Boaters celebrate 200 years of GU

Published: Wednesday, 14 October 2009

DRESSED in old costumes of the day, boaters and visitors celebrated 200 years of the Grand Union Canal on Monday (12th October).

It was on the pound below Foxton Locks that 20 boats, including a horse drawn boat, took part in a six miles cruise to Union Wharf, in Market Harborough.

There were people dressed as navvies, boaters and even Queen Victoria as they celebrated the opening of the Grand Union Canal in the area.

Event organiser Mike Beech, of the Old Union Canals Society, dressed as old time canal official in top hat and tails for the occasion praised so many people going to so much trouble with their costumes. Of the opening of the Grand Union Canal he remarked:

"It's very hard for us to comprehend the difference that canals made to Harborough. It's the difference between horses and carts getting stuck in mud to being able to send 20 tons of coal to a town."

When the parade arrived in Harborough, they went to the nearby Angel Hotel for a meal which had been cooked up especially with Georgian tastes in mind, including trout, game casserole and bread and butter pudding.