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War and unicycles form part of canal festival plan

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 10, 2014

  • The festival in full swing..MOIRA CANAL FESTIVAL 2004.

  • Moira Canal Festival..The Open Rope Society, Historical re-enactment display.

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HISTORIC re-enactments and a unicycle ride over water will form part of the entertainment at a popular canal festival.

Organisers of the Moira Canal Festival have revealed they expect the event to again attract hundreds of people when it takes place on May 17 and 18.

It will feature historic events to celebrate the centenary of the First World War, as well as the first unicycle ride over the Ashby Canal.

Classic vehicles, morris dancers and chainsaw sculpting will be also on offer at the festival, which is organised by the Ashby Canal Trust – which uses any proceeds from the event to assist restoration of the waterway.

A spokesman for the event said: “The Ashby Canal was completed in 1804 to serve the coalfield of South Derbyshire and North West Leicestershire.

“A major restoration programme is being led by Leicestershire County Council and a short length was recently restored, including a swing bridge and slipway.

“A further short length has been completed and funding is being sought to enable this phase of the works to continue.

“However, a significant length at Moira was restored by 2000, at the Moira Furnace, now within the National Forest. This site forms the ideal location for the annual Moira Canal Festival, which was initiated by the Ashby Canal Trust in 2000.

“The Ashby Canal Trust was formed to promote the restoration of the Ashby Canal from Snarestone to Moira, bringing together the various authorities and organisations with an interest in the canal.

“It comprises a board of directors with associated administrative assistance, and supports work parties, contributes to the ongoing restoration of the Snarestone to Measham length, and promotes the Moira Canal Festival.”

More information is available by heading online to www.moiracanalfestival.co.uk

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