Monthly Archives: August 2012

Some Early Lines – North Devon and Cornwall Junction Light Railway

Some Early Lines

North Devon and Cornwall Junction Light Railway

Map of the Line

North Devon and Cornwall Junction Light Railway

North Devon Railway

Torrington –  River Torridge – Watergate Halt –  Yarde Halt – Dunsbear Halt

Marland Works – Petrockstow –  Meeth Works –  Wooladon Clay Pits

Meeth Halt – Hatherleigh –  Hole –   Okehampton to Bude Line to Bude

 North Cornwall Railway

Halwill Junction –   Okehampton to Bude Line to Okehampton

Highampton: Course of the Railway

The line was the North Devon & Cornwall Junction Light Railway, the last significant railway to be constructed in the south west, opened in July 1925. It linked Great Torrington with Halwill Junction where there were trains to Exeter, Bude and Padstow. Looking east  © Copyright Martin Bodman and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 The North Devon and Cornwall Junction Light Railway was a railway built to serve numerous ball clay pits that lay in the space between the London and South Western Railway’s Torrington branch, an extension of the North Devon Railway group, and Halwill, an important rural junction on the North Cornwall Railway and its Okehampton to Bude Line.

Ball clay was an important mineral but its weight and bulk required efficient transportation; the material had been brought to main line railways by a 3 ft (914 mm) gauge tramway. Expanding volumes prompted conversion to a light railway — requiring less complex engineering and operational procedures than a full railway — and it was opened on 27 July 1925.

Hatherleigh –

Passengers were carried in addition to the mineral traffic, but the business largely consisted of workers at the ball clay pits themselves. (Thomas says, “The largest place on the railway is Hatherleigh … a market town in the centre of a barren countryside, it is badly decayed”.)

The conversion from a tramway was overseen by Colonel Stephens, the famous owner and operator of marginal English and Welsh railways. Although in construction details typically Stephens this was visually a Southern Railway branch line . It survived in independent status until nationalisation of the railways in 1948, and continued in operation until 1 March 1965. The northern part from Meeth and Marland, which was reconstructed from the narrow gauge railway, continued to carry ball clay, but not passengers, until August 1982.

Meeth Halt (disused)

The North Devon and Cornwall Junction Light Railway closed in 1965. This must always have been a tiny station. It now serves as a starting point for a cyclepath along the former line as a branch of the Tarka Trail.  © Copyright Derek Harper and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


Built as cheaply as possible, and partly following the alignment of the former tramway, the railway had continuous sharp curves and ruling gradients in the range of 1 in 45 to 1 in 50.

The line was single throughout, worked by Electric Train Token, and with a maximum speed of 20 mph from Torrington to Dunsbear Halt, and 25 mph from there to Halwill.

The 1964/65 working timetable shows two throughout trains each way daily, taking about 80 minutes by diesel multiple unit for the 20 mile journey. There were three freight trains Mondays to Fridays serving the clay sidings from the Torrington end. There were no trains on Sundays.

Halwill Junction –


Model Railways – Fort Victoria Model Railways, Isle of Wight

View up the tracks

Fort Victoria Model Railways

At Fort Victoria, just outside Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight, we have an indoor model railway and shop which is open to the public most of the year. The railway has been at the Fort for the past fifteen years, but under new ownership for only five years. The layouts have been completely altered although the controls of the Continental trains are still by computer programme. A new British layout is under construction, and this will be run by an infra-red system.

Detailed Scenes

The British and Continental trains weave their magic through villages, mountains, tunnels and factories, and rekindle many happy childhood memories for many of our visitors. There are working models, some operated by a push button system, whilst others are running all day. A circus and fairground, with working models, is an added attraction as it also has its own miniature railway.

Did you know that our trains running from Easter to October daily cover the equivalent distance from Portsmouth to Edinburgh? And on such small wheels!

Lots of different sections to look at

 Model Railway Shop

The shop stocks many of the major supplier’s goods, e.g. Dapol, Peco, Bachmann, Woodland Scenics, Metcalfe, Ratio, Faller etc. We stock items in the HO/OO and N gauge and are more than prepared to forward stock to customers or order items that we do not hold in stock at that time.

