Langley Mill - 50th Anniversary Rally
w/e 03 June 2018
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Festival of Water

It was at last August's Bank Holiday that the Inland Waterways Association held their Festival of Water on the Erewash Canal in Ilkeston (link) and their event this year will be at St Neots in Cambridgeshire, also over the August Bank Holiday weekend. The Erewash Canal Preservation & Development Association (E.C.P. & D.A.) however are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their formation and held their own Festival of Water at the Great Northern Basin in Langley Mill over the Late Spring Bank Holiday just passed.

Great Northern Basin

The anniversary rally also celebrated the 45th anniversary of the reopening of the Great Northern Basin where scenes like this, minus the flags and bunting, are commonplace.
Festival Site

The Basin was created on the Nottingham Canal leg of the site where it joined the Erewash and Cromford Canals and the Festival spread all around the junction of the three canals. Although parts of the Nottingham and Cromford Canals still have sections containing water only the 12 miles of the Erewash is still navigable and it is estimated about 100 boats made the journey to attend the Festival.
Langley Mill Lock

There are two paths from the main road through Langley Mill to access the canal where this lock marks the end of the Erewash and the start of the Cromford. The Nottingham Canal joins the Cromford Canal on the right just beyond the lock.
Steam Engines

I started my wander around the Festival on the left hand (west) side of the canal where there was a display of steam engines.
Woodie's Wings

Also on this side of the canal was Woodie's Wings which is a registered charity that is a rescue service looking after captive bred birds that are no longer able to be cared for by their owners. The birds in question are mainly parrots and owls.
Sweets & Tolls

Also on this side of the canal one of the narrow boats was a floating sweet shop with a huge variety of tempting goodies including hand made ice cream. Across the canal where I would soon be heading, the square brick building was the former Toll House where narrow boat operators in years gone by transporting coal and other goods would pay their dues and demands for using the waterways.

The Pump House

Before crossing to the other side of the canal there was the opportunity to view another small brick building which is the Pump House. A plaque on the wall shows that it was opened on the 25th anniversary of the E.C.P. & D.A. by Mrs Janie Champion on May 29th 1993. With the building being open to the public during this 50th anniversary weekend there was also the opportunity to view the machinery inside.
Cromford Canal

Many more temporary displays and stalls had been set up behind the Great Northern pub as part of the Festival but after crossing to the east side of the canal I wandered along the towpath of the Cromford Canal passing some permanent fixtures, buildings and boats.

Even here though narrow boat owners had joined in the fun of the Festival and festooned their boats with flags and bunting, the reflections in the still clear water doubling the effect.

Heading back to the lock it was obvious that the Festival was popular with boat owners from far and wide all of whom must have travelled up the Erewash Canal from the River Trent to attend the event. Their paint work and decorations where they were moored two three and even four deep made for a colourful picture.
Swing Bridge

A steady stream of people too aided and abetted by the good weather over the Bank Holiday weekend must surely have made for a successful event for all concerned so when it was time to depart I joined those crossing the swing bridge over the Nottingham Canal arm and headed back to the main road. As I left the site I wondered how many of the boaters would be meeting up again in St Neots at the end of August. It's very unlikey that I will be joining them but for more information and pictures from the Great North Basin, there's this page on this site from a previous visit in July 2008.

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