Friday 4th July- Sunday 6th July – Saul Canal Junction, Frampton-on-Severn, Glos, GL2 7LA
The Saul Canal Festival is about restoration. A concept forged over thirty years ago with the formation of the Stroudwater Canal Society. The event is designed to attract media attention, people and funds to facilitate the re-establishment of the link between the rivers Thames and Severn. The event takes place at Saul Junction, an unusual “waterway crossroads” where the Gloucester-Sharpness Canal intersects the soon to be restored Stroudwater Navigation.
The Mission – “Helping to bring Cotswolds Waterways back to life by raising funds in an entertaining and educational way”
This year’s Saul Canal Festival and Folk on the Water event is focusing again on Family Fun, particularly for families in the local community around Saul. There will be more attractions and entertainment for the young and the young at heart than ever before. In addition to the usual knot tying, clay modelling, watery games and toys, guided walks, roundabouts, swing boats and waterbourne demonstrations, there will be an 8-metre climbing wall (the UK’s highest mobile rock climbing wall) to test more energetic youngsters. As well as the customary turn out of traditional narrowboats, canoes, coracles and sea-going cruisers, for the first time, there will be Dutch barges, electric and steam boats and smaller unusual craft brought on trailers and launched at the new Saul Marina.
Another attraction for youngsters this year will be the sturdy draught horse, Gypsy Queen, dressed in the harness of brass and leather used for towing commercial narrow craft along Britain’s waterways. She will have her foal, Sunny Jim, with her. Gypsy Queen is smaller than the huge traditional draught horses used for brewery drays and the like, because towpath horses had to be short enough to get under bridges, while being strong and sure-footed.
If your youngsters, and mums and dads too, are interested in daring-do adventure stories, call in at the stand of the narrowboat, Phyllis May. Here you can listen to extraordinary tales from Terry Darlington and his wife Monica, who took their narrowboat accross America, and cruised her 1100 miles down the eastern seaboard from Virginia to Florida, through storms and alligator-infested creeks.
There is an amazing variety of music, more trade stands than ever before and the fantastic sight of a massive 10 ton traction engine, the Queen Victoria, made by Aveling and Porter , in 1899. The engine spent most of its working life driving a threshing engine in the Tamar Valley, on either side of the Devon & Cornwall border, and spent her last years of commercial life driving a rack saw, making coffin boards and firewood.
There will also be local boat trips and an Historic Boat Parade, as well as Morris & Clog Dancing, late night stand-up comedy and early morning yoga based recovery sessions.
The Festival will be opened by BBC2’s Coast celebrity and maritime archaeologist , Dr Mark Horton, on Saturday July 5th. Mark will be bringing his own historic boat, the 30ft yacht Mignonette, a Lone Gull design, from its usual moorings at Lydney. The official opening ceremony will take place from the Waterways Museum trip boat, King Arthur, which will bring the VIP party to Saul from Frampton-on-Severn,
The fun starts at 4.00 pm on Friday 4th July. It’s free entry on Friday and there’ s food on the trade stands, soft drinks as well as sterner stuff in the Drum and Monkey bar. The hotel boat, Oliver Cromwell, is presenting music on board and there’s comedy in Sabrina, the floating theatre.
For a different sort of entry to the Festival on Saturday and Sunday, families can arrive by trip boat from Gloucester. The National Waterways Museum vessel, King Arthur, will give you more than four hours at the festival as well as the trip itself.
To book your ticket telephone the Museum Booking Office – 01452 318200 or email [email protected]
Free Car Parking
Friday Free to all (gates open at 4.00pm)
Saturday and Sunday 10.00 am – 5.00pm Adult Day Visitors £6.00 Accompanied Child under 16 years Free
Visit the website www.junctionevents.org.uk for full details of event timings and weekend season tickets
Source: Saul Canal Festival