event forms part of a two-year Heritage project, following an award of £67,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to the Stoke Bruerne Canal Partnership.

As well as interpretation panels and a series of activity programmes, funding has trained volunteers to lead guided heritage and wildlife walks, which will feature in the programme over the weekend.

Working and historic boats will be there in abundance, joined by a variety of trading boats, selling anything from cheese to fudge.

There will be a chance to take a boat trip on Indian Chief or Charlie into the famous one-and-three-quarter-mile-long, 200-year-old Blisworth Tunnel. Don’t forget to watch out for a special water-based spectacle.

On land, the festival will feature live music, theatre, dance, children’s activities, a circus workshop, real ale bar and a craft and produce market. And, for the first time this year, a number of village gardens will be open to the public.

Northampton Model Boat Club will have boats on and off the water and The Navigation pub will be holding a beer festival.

Admission to the festival is free, with parking in the village car parks charged at £5 per car. All profits will go to the Friends of the Canal Museum charity towards their work supporting the museum.

For more see www.friendsofcanalmuseum.org.uk/sb-family-festival