Shropshire Star

Canal takes centre stage for weekend entertainment

A canal maintenance yard will be the centre of entertainment in Ellesmere this weekend.

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Fizzgigs, the community’s arts group, is putting the finishing touches to its free, family-friendly show ‘Bridging the Gap’. It will be performed at Ellesmere’s Canal Maintenance Yard at 2pm and 4pm on Saturday, June 3, and Sunday, June 4.

Bridging the Gap will tell the tale of how Thomas Telford was brought in to solve the problem of how to build a canal across the Welsh hills and connect Ellesmere with the newly named Ellesmere Port on the Mersey.

Kate Westgate, a member of Fizzgigs, said: "We are so fortunate to have been able to commission a script from a talented local writer, Shaun Higgins. And we are lucky to have a musical director who has composed songs especially for the show. There’s plenty of laughs along the way although the story which underpins the piece is historically true."

Mirjana Garland, chair of Fizzgigs and the musical director, added: "It takes a light-hearted look at that point in history when people from all over the country scrambled to invest in canals. At one point Ellesmere was invaded by investors hoping to make massive profits. There wasn’t a bed left to be had in the town."

"The costumes and props are very special, too," said Rosemary Drake, one of the master-minds behind the show.

"People have come to expect that from Fizzgigs, and this show delivers."

Across the whole weekend there will be plenty going on, with the opportunity to try paddle-boarding, take a tour of the historic boatyard and see Shropshire flyboat Saturn, plus music, and refreshments courtesy of the popular Pastry Box.

There is ample parking close by with disabled parking facilities in the yard itself.

Kate Westgate added: “We are grateful for the support of the Media and Art Partnership which is working with Canal & River Trust to rejuvenate the historic maintenance yard."

Details of all Fizzgigs activities can be found online at fizzgigs.co.uk.

Find out about events at the maintenance yard by searching ‘Ellesmere Yard’ on Facebook and on Twitter & Instagram @EllesmereYard.