Published Thursday 15 September 2016 at 15:26
Plans are underway for a spectacular celebration to mark the 200th anniversary of the completion of the Leeds to Liverpool canal that turned Blackburn into a major industrial town.
On October 19 dignitaries from across the North West including the Lord Lieutenants of Lancashire and West Yorkshire and mayors from Lancashire, Leeds, Bradford and Liverpool will join the National Children’s Orchestra and the Duke of Lancaster regiment band to commemorate the 1816 opening.
They will welcome a flotilla of boats led by the Leeds and Liverpool Canal Society’s museum boat, the Kennet, that will travel from Leeds to Blackburn and arrive as the bells of Blackburn Cathedral, St James’ Church and St Jude’s Church ring out across the town.
School children from local primary schools will dress for the occasion in red and white and will line the route, while the visiting Bethany Choir from Tanzania,East Africa, will perform.
The event starting at 2.30pm, has been organised by The Eanam Wharf Experience Trust, set up to turn Eanam Wharf into a visitor’s attraction.
The Trust which is a partnership between local businessman Graham Vernon, who runs dance and performing arts school DAPA and Blackburn with Darwen Council will also open a heritage and visitor centre on the day.
Graham Vernon said:
When the canal opened two hundred years ago it had a massive effect on the town and its industry bringing thousands into the town and quadrupling the population.
Today Eanam Wharf and the canal is the hidden gem of Blackburn and I believe that The Eanam Wharf Experience Trust will help make it a fantastic tourist attraction.
This event is going to be a great free family day and will be just the start of the huge transformation we have planned.
Executive member for Regeneration, Councillor Phil Riley, said:
I urge as many people as possible to come down to Eanam Wharf to support this historic event and to find out more about the exciting plans for this site.
The Eanam Wharf Experience is a key part of the massive regeneration programme that is taking place across Blackburn and I look forward to working with the Trust to make it the success if deserves to be.
More information about the Eanam Wharf Experience