The shop is open daily along with the exhibition. The business is closed for two weeks at the beginning of November, but it is open from Thursday to Monday during the winter months and trains are run at weekends providing it is not too cold!

Please phone for details of winter openings. During the summer season we are open daily from Easter to the end of October.

SmallBrook Studio – makers of fine railway models

Industrial Area

 Useful Information

The exhibition is open daily from 10.15am to 4.30pm (last trains run at 4pm) throughout the summer until the end of October. The business is closed for two weeks at the beginning of November, but it is open from Thursday to Monday during the winter months and trains are run at weekends providing it is not too cold! Please phone for details of winter openings.

For more info. please call 01983 761553 or click here to email.

Fort Victoria Model Railway, Fort Victoria, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight PO41 0RR

0-3 years FREE
3-93 years £2.85
93 years and over FREE
Please call for party rates

Transport interconnects

Canal News – Montgomery & Maesbury

Canal News – 29 – 8 – 2012

Montgomery Canal between Aston Middle and Lower Locks

The Montgomery Canal justs cuts across the corner of this square, I put it in again just to remind everyone what a beautiful canal it is.  © Copyright John Haynes and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 Montgomery Canal volunteer work party

01 – 02 Sep 2012
08:00 am – 16:00 pm

Come and help restore the historic Montgomery Canal at Redwith Bridge with the Shropshire Union Canal Society.

Redwith Bridge is signposted from the B4396.

For more information, call Mike Friend on 01948 880723 or 07909 912611.

Montgomery Canal Restoration at Redwith

Looking north from the re-instated Redwith bridge as work nears completion on the restoration of the Montgomery Canal from the current head of navigation at Gronwen Wharf.  © Copyright David Stowell and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Benefits of re-opening a canal

When the Aston to Gronwen Wharf section of the Montgomery Canal opened in 2004 Maesbury Marine Services was a fledgling company at Maesbury Mill, it is now a thriving marine business with lots of boats either moored or being maintained.  © Copyright John Haynes and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

  Maesbury Canal Festival

01 – 02 Sep 2012
09:00 am – 16:00 pm

Visit the canal festival on the Shropshire Union Canal at Maesbury.

For more info, contact or 01691 830403.

Hallemans Bridge west of Soudley, Shropshire

Bridge No 53 across the Shropshire Union Canal carries Westcott Lane between Cheswardine and Goldstone.  © Copyright Roger Kidd and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1897 Inside Cylinder 6’ 8½” 4-4-0 Great Western Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1897  Inside Cylinder 6’ 8½” 4-4-0

Great Western Railway

No.4116 ‘Savernake’ (originally 3308) as running in 1927 shortly before withdrawal.

These engines originated with the ‘Badminton’ class of 1897-8, a series of eighteen locomotives, Nos.3292-3309, constructed with conventional domed boilers.  No.3310 ‘Waterford’, however, which came out in 1899, set the fashion for future Great Western practice so far as main line types were concerned, which was to last for the rest of the Company’s existence, in having a boiler with the well-known brass safety valve cover in the place normally occupied by the dome.

No.3311 completed the original twenty engines, and the ‘Atbara’ class followed in 1900, also with the new type boilers, but these and all the subsequent series differed from the original twenty in that the framing over the coupled wheels was straight instead of following a graceful curve over each of the coupling rod cranks.

The ‘Atbara’ class consisted of Nos. 3373-3412, built in 1900-1.  Churchward continued the design with some modifications, the ‘Cities’, Nos.3433-42 coming out in 1903 and the ‘Flowers’ Nos.4101-20 in 1908.  Later the whole class was renumbered 3700-19 and 4100-69, 4100-19 being the original ‘Badmintons’.  No.3382 ‘Mafeking’ was destroyed in an accident in 1911 and was not included in this renumbering.  Finally four older engines of 1894-5 were rebuilt to conform with the class, and became Nos.4169-72.  These were somewhat similar to the #Badmintons’ and like them had the curved framing.

Various types of boiler were carried by individual engines at different times, but eventually all acquired modern conical domeless boilers with superheaters.

‘City of Truro’ as restored to original condition.

