4th July 2012
The Duke of Devonshire opened the Chesterfield Canal Festival at the new Staveley Town Basin on Saturday. He said “We are in the middle of a big good news story about the Chesterfield Canal”. This started a superb weekend of family fun.
To see the Eckington Parish TV video, click here.
The Duke went on to unveil a plaque with Cllr George Wharmby, Chair of Derbyshire County Council, to open the Basin officially. His final duty was to name the Chesterfield Canal Trust’s new tripboat, the Hugh Henshall, and to have a cruise. The money to build the boat, which is specially adapted for the disabled, was won on the Jubilee People’s Millions by the Chesterfield Canal Trust.
Members of the public poured in to enjoy a huge range of activities. Many went on a boat trip, some combining this with a trip to Barrow Hill Roundhouse to have a Steam Train ride.
There were plenty of rides for the kids, the zorbs proving to be especially popular. Many adults joined their children on Segway rides or canoeing.
The Entertainment Marquee was constantly busy with several bands as well as clog dancing, choirs from Springwell Community School and the Pomegranate Youth Theatre performing extracts from their recent production of Tales from the Chesterfield Canal.
Further entertainment was provided outside including the Urban Gypsies belly dancers and the Woodhouse Prize Band. Flying displays by the Raptor Foundation with their Birds of Prey were hugely popular.
We thank Markham Vale very much for their sponsorship of our Arts activities.
There were dozens of stalls of every kind, many reporting very healthy sales.
Seven different food outlets from Mr Spud to Coconut Kitchen were complemented by the Real Ale bar provided by Brampton Brewery.
On the Saturday night there was a concert featuring the Swing Commanders who were rapturously received with a standing ovation.
Throw in a steamroller, fourteen MGs, model boats and the opportunity to help to create a canal collage and you begin to get a picture of what was on offer. Very importantly, the rain held off for virtually the whole weekend.
Judging by the comments received on the gates as happy people went home, the event was a great success. The question on most people’s lips was “Will it be on again next year?” The Chesterfield Canal Trust very much hopes that the answer will be “Yes!”
Cllr George Wharmby (Chair of Derbyshire County Council) and the Duke of Devonshire unveiled a plaque to mark the official opening of the Basin. (Photo © John Lower)
The Duke then named our new tripboat, the Hugh Henshall. (Photo © John Lower)
The Duke makes a point to Dr Geraint Coles, Chesterfield Canal Development Manager.
Amongst many organisations who supported us were Sainsbury’s, who supplied refreshments for our volunteers – numbering over 100 each day. Sainsbury’s representative, Lee Holland, is seen here with our Membership Secretary, Kath Auton, who did a wonderful job organising the volunteers.
A view from the Library.
The Hugh Henshall setting off on a trip. (Photo © John Lower)
As ever, the zorbs proved very popular.
The Raptor Foundation’s Eagle Owl took his handler for a stroll.
Three types of transport. The 1948 Bedford OB coach is ferrying passengers to and from Hollingwood Hub, Barrow Hill Roundhouse and the Festival. The steamroller, Old Faithful, is on its way to the Festival.
(Photo © John Lower)
Isn’t it great to see the canal so busy. (Photo by Andrew Tidy)
The Swing Commanders concert on Saturday night was fantastic.
7 a.m. on Sunday morning.
The Urban Gypsies went down a storm.
The Pomegranate Youth Theatre performed extracts from “Cuckoo – Tales of the Chesterfield Canal” to close the show. (Photo © John Lower)