Chesterfield Canal Festival pulls in record crowds

The Lancaster bomber fly-past at the Chesterfield Canal Festival
The Lancaster bomber fly-past at the Chesterfield Canal Festival

Record crowds enjoyed searing sunshine and soaring temperatures as well as a fly-past by the Lancaster bomber at the two-day Chesterfield Canal Festival at the weekend.

Thousands of visitors flocked to the Staveley Town Basin for the summer spectacular - which saw the newly-built Hartington Harbour section of the canal used for the first time.

Organisers, the Chesterfield Canal Trust, hailed the event as a huge success and revealed that more than 800 passengers enjoyed trips along the new stretch of waterway over the two days.

And as well as witnessing the Lancaster flying over on Saturday morning, the crowds were also treated to an appearance by a Dakota on Sunday.

Delighted festival director, Davis Kiddy, said: “We could not be more pleased with the festival. It brought pleasure to thousands of people, showed off the fabulous construction work done by our volunteers and demonstrated yet again what an asset the canal is to the area.

“This strengthens the Chesterfield Canal Trust’s resolve to get the remaining nine miles of canal restored.”

During the two days, there was also a host of other activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy - including canoe polo matches organised by the Pleasley Canoe Club.

There was an appearance by the Newfoundland Training and Demonstration Team and other attractions included birds of prey, archery, children’s rides, a bouncy castle, radio-controlled boats, a glitter painter and vintage vehicles.

A steamroller called the Old Faithful proved to be a magnet for photographers during the festival while visitors also enjoyed live music, street theatre and two evening concerts.

- For more information about the canal and the work of the Chesterfield Canal Trust, go to