Express & Star

Canal festival back with bang

Dozens of people turned out to a popular waterside festival which was given a new lease of life this year as a weekend celebration.

Marion and Mike Paisey, with their dog Pickles, enjoying Brownhills Canal Festival

The Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) Society stepped in to organise the Brownhills Canalside Festival this weekend(18/19).

The event saw trade boats and stalls moor along the canalside, off Silver Street. There was also historic boats on display and a number of boat trips up and down the canal.

Entertainment over the weekend had included Billy Spakemon and friends, railway historical talk by Ian Pell and a performance by folk band Wild Irish.

The popular event has been brought back to life by the Birmingham Canal Navigations Society
Crowds flock to the Brownhills Canalside Festival over the weekend

Michael Smith-Keary, from the BCN Society, said: "We had nearly 50 boats at the rally including some old working boats. One of the aims of the BCN Society is to attract boats to parts of the Birmingham canals that they may not normally cruise and this has been a very successful event for achieving that goal.

"We had 20 trade stalls, a combination of charities, canal societies, and private traders. Saturday was very busy and exceeded our expectations with the towpath being busy all day with visitors.

The popular event has been brought back to life by the Birmingham Canal Navigations Society
Julie Tonkin was on hand to supply food and drink from her boat.

"Boaters entertainment and real ale bar was at the Brownhills Community Association where we had live music on Friday and Saturday."

The popular event had not taken place for two years after organisers claimed they were too old to stage it – and Mr Smith-Keary said the society will look at whether they will bring the event back in 2020.