Canal News – IWA to Celebrate Stratford Anniversaries – Festival Plans Announced

Canal News

IWA Logostratford_festivalPRESS RELEASE: IWA to Celebrate Stratford Anniversaries – Festival Plans Announced

The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) has offered support to Stratforward and other local organisations in Stratford-upon-Avon to ensure appropriate celebrations for the significant waterways anniversaries in 2014. Stratforward Business Improvement District, an organisation of local businesses, has been responsible for organising the annual Stratford River Festival for the past five years, and is organising an even bigger and better event in 2014, at which IWA plans to have a significant presence.

The Association had looked at holding a 2014 National Festival in the town, and had held discussions with Stratford District Council to review the options for the holding such an event in place of the usual Riverside Festival. However, in the light of the poor financial outturn of the 2013 National Festival at Watford the Association has decided against planning festivals of this type for the foreseeable future, as the financial risks for the Association are too great. IWA will, instead, put its efforts into rallies with clear campaign objectives, and proven annual gatherings such as Canalway Cavalcade, as well as supporting other major events such as Stratford River Festival and Crick Boat Show, where IWA hopes to have an enhanced presence. IWA’s commitment to such events will produce more benefit for the Association, and for the waterways in general, at less risk.

 Moorings & Boatyard RKMoorings and boatyard in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire

These are private long term moorings. Ahead is the new Premier Inn by One Elm Lock, No 52.  © Copyright Roger Kidd and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

IWA has announced plans to hold a number of significant events in 2014, starting with the annual Canalway Cavalcade at Little Venice in London, over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend. This is followed by IWA’s annual National Trail Boat Rally over the late May Bank Holiday weekend on the Grand Western Canal, and is to be hosted and organised by Devon County Council, and will include celebrations for re-opening the canal following the major embankment reconstruction currently in progress. IWA’s 2014 National Campaign Rally takes place at Chester in early June and will promote improved waterway connections through the city and to make better use of the river Dee and all parts of the Shropshire Union Canal in the area. IWA Festivals also plans to hold a significant event, in the style of a traditional boat rally, over the August Bank Holiday weekend, the details of which are planned to be available at the beginning of the year. Furthermore, IWA branches plan to hold a range of rallies up and down the country.

Les Etheridge, IWA National Chairman, said “IWA has a busy year planned for 2014 and our Festivals team has been tasked with an ambitious range of events to support. Festivals are important to us for the promotion of the waterways where they are held, and the engagement with a wide range of boaters, other waterway users, as well as the opportunity to draw in new waterway supporters. The old formula for IWA’s National Festival clearly no longer works and a new style is needed. We intend to support a wider range of events across the country.”

Winding HoleWinding hole on the Stratford-upo-Avon Canal

Just above the Birmingham Road bridge.

Where the parked vehicles can be seen there was formerly a small basin arm running directly away from the camera serving a brickworks which occupied the right hand side of the picture. The winding hole was necessary to allow boats to turn into the basin.  © Copyright Alan Murray-Rust and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

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