A celebration of canal’s history

Pocklington Canal
Pocklington Canal

There will be a chance to celebrate the history of the local area this weekend at an event marking a key milestone in the life of the Pocklington Canal.

To commemorate the bicentenary of the Act of Parliament that enabled the construction of the canal, a boat rally is being held at Melbourne onSaturday and Sunday.

Organised by the Pocklington Canal Amenity Society (PCAS), it will be the first major boat rally on the canal for almost 30 years.

Paul Waddington, Chairman of PCAS, said: “The year 2015 is a very significant one for the Pocklington Canal Amenity Society, which is using the canal’s bicentenary as a spring board to launch a further round of restoration.

“We hope that many boats will attend the rally, and give support to our bicentenary restoration scheme.”

The event will involve a treasure hunt, stalls and decorated boat competition.

There will also be an opportunity for people of all ages to enjoy a ‘canal safari’ on Saturday between 1pm and 3pm and come face-to-face with some of the species that call the canal home.

Rachel Walker, Pocklington Canal development officer for the Canal and River Trust, said: “The bicentenary weekend should be a lot of fun and it will be fantastic to see a colourful gathering of boats on the water once more.

“The canal engineers 200 years ago couldn’t have imagined that their efforts would still be enjoyed by local people more than two centuries later and I’d like to think that they would appreciate our efforts to bring it back to life.”

As well as celebrating the canal’s history there will also be an opportunity to look to the future as initial ideas on how the Pocklington Canal could be improved go on show.

Proposals such as better information and interpretation and provision of events, activities and opportunities to get involved have all been considered during a public consultation period.

The rally will give people another chance to comment on the plans before they are finalised.

The consultation is part of a Heritage Lottery Fund bid which, if successful, could see £500,000 invested in protecting the canal’s delicate ecology and historical features.