The BCN society has its first rally in Brownhills over the weekend of the 18/19th May 2019. The event was based along the extensive canal frontage to Silver Street with stalls and trading boats plus historic craft and over 40 visiting narrowboats.
The location was not without its challenges with double yellow lines and a new fence making access to the site difficult. This was the site of the former Brownhills Community canalised festival which ceased in about 2016 so BCNS were pleased to be able to recreate some of that magic albeit over a 2 day period than just the 1 day previously.
There was not enough room canalside for a refreshment marquee, so the Society hired Brownhills Community Association halls about 4 minutes walk away. The staff at the centre were amazing and went out of their way to make the event a success. The halls was used for the bar, teas and coffees and also for entertainment.
Friday night saw Billy Spakemon and friends and Wild Irish entertained the boaters on Saturday evening. Railway historian Ian Pell gave a very well attended and received talk on the links between Canals and Railways on Saturday afternoon.
The weather stayed fine for us and the crowds came out and visited the stalls and colourful boats. This made the rally a success not only for the number of boats that attended and cruised the Wyrley and Essington, but also bringing the Brownhills Community out onto their towpath and appreciate their waterside location.
A big thank you to all those society members that volunteered to make this event happen and also to the stall holders, Brownhills Community Association and to CRT for providing the land and water.
Watch this space to see where the rally will be held in 2020.
From Brownhills Bob’s blog:
Pictures from the 2019 Brownhills BCNS Canalside Festival
From the Express & Star:
Canal festival back with bang