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Thursday, 02 July 2015

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Fun on Ulverston canal is a real crowd-puller

DONKEYS, donations and a dalek – waterway to have a good time.

There was something for everyone as guests enjoyed a fun-packed day at the Ulverston Canal Gala charity fundraiser on Sunday.

The event was organised by the Ulverston Canal Regeneration Group who aim to secure the long term future of the waterway by repairing the bank, protecting the local environment and making the area more attractive to tourists.

Craft and charity stalls, games, stocks, a lifesize dalek, face painting, ice-cream, drinks, cakes, bric a brac and the popular Orchard Donkeys were among the many attractions available.

Visitors were also reminded of the canal’s rich heritage as the Hearts of Oak, the final boat to be built in Ulverston in 1912, sailed past.

Ulverston Inshore Rescue also made an appearance with youngsters invited to pose for photos on one the team’s crafts.

Keir McKenna, a crew member with the volunteer team, said a revitalised canal would benefit the inshore rescue as well as the wider community.

He said: “It’s been a good day and it helps us raise our profile with the public which is good because we all funded through charity.

“We use the water pumps from the canal whenever there is flooding and we used to use canal for the boats but now it’s too full of weeds.

“If it does get cleaned out we would be able to use it again.”

Colin Smith, chairman of the regeneration group, said: “The whole community has gotten involved with putting this on and supporting it. The reaction is very favourable and people are enthusiastic and keen to see things develop.

“Our membership is now over 130 and people have been signing up today so it has been a success as an awareness raising exercise as well as a fundraiser.”

Ulverston mayor councillor Helen Irving said: “It’s a really good event and Mr Smith and his helpers have done a really good job and put in a lot of hard work. It is a really good thing for Ulverston.”

Cllr Irving was on hand to present prizes to local school children who had entered a competition to design a new logo for the Ulverston Canal Regeneration Group.

All the money raised from the day will go towards the group’s overall fundraising target of £5,000.

That money will be tripled to £15,000 by the environmental charity Groundwork UK through its X Marks the spot campaign which aims to revive popular green spaces.

Members of Groundwork manned a stall asking residents for their ideas of how the canal could be made better.

Suggestions included better access to the pier and doing more to advertise the scenic views across Morecambe Bay available at Canal Foot.


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