Members of Fizzgigs, Ellesmere’s Community Arts Group, are putting the finishing touches to an entertaining glimpse into history to be performed on the 6th and 13th August.
The show, called ‘Canal Boatwomen: romance and reality’ will take place at 12.15pm and 2.15pm each day at the historic Canal Maintenance Yard on Birch Road, Ellesmere.
The story-telling performance features a blend of songs and stories. Its backdrop will be the restored narrowboat Saturn which is the last remaining Shropshire flyboat. At the heart of the show is a 3.5-metre-tall female figure – Sarah – dressed as a boatwoman of the 1920s.
Rosemary Drake, long-time Fizzgigs member, and inspiration for the show said: “We hope the visual impact of this wonderful boat built in 1906 together with this strong and powerful woman will remain with our audiences.”
She added; “It’s easy to overlook the significance of women in history. Sarah is an emblem celebrating the role women played on the canals in the 20th century.”
The actors range in age from one in her late seventies to nearly-three-year-old Tyneya Moore. Mum Becca said, ‘It’s never too early to start treading the boards.’ Chairman of Fizzgigs – Mirjana Garland – added, ‘Fizzgigs always welcomes both young and old.’
The performances are part of a day-long programme of activities which begin at 10.45am with a free conducted tour of the purpose-built canal yard that dates from 1806 where equipment and artefacts are of national significance. Details are available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ellesmere-yard-tours-tickets-303781196737.
Members of the expert team which cares for the narrowboat Saturn will be on hand throughout the day to for the public to talk to. Music will be provided between the two Fizzgig performances by local, well-respected group The Shropshire Boatmen. All these events are free.
Refreshments will be available, courtesy of The Pastry Box from Wem. Visitors will also be able to try out paddle boarding, courtesy of The Paddle Bro’s. Advance booking information is available at www.thepaddlebros.co.uk including paddle board and pizza options between 10am and 5.30pm.
The fun-filled day will be rounded off with live music from group Lotus Motion between 6.00 and 8.00p.m.
Routes for pedestrians from The Wharf in Ellesmere will be signed along the towpath, and drivers can follow road signs or use satnavs for SY12 9AA. Some car parking will be available in a field adjacent to the yard.
Pictured: Becca Moore, Tyneya Moore, Jenny Wilbraham, Mirjana Garland, Peter Cartlidge, Roger Garland – rehearsals.