Pennine Waterways News

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Tameside Canals Festival Sunk

The annual Tameside Canals Festival will not take place this year as the voluntary organising committee has been disbanded.

The event, which has taken place around Portland Basin at the junction of the Ashton and Peak Forest Canals, has attracted tens of thousands of local families and many boaters over the years.

The event has been taking place since 1975, and some committee members have been involved from the beginning!

Vice Chair, Hazel Maskell said: "Our Committee was aging and several members had already decided to step down after last July's event and so, unfortunately, the remaining members have decided to call it a day."

The first canal festival at Portland Basin was organised by the Inland Waterways Association's Manchester branch, the North Cheshire Cruising Club and the Peak Forest Canal Society to highlight the restoration potential of the nearby Hudderfield Narrow Canal. In later years, the festival was organised by the Huddersfield Canal Society. Since 2001, the event has been run by volunteers supporting and raising funds for Willow Wood Hospice.

"Unfortunately, the weather was particularly poor for the Festival weekend last year," explained Hazel. "Willow Wood decided to withdraw from any involvement in future Festivals and without their charitable status, it made it difficult for us to continue."

If any other local community group wish to discuss taking over the organisation of future Festivals, they can contact Hazel on 01457 837826.

See pictures from past Tameside Canals Festivals.

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