Pictures John Hopkins
THE Spirit of Lymm Historic Transport Day was well and truly kept alive at the Lymm Boat and Steam Gathering as part of Lymm Festival at the weekend.
The last two years had seen successive forced cancellations of the full event due to Covid. And with the retirement of key volunteer personnel and no-one coming forward to take it on it was decided to host a much smaller event, for this year at least, to keep the flame burning.
There was clearly no shortage of enthusiasm from the historic boating community who packed into the village centre, boats three abreast in places, creating a colourful spectacle. The week had started well too with over 200 children from local primary schools benefiting from the “We Love Our Canal” education programme organised by Lymm Heritage Centre with the support of Saturn, the Shropshire flyboat and a team from the Boat Museum.
Henry Street Car Park next to the canal gradually filled on Saturday with traction engines as more and more machines arrived from all around the area. Over the whole weekend, the village was alive with the sound of steam hooters and trundling heavy rollers as the owners took their engines on short tours of the village to the delight of passers-by.
Meanwhile, the Heritage Centre, adjacent to the event, attracted nearly 500 visitors to a new exhibition marking the 50th anniversary of Lymm hosting the National Boat Rally.
Another highlight was the now traditional sail past at 3.30 on Sunday afternoon when a procession of around fifteen boats delighted the crowds that had gathered in the village.
The “Gathering”, which was completely free, was funded by the Lymm Transport Group, a voluntary organisation set up specifically to run Historic Transport Day. All the participants praised the organisation and the venue and vowed to return to next year.
Talks aimed at handing on the full Historic Transport Day to a new team next year are at an advanced stage but the group are still keen to recruit more new blood to ensure that the event can return in its full splendour next year. If you would like to be part of the return of Lymm Historic Transport Day contact them via [email protected]