Erewash Canal Boat Rally Double Celebration

Around 115 boats entered a three day rally on the Erewash Canal, with just over 80 boats making it to Langley Mill, due to a stoppage at Cromwell Lock, but these created a sufficiently big enough attraction, along with entertainment and trade stalls, to occupy the visiting public, who numbered between six and seven thousand.

Hollymoorside Brass Band enters Langley Mill Lock on a pair of narrowboats.

Hollymoorside Brass Band enters Langley Mill Lock on a pair of narrowboats.

Undoubtedly the spectacular highlight of the Erewash Canal Preservation & Development Association’s (ECP&DA) May bank holiday celebrations was the sight and sound of the Hollymoorside Brass Band – the sun sparkling on their instruments – aboard the historic narrowboats Bath and Chertsey as they entered the lock for the opening ceremony.It was a double anniversary celebration:  45 years since the founding of ECP&DA and 40 years since the reopening of the lock and GreatNorthernBasin, technically part of the CromfordCanal at its junction with the NottinghamCanal.

Saturday’s official opening ceremony was performed by ECP&DA president Jim Stevenson, in the presence of the Mayors of Amber Valley, Broxtowe and Erewash and other guests.  ECP&DA work party organiser Mick Golds took visitors on tours of the work in progress by the society to extend the Cromford Canal north beyond the basin.

A boat that created considerable interest was the Friends of Cromford Canal’s recently acquired passenger boat Birdswood which is at Langley Mill being modified for operation at the Cromford.

Members of the Friend’s served tea and coffee to many interested visitors as a fund-raiser for the boat’s future.

Altogether a great double anniversary celebration organised by a society with a long-standing reputation of always doing things in style.

Thanks to Harry Arnold and Waterway Images for this report and images.

All materials and images © Canal Junction Ltd. Dalton House, 35 Chester St, Wrexham LL13 8AH. No unauthorised reproduction.

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