Blisworth Canal Festival

Yesterday we travelled to Blisworth for the annual canal festival. This village hosts the third longest navigable tunnel on the canal network at 3,076 yards.The journey from Kent took an hour and a half as both the M25 and M1 were trouble free. On arrival we found our way to the towpath where a number of stalls and boats were displaying their wares.

Blisworth Wharf viewed from the towpath.

Continuing along the towpath we soon found both The Cheese Boat and also nb Sanity selling various flavours of fudge. Several purchases were made after sampling the produce.
Further along the towpath were several traditional working boats moored and we took the opportunity to speak with the members of the restoration societies.

NUTFIELD (motor) and RAYMOND (butty)

OLIVE built for London Midland and Scottish in 1930


In the distance I recognised the distinctive shape of a Hudson narrowboat. The boat in question was OL SMOKEY. The owners were happy to chat and although the boat looked new it is in fact 7 years old. An unusual example as the engine is a Gardiner rather than the Lister that powers most traditional Hudsons. Seeing this just makes us want our own boat to be finished. OL SMOKEY was not at the recent Hudson open weekend but the owners allowed us to have a look inside (Thank You).

What we found impressive is it seems as if the whole village takes part in the festival with private gardens being opened to the public. As we explored the village we saw a collection of steam engines. The sound and smell of these when running is special.

After spending four and a half hours at the festival we departed via Stoke Bruerne where a stop at The Navigation Inn to refresh ourselves prior to driving home was the order of the day.

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