No.3440 ‘City of Truro’ achieved fame in 1904 by attaining a speed of 102.3 miles per hour, then a world record.  Some doubt has been cast in recent years on the accuracy of the recording, but it is beyond dispute that something very close to 100 mph was reached on this historic occasion.  On withdrawal in 1931 the engine was placed in York Museum, where it rested until 1957, when it was again restored to running order, mainly for running special trains.  When not so engaged, however, it is also used in ordinary service.  It has its old Great Western livery restored and also its original number 3440, having run as 3717 during its later years of service.

All the remaining engines were scrapped between 1927 and 1931.

Dimensions apply to the engines as finally rebuilt

Driving wheels – 6’ 8½”,  Bogie wheels – 3’ 8”,  Cylinders – 18”x 26”,  Pressure – 200 lb.,  Tractive effort – 17790 lb.,  Weight – 55 tons 6 cwt.  GWR classification – A,  BR classification – 3P

City of Truro at Hampton Loade

September Events by Local Libraries


September Events By Cannock Chase Libraries

Wednesdays September 12th and 26th

Thursday 13th September

Wednesday 19th September

Forthcoming Event – Apedale Valley Light Railway Gala Sept 8th & 9th

Apedale Valley Light Railway

In the Apedale Valley Country Park, Chesterton, Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire

The Moseley Railway Trust is delighted that the Contractor’s Delight Gala on September 8 and  9 will be held at the Apedale Valley Light Railway.

The theme for the September 2012 Gala weekend will be Contractor’s Railways. Until the advent of the dumper truck, most major civil engineering projects would have a narrow gauge railway for materials movements on site – and indeed some still do, especially in the field of tunnel construction.

As ever, there will be a full complement of displays, sales stands and attractions to entertain and delight all the family, young and old including Visiting Locos, Model Railways, Vintage Cars & Lorries, Industrial Displays and much more!

The Trust would be pleased to hear from potential exhibitors.

The Gala will be open from 11.00 to 17.00 on each day. Adult entry will cost £6, Children (2-15) £3

Marchlyn comes to Contractor’s Delight

22 August 2012 The Moseley Railway Trust is delighted to announce a second visiting steam loco at the Contractor’s Delight gala on September 8 and  9. “Marchlyn” is a delightful Avonside side tank. She was new to Durham County Water Board for a dam construction contract. Like Apedale resident “Stanhope”, when the project was complete, it was sold on to Penrhyn Slate Quarries, arriving there in 1936. In 1965, it went for preservation in the USA, returning to Statfold Barn Farm in 2011. The Moseley Railway Trust is very grateful to Graham Lee and the Statfold team for exhibiting this locomotives, and the other visiting loco – Hudswell Clarke “GP39”.

Hudswell Clarke GP39 – Dave Willcock

Contractor’s Delight is shaping up to be a classic Apedale event. A key attraction will be a newly built link across the site between a recreated industrial railway and the main railway network. This link runs across the site of the Museum at Apedale – and work will recommence on the Museum immediately after the Gala. So, if you don’t see trains on this track at this event – you probably never will. Two visiting steamers, the home fleet, lots of other attractions and entry only £6. How can you go wrong? There are a few “Access all Areas” passes left when I write this – check out here for details of these and all other Gala matters.

Forthcoming Attractions – Model Railway Exhibitions

Forthcoming Attractions

Model Railway Exhibitions

• Sat 8th September 2012 – Sun 9th September 2012

• Gauge 0 Guild – Guildex 2012

• Telford International Exhibition Centre, St Quentin’s Gate, Telford, Shropshire TF3 4JH

OPENING TIMES: SAT 10 A.M. to 5.00 P.M. SUN 10 A.M. to 4.00 P.M

ADMISSION: Adults £12.00 Concessions £12.00 Family £12.00

Accompanied Ladies with a paying Adult are admitted free, together with up to two chidren. Members ticket is £5.00 Advanced tickets may be purchased from Alan Jones, 8 Upper Coltbridge Terrace, Murrayfield, Edinburgh, EH12 6AD. amongst the layouts which are attending, will be Dainton Bank, Harvistoun, Sykes Bridge Shed, Milford, Taw Magna, Wrexham High Town and Mines de Viller – Nordicourt, all in 7mm scale. The Guild Executor and Trustee & Bring and Buy stands will attending.

