Norbury, UK . 30th, April, 2022. Crowds enjoyed warm sunny weather on the first day of the Norbury Canal Festival being held for the first time in two years due to the pandemic. © Phil Pickin/ Alamy Live News

​Norbury Canal Festival bounces back

BRIGHT sunshine greeted visitors on the first day of this year’s Norbury Canal Festival held over the May Day bank holiday weekend.

Norbury,  UK . 30th, April, 2022. Crowds enjoyed warm sunny weather on the first day of the Norbury Canal Festival being held for the first time in two years due to the pandemic. © Phil Pickin/ Alamy Live News

The event, held around Norbury Wharf on the Shroppie, once again featured stalls and boat traders along the towpath and around the Junction Inn.

Organised by the Shrewsbury & Newport Canals Trust, the event, along with almost every other canal festival, has not been held for the past two years due to the pandemic. However, this year’s event featured Bainton and Berkhampstead, both of which are currently undergoing restoration. Boat trips were also on offer, as were displays about the work to restore the Shrewsbury and Newport canals.

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Norbury,  UK . 30th, April, 2022. Crowds enjoyed warm sunny weather on the first day of the Norbury Canal Festival being held for the first time in two years due to the pandemic. © Phil Pickin/ Alamy Live News

A good number of traders attended, offering food and drink as well as traditional arts and crafts products, all of which seemed to be attracting the attention of the visitors.

After the event closed, Bernie Jones, chairman of the Shrewsbury & Newport Canals Trust, said: “After a two-year Covid-enforced absence, our festival bounced back and was a fantastic success! The weather on Saturday was almost summer-like, with warm sunshine and a gentle breeze. Sunday brought some light showery rain and Monday was dry but warmer and mostly overcast. This did not deter thousands of people from attending, and everyone had a really good time.”

Norbury,  UK . 30th, April, 2022. Crowds enjoyed warm sunny weather on the first day of the Norbury Canal Festival being held for the first time in two years due to the pandemic. © Phil Pickin/ Alamy Live News

He added: “A great deal of interest was shown in our two historic Woolwich Class narrowboats, Bainton and Berkhampstead, that are undergoing restoration at Norbury Wharf Ltd and many people took a taster trip on one of their day boats, kindly loaned to our trust by David Ray, managing director of the company.

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“I must say a huge thank you to our many volunteers and the Air Training Corps youngsters who managed the car park. Without this support, we would not be able to hold the event.”

Norbury,  UK . 30th, April, 2022. Crowds enjoyed warm sunny weather on the first day of the Norbury Canal Festival being held for the first time in two years due to the pandemic. © Phil Pickin/ Alamy Live News

The festival included a number of competitions including the best dressed boat which was won by Adastra and Nebulae, owned by Alan Buckle trading as StarCrafts. The award for retail presentation was won by Delta, owned by Nici Griffin, trading as The Beanie Boat.

Various other boats also received commendations for efforts made including for the most colourful display and clean and polished boat, Lazy Daze; most interesting display hangings, March Hare; attractive creative flags, Tonka; flags and colourful display, Jenny Wren; quirky, Wandering Snail and top of boat Dutiful Duck.

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Report & photos: Phil Pickin

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