Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival

Sat 16th Jun  Aqueduct Marina

We drove to Middlewich via Church Minshull, with instruments in the boot, and we parked in the car park for the Boars Head, or so we thought.

We walked up the main street, Wheelock Street, where there was a small market going on. We met the vicar as he came out of the church, and he told us the time of the service tomorrow (11am on the field).

We wanted a coffee, and looked into the window of the church cafe, which was very busy. We spotted Malcolm and Stephanie there, so we went and joined them, and met Martin and Fiona  Buck who are also Waterways Chaplains, and members of BCF, and have a boat called Audacious.

The information in the FAB Festival guide was very sparse, giving names of artists, but no other details, so we wandered around rather aimlessly.  We had time to spare, so we visited the church, where there was a Labyrinth.  This was the most amazing experience.  Many of the schools had put together scenes and stories from the Bible, making animals and scenery, temples, etc.  There was a winding route, taking you through from Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, right through to the cross, and the Easter story, and heaven.  There was even a Sea of Galilee, with real water, and real fish.  They had taken a week to put it all together, and would take a week to disassemble it again.  This happens every three years, just to coincide with FAB Festival. It was a major project, and they had many hundreds of visitors over the weekend.


The Easter door

We went to the main stage and looked round the stalls on the field. A disappointment was the lack of real ciders in the beer tent!!  Just one gassy thing.  We saw the Cody Sisters on the stage, and they were very good.

Cody Sisters on Main stage

We headed back down into the town just as a torrential downpour took place. There were huge puddles at the side of the road, and vehicles were pushing up waves and spray.

Heavy downpour

We eventually returned to the main stage where we saw a band from Amsterdam called Snowapple singing a song in Spanish.  There was a very tall lady in red wearing a red top hat.

Snowapple - link here

We had a very good meal in a Mexican restaurant, before going for the session at the Boars Head.  There was a sign indicating that it was meant to be a singaround, but there was so much loud chatter that we could possibly have been heard. In the end we just played along with some of the louder instruments such as fiddles and squeeze boxes. At one time we had a brass section.

Session at the Boars Head link here.

We discovered that we had parked in the wrong car park, that of a hotel next door, but it didn’t seem to matter.  We drove back to the boat where Hugo was hungry and pleased to see us.

No boating today

Sun 17th Jun  Aqueduct Marina

We drove to the Middlewich Festival again, and parked in the public car park.

We walked up to the field for the 11am open air service, and sat just in front of our four Waterways Chaplains friends.  There was a large choir, and a children’s choir, leading us in some well known worship songs.  There was a good turnout, despite having no mention in the programme.

Sunday service

We explored some of the action in other locations such as the Narrowboat Inn, and the Big Lock, and the White Bear. Then we walked up the towpath to see what was happening at Middlewich Narrowboats. We discovered that their chemical toilet disposal point had been brought back into service for the weekend, although most of the boaters probably did not realise it.  All my emails and phone calls had come back with the answer “Nothing has been arranged”. There were also mooring spaces there, so we could have gone by boat. However, the breach in the canal would have meant a long detour to get to the Llangollen Canal afterwards.

We patronised an Indian restaurant. Quite nice, but nothing special.

Then we realised that we had time to attend the evening praise event in the Labyrinth in the church. There were about thirty of us, and the service was led by Jeremy, the musical director. After a few songs on the keyboard, we went to various locations in the Labyrinth and sang appropriate songs there, accompanied by Jeremy on the guitar. It was a good event.

Praise in the labyrinth

Then we drove back once more to Aqueduct Marina where our boat was moored.

No boating today

Next: heading for Chester.

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