• German Railway Society – European Model Railway Exhibition

September 15th

• Sutton Coldfield Town Hall, Upper Clifton Street, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands B73 6AB

OPENING TIMES: SAT 10:30am – 5:00pm

ADMISSION: Adults £6.50 Children £2.00

Layouts and traders  societies supporting the German, Scandinavian, Swiss, French, Italian, Iberian and Benelux prototypes are also attending.

CONTACT: 020 8857 6865


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• Sat 15th September 2012 – Sun 16th September 2012

• Redditch Model Railway Club – 45th Anniversary Redditch Model Railway Exhibition

• Trinity High School, Grove Street (Off Access 1 on the Ring Road), Redditch, Worcestershire B98 8HB

OPENING TIMES: SAT 10am-5pm, SUN 10am-4.30pm

ADMISSION: Adults £5.00 Concessions £4.00 Children £3.00 Family £14.00

This exhibition will celebrate the 45th Anniversary of Redditch Model Railway Club and the 20th Anniversary of the Club’s exhibition layout Arrowmouth. Will be a wide variety of layouts, trade stands and railway modelling demonstrations. Venue is short walk from the town centre and the rail (Half hourly from Birmingham New Street both days) and bus stations. by car the venue is off Access 1 on the town centre ring road and is 15 minutes from M42 junction 2 – There is free on site car parking. Show

 Sat 22nd September 2012

• Trent Valley Model Railway Society – Lichfield Model Railway Exhibition

• Emmanuel Christian Centre, Netherstowe, Off Eastern Avenue, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 6TS

OPENING TIMES: SAT 10am-4.30pm

ADMISSION: Adults £4.00 Concessions £3.00 Children £9.00 Family £8.00

Following their first exhibition last year Trent valley Model Railway Society is pleased to announce that they are holding Lichfield Model Railway Exhibition 2012. The exhibition houses 13 layouts from EM to N gauge british, continental and American layouts, and supported with 8 traders providing all manner of model railway rolling stock, trackway, scenic and electrical/electronic equipment for all your DC/DCC requirements. Come and join us and enjoy the delights of all things model railways

CONTACT: 07773 097767

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189 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News – Spring 1996 – Part 2

189 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

 From Chasewater News – Spring 1996 – Part 2

From the Board Room – David Bathurst – Chairman

Norton Lakeside Station Opening

After a couple of false dawns, the Railway has at last achieved its most significant ambition.  We now have two ‘proper’ stations.

We can now advertise our operations on an entirely different basis, way beyond that of a mere leisure railway.  Furthermore, in taxation terms, we are now recognised as a passenger railway.  Our passengers can now be offered the additional option of convenience travel to the NorthShore, where vehicle cannot (or at least should not) interrupt their peaceful enjoyment of the area.

It was heart-stirring to see so many friends and guests at Brownhills West for the official opening ceremony on Saturday 16th December 1995.  What was equally gratifying was the sight of ‘Asbestos’ at the front of the train, after a period of remedial works.  Well done indeed to the volunteers who ensured that this locomotive was ready in time.  The ‘Norton Collier’ headboard, manufactured specially for the occasion, added to the significance of the day.

With the train virtually full, departure was just after the advertised time of 11.00am, with Nigel Canning and Les Emery specially rostered together on the footplate for the event.

A leisurely rate down the line afforded some of our less regular supporters and guests the first view of the substantial works which have been necessary to reinstate the Causeway.  Entrance into  Norton Lakeside Station was accompanied by the sound of exploding detonators.  The modest facilities of the new station belie both the cost and effort which has gone into providing this three coach platform.  Despite the intensely cold and windy conditions (to which our members have become accustomed over many months), the Chairman of Lichfield District Council, Councillor John Walker, carried out a short opening ceremony before the photographers were let loose.  To enable the photographers travelling on the train to capture the occasion, the train made a second ceremonial entrance across the Causeway into the new station.  Some of the resulting pictures duly found their way into the local press.

