This Sunday 1 September sees stalls, art, music and street theatre arrive around the City Road Lock, Basin and towpath alongside the Regents Canal, for the Angel Canal Festival. But this is not just any outdoor festival, it is one with a rather lovely history.
In the 1980s, the late Crystal Hale set up Angel Day — a fundraising event for the ‘Angel’ narrowboat which enabled inner city children to take a boat ride to the countryside. In 1987, she met Jim Lagden and together they co-founded the Angel Canal Festival to celebrate the return of the narrow boat from its week long trip, with inner city children aboard. For 11 years they staged the festival together and saw it grow in popularity.
Crystal and Jim have both since passed away, but their legacy continues with the help of various local groups, and the festival, which is entirely free, still attracts up to 7,000 visitors. This year, the “village-fete-with-boats” atmosphere that Crystal and Jim created will be supplemented with attractions including a variety of local stalls selling goods ranging from crafts to canalware, a children’s fun fair, storytellers, have-a-go-pottery and canoeing sessions.
Boat enthusiasts can also enjoy a range of attending canalboats, including the ‘Angel II’ narrowboat, operated by charity and funded by John Herbert, the brother of Crystal Hale.
The Angel Canal Festival takes place on Sunday 1 September from 11am-5pm. It is free to attend. For more details, please visit the website.
Image by Stuart Spicer via the Londonist Flickrpool.