Full steam ahead for Kirkintilloch canal festival

Puffers, Romans, the swinging 60s, dreams and drams will all be part of a unique series of canal boat cruises this month.
Kirkintilloch Canal FestivalKirkintilloch Canal Festival
Kirkintilloch Canal Festival

East Dunbartonshire Council has put together a ‘splashing’ programme for this year’s Kirkintilloch Canal Festival - with a host of events between August 18 and 24 to whet every appetite.

The star attractions include special canal boat cruises from Monday, August 18 to Friday, August 22 - all departing from Southbank Marina, Kirkintilloch:

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* Monday, August 18 - ‘Memories of the Sixties’ with Don Martin

The local historian will describe canal and railway services in the Kirkintilloch area during the early 1960s, before Dr Beeching got to work and before the Forth and Clyde Canal was closed, temporarily as it turned out. Light refreshments included in the price (provided by Café Mariana) - £10 per person.

* Tuesday, August 19 - ‘Puffers: an Illustrated History’ with Colin Castle

Colin will cover a variety of ‘Puffer’ themes associated with the Canal, including the brief career of the vessel Charlotte Dundas, the origins of the Puffer, builders J & J Hay and Peter McGregor, and the Canal’s cargo trade, including factors that eventually led to its demise. Puffer types will be examined as well as the lives of crews. The cost is £7.50 per person.

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* Wednesday, August 20 - ‘The Antonine Wall in Proximity to the Canal’ with James Walker

James - past President of Glasgow Archaeological Society - will celebrate the fact that the Forth and Clyde Canal and the Antonine Wall are never far away from each other, as each follows a strategic path over the narrowest neck of land across Britain. He will place special emphasis on the functions of Bar Hill and Cadder Forts. Light refreshments included in price - provided by Nonna’s Kitchen - £10 per person.

* Thursday, August 21 - ‘Guns, Gazoons and Other Clamjamfry’ with Bill Black

As part of a wide-ranging Glasgow miscellany, Bill Black will describe the ‘gazoon’ on the Monkland Canal at Blackhill. As a means of raising canal boats from one level to another by inclined plane, this could be regarded as an alternative to The Falkirk Wheel, although it was removed many years ago. Cost - £7.50 per person.

* Friday, August 22 - Whisky Tasting

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Join MaltNerd (Craig Sirel) for a tour of Scotland?s whisky regions, with the chance to find out how whisky makes the journey from grain to glass and just what the different regions have to offer. Craig will be pouring four single-malt Scotch whiskies which showcase the different styles available, with background on each. The price is £12 per person, which also includes a Ghiloni’s fish tea.

The canal cruises form part of the 2014 Kirkintilloch Canal Festival - which will come to a crescendo over the weekend of 23 and 24 August, with the Gala Sunday sure to be particularly popular around the Marina.

More details of the festival will be announced soon, but tickets for the canal boat cruises are available now.

The canal boat cruises take place from Monday 18 to Friday 22 August from 7pm-9pm - departing from Southbank Marina, Kirkintilloch G66 1XQ.

To book your ticket visit www.kirkintillochcanalfestival.org or call the council contact centre - 0300 123 4510.