Following the return journey, the Railway’s working members and official guests, including a number of Lichfield DC Members, enjoyed a buffet lunch, during which further formalities were completed.  The return journey saw Councillor John Walker at the controls of ‘Asbestos’, although this fact was kept from his Council colleagues who may have preferred to find other transport back home!

Councillor Walker clearly enjoyed the day, and his letter to me after the event is reproduced for the information of members.  To ensure that members do not start wondering whether they have failed to notice a new electrification scheme, it should be mentioned that Councillor Walker’s previous footplate experience involved a diesel-electric, rather than an outright electric locomotive!

To mark the occasion, the Railway commissioned special brass tickets which are capable of adaptation as key fobs.  Previous editions of ‘Chasewater News’ have included articles on the causeway and construction of Norton Lakeside Station, and this article does not set out to repeat the story.  Nor would it be appropriate to single out any individual members in respect of work undertaken either on the construction work or the official opening arrangements.

The events of 16th December 1995 are a testimony to all the Railway’s working members, whether they be regular or occasional visitors.  The achievements celebrated on that important day demonstrate just what can be done by our membership and serve as an incentive for the further expansion of the Railway.

To everyone concerned: Congratulations and Well Done.

Councillor Walker’s Letter

Dear CLR members,

Can I convey my congratulations to all Chasewater Railway members for the excellent morning of 16th December 1995 on the occasion of the official opening of the new station at Norton Lakeside.  Despite the bitterly cold weather Sandra and I enjoyed it tremendously and it was a particular highlight for me to undertake the return journey on the footplate.  It brought back memories for me when in 1982 I drove an electric express train from Derby to Sheffield but you can’t beat steam, can you?

Here’s hoping that your organisation will go from strength to strength and that we as a Council will have co-operation now and in the future.  Please convey my best wishes to all those at Chasewater and here’s wishing you all the best in 1996.

Yours sincerely,

Cllr. John Walker

Chairman of Council

Lichfield District Council

Lichfield District Council Plan

Members will recall from a previous edition of ‘Chasewater News’ that the Railway has objected to the Lichfield District Local Plan, insofar as – unlike the Walsall MBC Unitary Development Plan – it makes no reference to the Railway in context of ChasewaterPark.

The Railway was represented by the General Manager and myself (Steve Organ and David Bathurst) at the Public Local Enquiry on Thursday 25th January 1996, during which we sought to justify our objection during a session lasting some two and a quarter hours.  The District Plan is fundamentally concerned with land use issues and we shall see, in due course, whether the Inspector is persuaded that the extent of our operations within ChasewaterPark is sufficient to merit an individual reference in the approved District Plan.

The Lichfield DC representative confirmed that he recognised that the Railway ‘had a place’ on the North Shore (thereby dispelling doubts previously expressed regarding our track relaying to the extent of our lease) and that the Council fully accepted that the Railway enjoys planning permission for its operations on the North Shore.  The Council’s argument, based on their view of planning law, was that the Railway’s future development should be controlled by planning advice, and that a separate reference to the Railway in the District Plan is accordingly unnecessary.  We do not agree; we are seeking a far more positive commitment from the Council, hence our objection.

Working Members’ Meeting

A further working members’ meeting was held at the Pear Tree public house on Wednesday 10th January 1996, with an encouraging number of working members present.  Again, members had the opportunity of raising any matters of interest.  Perhaps the item which attracted most discussion was concerned with locomotive restoration, particularly as ‘Asbestos’ loses its boiler certificate during 1996.

In addition to formal meetings, there was a general view that more social events should be held locally, including slide-shows, talks, etc.

Some of our members have a massive bank of photographic and other materials which might be shared with other members ‘over a pint’.

Great British Passenger Timetable

Members who have access to the Great Britain (All Lines) Passenger Timetable will be aware of the section on Private Railways.  Although this section includes information on the ‘First Division’ private railways it appears to me that the publishers might be sympathetic to include Chasewater Railway, particularly in view of the opening of Norton Lakeside Station.

I am delighted to be able to report that following appropriate negotiations, Railtrack have agreed to include a short entry in the June 1996 Timetable – and thereafter in future editions.  I don’t know how many purchasers actually read and absorb the section on Private Railways, but two things are certain; our status as a passenger railway has been acknowledged by Railtrack, and our existence will come to the notice of an extremely large and diverse number of readers.

