Norbury Canal Festival returns this May

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A free festival that celebrates life on Shropshire Union Canal will be back by popular demand this May with a packed programme of fun for all the family.

Boat trips will be held as part of the popular Norbury Canal Festival
Boat trips will be held as part of the popular Norbury Canal Festival

Norbury Canal Festival will be held at Norbury Junction on the Shropshire/Staffordshire border from May 4th to 6th. It is organised by the Shrewsbury and Newport Canals Trust and will raise funds towards the redevelopment of Wappenshall Wharf near Telford.

The three-day event takes place along both sides of the canal at Norbury Junction, around Norbury Wharf and in the garden of the Norbury Junction Inn, throughout the day and night.

Daytime activities include a narrowboat rally with owners competing for a prize for the best looking boat; a restored historic working narrowboat open for the public to explore; and Norbury Wharf’s hire fleet will be available to give a taste of life on board.

There will also be 20 trading boats selling a host of traditional crafts including the Cheese Boat, Fudge Boat and new visitors, the Brewboat and the Hippie Boat. Boat trips will also be operating along the canal to give people the experience of enjoying the festival from the water.

The Norbury Junction Inn will host fairground attractions and stalls with homemade games in its grounds, and there will be children’s entertainment, face painting and food and refreshment stalls throughout the festival.

On Saturday, there will be four performances from the Stafford Morris Dancers and Staffordshire Police and Staffordshire Fire & Rescue will bring their emergency vehicles along on Sunday. The traditional canalside church service will take place at 3pm on Sunday.

The evening’s free entertainment has been brought forward to start from 5.30pm with The Dynamic Dick Band followed by Samantha Lloyd on Saturday with Sunday seeing the return of gypsy jazz quartet Bon Accord.

Shrewsbury and Newport Canals Trust chairman Bernie Jones said: “The festival is our most popular fundraising event every year with a wealth of activities for all the family.

“It’s a great day out and we look forward to welcoming our supporters and lots of other people who are interested in finding out more about this traditional way of life as well as having fun.

“The first phase of the restoration programme at Wappenshall – the refurbishment of the smaller of the two warehouses to become a coffee shop and bistro and the re-watering of the East basin – is progressing well and on target for completion later this year. The canal festival will help us to raise the valuable funds we need to continue our work.”

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