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Hundreds celebrate canal’s anniversary

Crowds queue to enjoy the New Horizons boat trips.
Crowds queue to enjoy the New Horizons boat trips.

More than 700 people helped celebrate the 200th anniversary of Pocklington Canal.

Residents and visitors enjoyed the bicentenary activities organised by the Canal and River Trust and Pocklington Canal Amenity Society.

Taking part in the archaeology workshops.

Taking part in the archaeology workshops.

Dozens of passionate volunteers helped make the weekend a success.

Visitors got involved on the towpath and on water, experiencing how canals can benefit their daily lives.

Ebor Morris, the South Pennine Handspike Dance Team and the Driffield Silver Band provided the musical entertainment; Rusticus theatre’s performances brought the canal’s characters back to life; Green Underwing Wildlife Education showcased the wildlife of the canal; Kirklees Adventurous Activity Team operated coracles; PCAS got people on the water on the New Horizons trip boat and also organised the boat rally and all-important barbecue; while Dragon Willow was joined by 65 people to help weave a horse community sculpture, now named Storm after the weather; and Yorkshire Community Archaeology got people uncovering the canal’s heritage through an 
archaeological dig.

The event followed the official opening of Thornton Lock after a restoration project by PCAS, which made a further two miles of the canal navigable for the first time in a century, and the official unveiling of the Green Flag Award – recognising Pocklington Canal as one of the country’s top open spaces.

Taking part in the archaeology workshops.

Taking part in the archaeology workshops.

Lizzie Dealey, project officer at the Canal and River Trust, said: “It’s been absolutely fantastic to celebrate Pocklington Canal’s 200th anniversary with so many people – locals and visitors alike.

“The amount of interest in the waterway over recent months just goes to show that canals are still incredibly important to people as a space to relax and unwind in the fresh air, away from the bustle and bustle of everyday life.

“Our thanks go to everyone involved in the restoration projects, Green Flag success, celebration events and ongoing activities, and we look forward to helping future generations enjoy the benefits of being by water.”

The event was made possible thanks to the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The New Horizons boat travels along the Pocklington Canal.

The New Horizons boat travels along the Pocklington Canal.

Events and activities continue throughout the summer, including:

Guided walks on the second Sunday and third Wednesday each month

Family wildlife sessions – pond dipping, bug hunts, guided walks

Bat walks and moth trapping demonstrations

The Ebor Morris dance team.

The Ebor Morris dance team.

Outdoor evening performance of Mikron Theatre’s Revolting Women

Visit https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/places-to-visit/pocklington for full details and to find out more about Pocklington Canal, including how to become a volunteer.

Members of Rusticus theatre.

Members of Rusticus theatre.

Operating a coracle at the canal celebrations.

Operating a coracle at the canal celebrations.