P Way News – Arthur Edwards

The start of the New Year has seen some of the regular winter jobs being taken in hand.  With several of the Sundays in January being a total washout due to the terrible weather, trying to dig ground frozen solid in winds with a wind-chill factor of minus (i.e. brass monkey weather) is no fun at all.  The shed compound has been receiving some attention in the form of a tidy up, with special attention being paid to clearing the overgrowing vegetation from the fence behind the platform.  The cab of 917 was moved farther back and all the rubbish, old rotten timber and some split sleepers were burnt.  During the tidy up several parts from S100 came to light under the ferns and debris, and also as part of the clearance all loose scrap has been gathered together and a reliable scrap merchant has been asked to collect it.  One of the activities which Tom and myself also got round to doing was to tidy up the loose sleepers lying around, which is not an easy job at this time of year.  Wet sleepers are at least double the weight of dry ones.

The double-decker bus which has been on site for a while has now been taken to pastures new, so giving us more ground space so that we can ready the site for the future installation of new sidings.  The provision of extra space for stock is now becoming as increasing problem as the activities of the Railway continue to grow.

The usual battle with the fence cutters will be joined in earnest within the next few weeks in the run up to the start of the running season.  Parts of the hedge planted last year by the Forest of Mercia group are starting to grow, and with a bit of time should start acting as a deterrent to the local idiots who think it is a good idea to chop down fences.

The P. Way gang meet every Sunday at Brownhills West Station from 10.ooam onward.  Come and join us!!

Narrow Gauge – Toddington Narrow Gauge Railway


Passengers must not pass beyond this point

Except on Toddington’s narrow gauge railway, of course.  © Copyright Christine Johnstone and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 Welcome to the homepage of the Toddington Narrow Gauge Railway, situated at the edge of the Cotswold Hills at Toddington Station, headquarters of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway. Our line is of two foot gauge and is operated with steam and diesel traction by the North Gloucestershire Railway Co. Ltd. You will find steam locomotives that  operated on narrow gauge railways in Belgium, Poland and South Africa. On rainy days you may travel in a carriage that ran on the narrow gauge railways of Poland and a very rare survivor. Our other carriages are open and give a more intimate view of railway operation than on standard gauge trains. Nearly all of our rolling stock is kept under cover in our large shed that is open when trains are running. Additionally you may visit our ex Midland Railway signal box, California Crossing, that came from Gloucester and served the Birmingham to Bristol main line.

Justine at Didbrook  – S.A.Mourton

The  North Gloucestershire Railway has its origins in the Dowty Railway Preservation  Society (DRPS) that was formed in October 1962  at the Dowty factory that was situated at Ashchurch,  near Tewkesbury. on the Birmingham to Bristol main line. Initially standard gauge locomotives and rolling stock were collected . The site was also home to other societies and locomotives including GWR 4-6-0  No. 7808 Coockham Manor and LMSR 4-6-2 No. 46201 Princess Elizabeth.  The DRPS acquired a steam loco from Cadburys at Bournville and a narrow gauge line was also laid. The larger locomotives gradually moved away and in 1983 the DRPS itself moved to its present home at Toddington., the home of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire  Railway. The Cadbury loco inaugurated steam passenger trains on the latter and the DRPS greatly extended the existing narrow gauge railway at Toddington. The DRPS then decided to concentrate on narrow gauge and sold off the standard gauge items and also severed its links with the Dowty group factories and thus the North Gloucestershire Railway Co. Ltd was formed. On Sunday 7th October, therefore, we are holding a special open day to celebrate our fifty continuous years in railway preservation.

Henschel Brigadelok No.1091  – S.A.Mourton

Canal News – Canal & River Trust 22-8-2012

Canal News – Canal & River Trust 22-8-2012


Boat gathering and charity summer fair

24 – 27 Aug 2012
10:00 am – 05:00 pm

Head to the Boat gathering at Alvecote Marina on the Coventry Canal, with stalls and entertainment galore.

