VISITORS turned out in their thousands to enjoy a colourful and fun-filled Canal Day in Banbury on Sunday, 1 October.
The towpath was packed with stalls and demonstrations while there was a host of entertainment in Spiceball Park including falconry, fairground rides, go-karts and refreshments.
Banbury and Cherwell Canoe Club provided waterside paddling tuition, Compton Road car park hosted all-day dancing, Banbury Museum offered free activities, a charity market filled Castle Quay car park while Chamberlain Court car park was full of arts and craft stalls.
A five-hour folk concert in General Foods Social Club’s garden was a popular attraction and Tooley’s Boatyard was open to visitors.
The event is run annually by Banbury Town Council to highlight the history of the waterway.
Mayor Cllr Colin Clarke, who arrived by narrowboat to open the event, said: “Everyone had a good time and once again we had a successful day.
“I’d like to thank everyone who turned out to make the event a success.”
When the canal opened in 1778 it brought wealth and prosperity to the town. It was the M1 of its day and provided a cheap and reliable supply of Warwickshire coal and other goods manufactured in the industrial Midlands.
Nowadays the waterway is busy with holiday boaters and walkers who use the towpath as a quiet and picturesque route for rambling.
Canal Day had originally been cancelled this year because of building work planned for the waterside as part of the Castle Quay Two expansion. The work is now set to take place later in the year.
The town council teamed up with a host of local organisations including Banbury and Cherwell Canoe Club, Banbury Folk Festival, Banbury Museum, Canal and River Trust, Inland Waterways’ volunteers, Sovereign Wharf, The Mill, Tooley’s Boatyard and Your Letterbox magazine to put the event together in just two months – planning for the event usually takes about nine months.