Full steam ahead for Braunston Historic Narrowboat and Canal Festival

The festival is this weekend.
The festival is this weekend.
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Preparations for this year’s Braunston Historic Narrowboat Rally and Canal Festival are full steam ahead for this weekend.

Celebrities Timothy West and Prunella Scales are once again guests a the 15th festival, taking place at Braunston Marina on Saturday and Sunday.,

Tim Coghlan, of Braunston Marina, said: “The actors and canal celebrities are back to open the rally by popular demand, having last done so in 2013.

“Since then their canal TV series Great Canal Journeys has gone from strength to strength, now with a worldwide audience of waterways enthusiasts. They are also known for their many great roles on stage and screen, including Timothy West as Stan Carter in EastEnders and his wife Prunella Scales as Sybil in Fawlty Towers.”

For the opening of the Braunston Historic Rally, they will wear traditional boatmen costume.

Timothy said: “We are thrilled to be coming again.

“We usually charge to dress up. But to support this unique and wonderful canal event, we will again waive our fee in this case.”

At 11am on Saturday, Timothy will steer President - the last surviving steam narrowboat - into the marina, towing its butty boat Kildare, steered by Prunella.

Other attractions include Morris dancing, Daventry Brass Band, the beer tent – the Wet Dock, plus fast food and fun. Music will be provided by Braunston Pickle, and folk and R&B groups. There will be a performance at 5pm on the Saturday in the Artists’ Marquee of Idle Women of the Wartime Waterways by Alarum Theatre, and on the Thursday evening before the rally a performance by DayStar Theatre in aid of the restoration of Braunston Church – the ‘Cathedral of the Canals’.