Alvecote Marina

A busy day along the canal at Alvecote Marina. Photographed from Samuel Barlow the public house.  © Copyright John Carver and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 Attractions will include historic working boats from the Narrowboat Trust, live music, a beer festival, vintage motorcycles, tricycles and barbeques, with craft and fundraising stalls, facepainting and traders including Draco Crafts.

Entry is free, and there will be unlimited moorings along the canal, and hook up available within the marina for a small nightly charge (advance booking required).

Organised by the Samuel Barlow pub. Stallholder bookings and marina requests to or 07966 135184.

Alrewas Arts Festival

25 Aug – 01 Sep 2012
10:00 am – 11:00 pm

If you’re planning a trip to the Midlands towards the end of August, meander down the Trent & MerseyCanal as far as the picturesque village of Alrewas, near Lichfield.

From August 25, to September 1, the village will be staging a week-long arts festival, kicking off with an arts and crafts street market on the opening Saturday followed by a ceilidh at the village hall in the evening.

Bank Holiday Monday, August 27, will be Music Monday with a variety of bands and musicians playing at pubs and clubs throughout the village from noon until midnight. Art and photographic exhibitions will be open to the public throughout the week and it will be a good opportunity for canal boats, displaying and selling crafts, to moor up in the village.

Every day, morning, afternoon and evening, a whole range of art and craft workshops will be run at various venues around the village, ranging from roses and castles canal art and photography to water colours and wood turning. New this year is a graffiti art project involving local youngsters under one of the canal bridges, so watch out for it as you pass. All the classes are totally free and visitors are welcome, though numbers are limited.

There will also be a variety of entertainment on offer, including a folk breakfast, lunchtime concerts, drama, dance, comedy, storytelling, poetry performances and daily morning movies for youngsters. There will be big art events and some woolly surprises.

The festival will end with a twilight lantern parade, firework display and a grand finale open-air concert on the village playing field, featuring some great bands, ranging from jazz to hard rock.

Again there is no charge and all are welcome. Bring chairs, blankets, wine and nibbles and enjoy. To find out more, and to view pictures and video clips from previous festivals, go to the festival website

Paralympic Flame Festival

26 Aug 2012
02:30 pm – 05:30 pm

Get up close to the Paralympic Flame at the NationalWaterwaysMuseum on Sunday August 26

Join us to see the Paralympic Flame up close when it visits the Museum.

The flame wil be arriving on Wirral Community Narrowboat Trust’s magnificent new boat Over The Rainbow – a state of the art accessible narrowboat – at 1.30.

You’ll be able to see the flame up close, find out about Paralympic events and even have your photo taken with it. Plus all the usual museum attractions and trails, before the flame leaves at 4.30.

The Cheese Boat moors up

26 – 27 Aug 2012
10:00 am – 10:00 pm

The Cheese Boat travels the country’s canals and rivers, selling delicious cheeses, pickles and chutneys.

Trent and MerseyCanal at Fradley Junction, Staffordshire

The Swan public house is in the row of buildings at the junction. The red narrowboat “Marquis” in the foreground has been rebuilt onto an 1898 hull. Originally steam powered, it was converted to diesel in 1925. It was shortened to 55 feet in the 1960s, presumably when it was converted to a leisure cruiser.   © Copyright Roger Kidd and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

It’ll be mooring up at Fradley Junction to tempt you with delicious cheeses, including Snowdonia Little Black Bomber extra mature chedder, Perl Las blue veined cheese, and Cennin Cenarth cheese with leeks & white wine.

Community bike ride along the GrandUnionCanal

26 Aug 2012
11:00 am – 12:45 pm

Join a Sky Ride local ride along the Chocolate Trail.

Covers the Grand Union Canal starting and finishing at Rowheath Pavillion, Bournville.

Sky Ride Local rides are fun, friendly and free community bike rides that help you get out and explore your local area. They’re led by a British Cycling trained ride leader who can provide support and give you a few tips, whatever your age or ability. To find a ride and book a place go to

Grand Union Canal

The Grand Union is a 137 mile (220km), 166 lock, 2 tunnel canal running between Brentford in London and Birmingham. It is the longest canal in Britain, and has 11 main arms and junctions. It takes over a week to navigate.  © Copyright Nigel Chadwick and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.