A WEEKEND OF FUN AT IRONBRIDGE
There’s lots going on at the Ironbridge Gorge in Telford, Shropshire this weekend. On Saturday 17th September 2016 the Telford & Wrekin Council, with support from Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, is to stage a free World Heritage River Festival, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Gorge becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Festival events have been made possible by funding from Arts Council England and will culminate with a magical river procession finale featuring illuminated boats, music, performers and pyrotechnics – put on by outdoor arts experts Walk The Plank.
Most of the activity during the day of the Festival will take place at Dale End Park and will feature arts and crafts, music, dance and street theatre, heritage crafts, walks and talks, fun fair, markets, food and drink and more.
The Wharfage will be closed for carriage rides, a steam engine, street entertainment and live music, food and entertainment put on by the Wharfage businesses.
Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust has offered all visitors free entrance into the Museum of The Gorge and the Ironbridge Tollhouse on the day of the Festival. The Museum will also be hosting heritage talks and walking trails in the Gorge.
Councillor Shaun Davies, Telford & Wrekin Council leader and cabinet member for Tourism, said: “This promises to be a fantastic day of entertainment to celebrate something that is very special to all of us in Telford and Wrekin.
“The Ironbridge Gorge is spectacularly beautiful and it is a matter of pride for everyone who lives in Telford that it has been a World Heritage Site for three decades. It is entirely appropriate that we celebrate that and the World Heritage River Festival is the ideal event. The magical flotilla that brings a climax to the day will illuminate the River Severn and provide a fantastic spectacle and lasting memory for onlookers”.
Anna Brennand, Chief Executive of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, added: “The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust is delighted to be a part of this great event and we are all looking forward to welcoming both local residents and tourists to enjoy this great spectacle.”
The Festival will last from 2-9pm and the river procession starts at 7.30pm. Visitors are advised to use the park and ride facilities at either end of the Gorge. More information about the River Festival can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
A VICTORIAN DAY OUT
If you’re enjoying watching Queen Victoria’s Royal household drama on TV, then why not have a taste of what everyday life was like in Victorian times? At nearby Blists Hill Victorian town you can mingle with costumed ‘townsfolk’ as they go about their daily lives.
Blists Hill is one of the 10 Ironbridge Gorge Museums, and this outdoors museum will take you back over 100 years to experience the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of Victorian life.
You can walk through the town, stop and chat to the Victorian people as they go about their business. You can explore the magnificent Canal Street which is lined on both sides with a parade of shops; take a look at the hats and gowns in the drapers, dress up as a Victorian yourself and have your portrait taken in the photographers. You can mail letters and postcards from the Post Office, and treat yourself to some old fashioned sweets in the Sweet Shop. If you’re hungry why not stop for some traditionally prepared fish and chips in the Fried Fish Dealers and finish with a pint in the New Inn.
BLISTS HILL VICTORIAN FESTIVAL
If you go along to Blists Hill Victorian Town on Sunday 18th September, you can join in with the harvest celebrations at a traditional festival with a display of produce and a thanksgiving service. This takes place at the small Mission Church at 12 noon. Afterwards join in the festivities in the Pleasure Gardens where there will be an open air service from 2pm. The best of the season’s produce will also be on show for all to admire.
As the celebrations take place, the Victorian townsfolk will continue their daily lives in the authentic houses and shops – baking bread, counting coins at the bank and talking about Victorian remedies in the chemist. Craftsmen will also be at work in the artisans corner.
So, the place to be this weekend is Telford, Shropshire!
For further information, Tel: 01952 433 424 or visit www.ironbridge.org.uk. The Gorge is easily reached via the M54 motorway exiting at Telford junction 4 or 6.