Brownhills Canal Festival returns this weekend!

I’m so thrilled to share with you all that Brownhills Canal Festival returns this weekend for two days – today, Saturday 18th and tomorrow, Sunday 19th September 2021 – and is hosted by the wonderful Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust.

This promises to be a great event in the tradition of these at Brownhills over the years, and it’s great to have The Trust take on the mantle. Here’s all the info you need, and updates can be seen on the event’s web page here and Facebook page here – please, do send in photos of your visit. It’s so good to be advertising outdoor events once more.

Brownhills Canal Festival in 2019. Image from L&HCRT.

Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust wrote:

Brownhills Canal Festival 2021
Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th September

We are bringing back the Brownhills Canal Festival after a few years’ absence, with the last event hosted by the BCN Society in 2019.

We were approached by Brownhills resident (and LHCRT member) Malcolm Littler, who asked if we could help arrange the festival. As Brownhills is at the top end of the Lichfield Canal it made sense for us to help out, promote Brownhills as a canal town, raise awareness of the link the Lichfield Canal will bring to the canal network and to Brownhills, and create a fun weekend for everyone. Traditionally held in the summer, we have chosen September for the event.

There will be floating traders, historic boats, trade stalls and charity stalls and other attractions:

Trading Boats

  • Creature Comforts   Fairy houses gnome wizards witches belt key rings necklaces and bracelets
  • Wandering Snail   Hand carved wooden goods and hand woven scarves, all made on board
  • Just imagine   Personalized items and kids toys
  • Adrastea and Nebular   Pic n mix sweets, embroidered cushions and gifts, boat chandlery items
  • Senior Moment   Fudge, honeycomb
  • Lazy Daze    Painted canal ware, canalia ie, tea towels, model boats
  • That’s D’riculous   Waxed Cheese Truckles  (Printed ceramic mugs to prior orders)


  • Candy Cabin   Fudge and sweets
  • The Royal Party   Entertainers
  • Midland International Aid Trust – WASUP Project   World Against Single Use Plastic
  • Snug as a bug crafts   Fairy houses gnome wizards witches belt key rings necklaces and bracelets
  • 5th Brownhills guides   Girl Guides car boot style things.
  • Edens Weigh   Soaps, plastic alternatives, preweighed vegan sweets and fudge, (Sunday only)
  • Bubbles & Beauty    Bath bombs, soaps, shower whips and scrubs, soap sponges, salt soaks2
  • Mindys Projects   Wire wrapped jewellery and gemstone trees
  • 5th. Brownhills Brownies   Tombola and bric-a-brac to raise funds and promote local Girl Guiding. .
  • BCN Society   Promoting canals of Birmingham and Black Country, books & maps, crafts and homemade jams
  • LHCRT     Information stall, raffle tickets, calendars and other items, all to support the canal restoration
  • Champion Pet Services   Natural dog treats
  • Lmor Creations   Paua Shell (abalone) Jewellery: Pendants, Earrings, Bangles, Bracelets, Brooches, Cufflinks Rings and Pill boxes
  • Lily creations   hand painted and hand printed original  eco friendly jute bags, mugs,slate, keyrings, other gift wear and T shirts
  • Jan’s Jewellery   Handmade jewellery
  • T.S Vigo Navy Cadet Force   To recruit new cadets
  • Clare’s Arty Craft   Pebble frames and canvases, clay hangers, resin trinkets and teddies, small keyrings
  • Hillwood Gifts   Gifts  (Sunday only)
  • Brownhills Christmas Tree Appeal in partnership with Brownhills Community Association Christmas related items and tombola to raise funds for the appeal (Saturday only)
  • The Backyard Brewhouse
  • Dan’s Ices     Ice Cream van
  • Scents So Sweet     (Saturday only)


  • Staffordshire Portable Amateur Radio Club     Listen in as SPARC radio amateurs speak live to people from all over the world
  • Royal Sutton Coldfield Canoe Club   Paddlesport sessions on Sunday 19th (only) from 10am to 2pm (last paddler on the water at 1pm). Sessions cost £5 and will be booked on a first come first served basis. Coaches and Instructors will support paddlers on the water.
    (Wear old clothes, old trainers, NO JEANS and a change of clothes plus a towel is advised just in case!)

Brownhills Canal Festival in 2019. Image from L&HCRT.

Historic Boats

  • Purton Built in 1936 at W. M. Yarwoods and Son on the River Weaver for the Grand Union Canal Carrying Co. Ltd. One of 28 Town Class Boats known as Large Northwiches. She remained in long distance carrying until 1962 mainly carrying coal from the North to London area. In 1962 she went into the British Waterways maintenance fleet, in the North East. She was shortened to her present length of 57ft 6ins and she also had the National Engine replaced with the current Lister and a new back cabin.
  • Marquis Built in 1898 by Fellows, Morton & Clayton Ltd. at Salter, Birmingham as a steam powered narrow boat. She was converted to diesel in 1927 and sold to J. Holloway of Oldbury in 1942. At this time, she was renamed SALLY. In 1957, she was shortened by the Harris Brothers of Netherton to a tug and re-named CALYPSO. In 1963, she was sold out of service. She is the oldest surviving iron motor narrowboat with an original stern. Her engine is now a Lister FR 3.
  • Darley Built by Harland & Wolff Ltd. at Woolwich in 1937. She was commissioned by the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company Ltd. and named after Darley Dale and was initially intended for pairing with the butty, DENTON. She carried loads from Birmingham to London until the advent of nationalisation in 1948 when British Waterways took over and kept her until 1962. She was sold for use as a dredger and approximately 15 feet was cut from her bow. The present owner purchased the two halves in 1982 and restored her to her original condition with work on the bottom, footings and cabin.
  • Cassiopeia Built in 1935 by Harland & Wolff at Woolwich for the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company. She is one of 24 iron composite pairs and her class is Small Woolwich Star. She remained with the GUCCC until the British Transport Commission took control in 1947. They re-engined her with her present engine in 1958. During the years 1944 to 1963, she remained in the hands of one family. Thereafter, she passed into private ownership but continued to carry cargoes.
  • Whitby Built as a cargo vessel by W J Yarwood, & Sons Ltd, Northwich and was completed in 1938. In the 1970s, Whitby worked for Three Fellows Carrying on the gravel contract on the River Soar at Thurmaston. She was restored by the current owner in 2009, bringing her back to near original condition. Over 1000 5/8th rivets were used during the works. Following restoration in 2009, she went on to win the NBOC’s John Hemleryk Award.

Please note – all Trader and Boat spaces are now fully booked.

See also the Event Facebook Page for all the latest news.

Brownhills Canal Festival
Silver St,  Brownhills,  Walsall WS8 6DZ
Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th September 2021
10am to 4pm
Free admission

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