Members of Fizzgigs, Ellesmere’s community arts group, were excited on Friday afternoon to welcome back to the town an historic canal boat.
Saturn, the last remaining Shropshire Union flyboat built in 1906, returned to the town’s Canal & River Trust’s Maintenance Yard Ellesmere.
She will be moored there for large parts of the summer, including the weekend of 3rd/4th June when Fizzgigs be putting on a show called ‘Bridging the Gap’.
Saturn, originally horse-drawn, on this occasion, was towed to the Yard by another special boat, a motor called Beatty, built in 1937, owned by Nick and Liz Grundy.
Nick’s grandparents are part of the Llangollen Canal’s rich history. In the post-2nd -World-War-years they cruised what was then called the Ellesmere Canal on board Heron, a wooden cruiser, alongside canal legend, L T C Rolt on his boat, Cressy. ‘It is thanks to the efforts of those pioneers that the canal stayed open, for us to enjoy today,’ explained Kate Westgate, Fizzgigs member.
‘And it was down to the efforts of canal engineers like William Jessop and Thomas Telford that the canal exists at all – as Fizzgigs is exploring in their latest production,’ added Alison Utting, director. ‘Bridging the Gap’ is a free, fun-filled, family-friendly show. It will be performed at 2pm and 4pm on Saturday and Sunday 3rd /4Th June.
John Yates, Chair of Saturn Flyboat said of her return, ‘She looks at home, she feels at home, she is at home,’ and everyone in Fizzgigs is looking forward to her being part of a very special experience over the first weekend in June!
Details of all Fizzgigs activities can be found at www.fizzgigs.co.uk