The Trent and Mersey canal runs through Middlewich in Cheshire where it forms a junction with the Wardle canal and then the Middlewich arm of the Shropshire Union canal. In the past the major traffic on the canal from Middlewich was salt, produced from extracting salt brine from the ground and drying it in big salt pans.

These days the town is perhaps more famous for the annual Folk and Boat festival held in June.

This brings together boats and boaters and folk music, and lots of people to enjoy both.

We have been a few times over the years and I’ve covered it with the camera for Towpath Talk.

This year 2022 was no exception except we went down for the day in the truck.

It resulted in a page spread in the August edition of the paper, and these are the pictures that where published.

The Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival is here on the web.

Motor Minnow and butty Ilford at FAB 19.6.2022.
Old working boats, motor Minnow and butty Ilford pass through Middlewich during this year’s Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival. Colin Wareing 19.6.2022 Image Cw 8037 copyright Colin Wareing of Colin and Carole’s Creations
Cw 8038 Motor Minnow and butty Ilford at MFAB 19.6.2022

The single cylinder Bolinder semi diesel engine on the 1934 working boat, Minnow is restarted after it and its butty Ilford have dropped down through Kings Lock on the Trent and Mersey canal in Middlewich.

The canal and town are thronging with boats and people as it is the weekend of the annual Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival.

Colin Wareing 19.6.2022 Image Cw 8038 copyright Colin Wareing

Tench and Halsall at MFAB 19.6.2022.
Former working boat, Tench is moored inside the still working boat Halsall alongside Middlewich Wharf on the Trent and Mersey canal in Middlewich. Tench is a former Fellows, Morton and Clayton motor boat built by Yarwoods and launched in 1936. She is now preserved in private ownership. Halsall was again built by Yarwoods and launched in 1936, for the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company. She is still working, now as a fuel boat, delivering gas, diesel and coal to boaters on the Trent and Mersey and Shropshire union canals, working for the Four Counties Fuels Limited. The canal and town are thronging with boats and people as it is the weekend of the annual Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival. Colin Wareing 19.6.2022 Image Cw 8039 copyright Colin Wareing of Colin and Carole’s Creations
Gangplank Spirits and preserves
There was a good turnout of floating roving traders at this year’s Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival. Moored as they normally are alongside the playing field near the big lock they made an impressive sight. Here Gangplank Spirits and preserves have a line up of samples for the passing festival goers to linger and try. Colin Wareing 19.6.2022 Image Cw 8040 copyright Colin Wareing of Colin and Carole’s Creations
Singing and playing around a boat at FAB 19.6.2022.
A bit of a impromptu jam session from members of the Northwich Uke club around and on the back deck of a Narrowboat moored at Middlewich during the long established Folk and Boat Festival that returned to the town after a two year break because of Covid. Colin Wareing 19.6.2022 Image Cw 8041 copyright Colin Wareing of Colin and Carole’s Creations
Marc Gollins performing near the big lock at MFAB 19.6.2022.
Marc Gollins, a local, Cheshire based singer doing a set on the side of the big lock in Middlewich during the Folk and Boat Festival 2022. The Big Lock is so called as it is the only lock on the northern end of the Trent and Mersey canal that is wide enough to take two narrow boats at the same time. Here two boats are leaving the lock having risen up through it. The Middlewich is a long established Folk and Boat Festival that returned to the town after a two year break because of Covid. Musicians and boaters gather in the town to make a great weekend, with a big stage being set up in the park in the middle of town, with the Waterboys headlining this year. The main folk stage was this year in the civic hall, with lots of fringe gigs like this one around the pubs of the town. Colin Wareing 19.6.2022 Image Cw 8047 copyright Colin Wareing of Colin and Carole’s Creations
NB Bargus at Middlewich Fab 19.6.22.
Still working boat, Bargus has just turned in the junction of the Wardle canal and the Trent and Mersey canal in Middlewich. Bargus was built by Harland and Wolff and launched in 1935, for the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company. She is still working, now as a fuel boat, delivering gas, diesel and coal to boaters on the Trent and Mersey and Shropshire union canals, working for the Four Counties Fuels Limited. The canal and town are thronging with boats and people as it is the weekend of the annual Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival. Colin Wareing 19.6.2022 Image Cw 8048 copyright Colin Wareing of Colin and Carole’s Creations
Towpath Talk page 6 August 2022 Middlewich Fab.
Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival 2022 as I photographed and reported for the canal newspaper “Towpath Talk” with seven images used which are all on or website and available through Alamy and PicFair. Colin Wareing Image Cw 9011 copyright Colin Wareing of Colin and Carole’s Creations
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