The Leamington Spa Canal Festival came back to the Grand Union Canal over the weekend of 23rd/24th June, attracting a large number of visitors. Clemens Street was closed to traffic on the Sunday, making way for a band, stalls and children’s entertainment. On the canal itself, trader boats decorated with flags and bunting were lined up, as well as a heritage boat showing what life on the canal would really have been like when canal barges brought raw materials to Leamington and the West Midlands. The trader boats offered a variety of products, many created by the boat owners themselves. Towpath Tipples run by Martin Lloyd on the boat Angelwood was understandably popular, offering craft ciders, perry and fruit wines . At Crafts from Morgana Lesley Jones showed a range of crafts, all made on board her boat Morgana le Fey. In the Inter-school Boat Building competition, prizes were won by children from Shrublands and Sydenham schools. Procaffeinate organised a hog roast for participants on the Saturday evening.
The hard work carried out to prepare for the Festival could be seen in the extensive planting along the towpath at the bottom of the steps from the Clemens Street bridge, done by the Grand Union Gardeners, all volunteers. The frontage of Alumno had also been cleared and planted. Employees from Vitsoe helped with the preparatory tidying up. The Festival was organised by the Leamington Old Town Team (LOTT).Support was provided by the Warwick District Council Small Grant Scheme. More information on the Festival can be had from the Lott Bazaar, Clemens Street, and on canal boat traders from the Roving Canal Traders Association www.rcta.org.uk.