account arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right closecontact-us emailFacebookheart instagramjoin linkedin phonepinterestplaysearch twitteryoutube
Back

Chester will celebrate the beginning of the Chester Canal by Act of Parliament 250 years ago in 1772 a campaigning gathering of boats.

The event will be based in the centre of Chester around Tower Wharf with ready access to all the facilities and attractions of this major tourist attraction.

We are planning for 50 canal boats to make the journey across the canal network along the Shropshire Union Canal from towns such as Ellesmere Port, Middlewich, Nantwich and possibly as far as the Potteries and Manchester.

The event, open to the public, will highlight the continuing closure of the Dee Branch. The Dee Branch, giving access for vessels to the tidal River Dee and the sea, has been closed to navigation for 10 years.

There will be trade stalls and boats, along with a BBQ stand, ice cream and musical entertainment. Several canal societies will have exhibitions with experts on hand to answer questions. Plus there are plans for a special event for children.

Branch
IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch
Event Dates

29th - 31st July

Location

Chester

Chester Boat Celebration & Campaign

Chester will celebrate the beginning of the Chester Canal by Act of Parliament 250 years ago in 1772 a campaigning gathering of boats.

The event will be based in the centre of Chester around Tower Wharf with ready access to all the facilities and attractions of this major tourist attraction.

We are planning for 50 canal boats to make the journey across the canal network along the Shropshire Union Canal from towns such as Ellesmere Port, Middlewich, Nantwich and possibly as far as the Potteries and Manchester.

The event, open to the public, will highlight the continuing closure of the Dee Branch. The Dee Branch, giving access for vessels to the tidal River Dee and the sea, has been closed to navigation for 10 years.

There will be trade stalls and boats, along with a BBQ stand, ice cream and musical entertainment. Several canal societies will have exhibitions with experts on hand to answer questions. Plus there are plans for a special event for children.

Details

Free public entry

Public access is free and the organisers want to see as many families as possible enjoying the event.

Boaters & Traders

Details

The entry fee for visiting leisure vessels is £10 and for further details please contact Geoff Gittus at geoff.gittus@waterways.org.uk

Please download our boat booking form (pdf)

 

Commercial enquiries are welcome – contact Geoff (above) to check the size of remaining spaces.

Stall holders and traders can download a booking form here.

Contact

For general enquiries please contact Jim Forkin at: –   jim.forkin@waterways.org.uk

250 years of Chester’s waterways heritage

The canal, designed to carry broad beam barges, linked Chester to the Cheshire town of Nantwich. Opening for business in 1779, the venture had a very shaky beginning. Trade failed to develop sufficiently and a costly lock collapse at Beeston almost saw its complete demise in 1787. However, eventually, the canal linked to the national network. This became possible when the Shropshire Union Canal arrived in Nantwich from the Midlands and a link to the Potteries via Middlewich brought more trade. Profitable and well managed, it was to survive until the end of long distance commercial carrying in 1958. As a result, it was just in time for the boom in leisure boating, towpath walking and angling.

Campaigning today

Jim Forkin (IWA Chairman, Chester and Merseyside Branch) says:

“The Chester Canal, like the rest of the network, now serves many purposes from boating to a “green corridor” for both the well being of much of the population and wildlife. Its heritage is incredible and deserves to be celebrated and promoted to the public at large. However we must not forget that there are still sections of the network that, through lack of funds, Canal & River Trust are neglecting and not maintaining and for that reason we are highlighting the issue of the Dee Branch”

Events