Canal Festival Was Great – And Yes We Have Had A Great Summer!

Wyrley & Essington Canal – Bentley Bridge Leisure Park – What A Great Summer We Have All Had!

Increased activity on and around the canal! Local Nature Reserve Almost ready….

It has been a standout summer for Wednesfield & Bentley Bridge as a mooring and the Wyrley & Essington Canal continues to serve the Village well. There has been three separate cruises which have taken place. These have been in May June and August. Fifty four narrow –boats have attended, and 97 tourists from all across the UK and abroad, 14088633_1323297041016153_6539634524394125264_nhave stayed in the Village due to these organised activities.

Brilliant for trade, and great in respect of giving Wednesfield good publicity and great promotion.

I also lead in a promotion with a Canal Festival arranged on the 13-14 August, this was the third such time I have promoted an event on the banks of the canal.

It comprised of a canal ‘Pop up Market’ and a Live Music Festival based around the established CRT Mooring and the The Nickelodeon Public House.

Two live bands with funding provided by Creative Black Country, and Hands on Wednesfield, and other support was given by Mark Blackstock and his team. This allowed one singer and one local band to perform on the Saturday afternoon.

It was estimated around 1400 people attended on the Saturday and 200 on the Sunday for the boat trade and to enjoy the canal.

Canal & River Trust had a stall over the two days period and two canal boats traded on Sunday.

I was disappointed with the poor number of boats attending. But we have learned a lot from this year.

But the very positive issue is the fact that of the 1600 local people who attended the two day free event, all I have received is descriptions of how well local families had enjoyed the two days. I spent a good deal of time talking with local people about the nature reserve proposals and the support we were giving to promote the canal and its wildlife.

I have already announced that I will promote a Canal Festival again next year (2017) same time, same month.

The Big News is that the owners of Bentley Bridge Leisure Park (LandSecurities) were impressed with what we had done as a community over the two days the event took place. They have approached me with an offer to deliver more resources into the 2017 event!  This is major news…. and I shall be discussing the 2017 plans going forward with their Management later this Summer.

Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more