Come and Explore Life Along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal
We invite you to explore a small part of the Leeds and Liverpool canal this year, from the heritage of Armley industrial Museum to it's end (or rather, it's beginning!) at Granary Wharf...
Leeds Waterfront Festival is designed to be a celebration of our wonderful waterspace close to Leeds city centre and the canal and river running through it. More importantly, its premise is to encourage the people of Leeds to explore the whole breadth of Leeds waterfront, from the swanky modern areas, to the amazing heritage.
The canal has, over recent years become a busy commuter route into the city centre; a way to avoid the endless traffic jams and the hussle and bussle that working life in the city centre can bring. Walking, cycling and running down the canal on the morning and evening commute is good for the soul...the tranquil environment, the friendly nods from others and the slower pace of life along the water, all help to make some things we have to do much more enjoyable (and a way to stay healthy at the same time).
Life along the canal is changing, as local people, community groups, charities and businesses work together to improve the local environment and ensure it is a safe, beautiful space for everyone to enjoy.
This year, the festival team invite you to come along and enjoy the rich textile heritage of Leeds at Armley Industrial Museum. A true treasure, the museum provides a fascinating insight into the textile industry in Leeds. The Safe Anchor Trust will be providing free boat trips all weekend there too, a fantastic way to explore life along the canal. Cruising along, spotting wildlife and enjoying the excitement a boat trip can bring to a young family.
For the rest of us, floating along the canal brings instant relaxation. Troubles fade away as you enjoy the tranquility of being on the water and travelling at a wonderfully slow pace! The home of the 'official' Saturday workshop to make your paper boat for entry into the exciting World Record Attempt at Granary Wharf on Sunday, this is a fantastic place to start exploring all that Leeds waterfront has to offer over festival weekend. Refreshments from local company Grazers will be available too, so come and relax in the sun for a while and explore the heritage inside and out!
Follow the colourful knitted trail of mooring pins from Armley Industrial Museum to Granary Wharf. We hope our yarn bombing will not only help to guide you along the canal and provide you with a fun distraction, but also to encourage everyone using the canal to feel safe. So much work is underway along the canal to help to transform the environment and to celebrate its heritage and potential. It's the small things like this that we hope make 'every day' and 'occasional' users of the canal feel confident that people are caring for this space and we all plan to continue working together to look after it and each other!
Don't forget to take a pitstop at Oddy Locks. This wonderful community has transformed their local environment around the lock into a beautiful oasis just a 10 minute walk from the city centre.
Meet the folk at The Stables Tea Room, Sue and Bilbo the horse pulling along their horse boat in traditional costume, canal art and music! Find out more here.
Castleton Mill is home to the Junk Boat Building again this year, with wierd and wonderful vessels in production on Saturday 24th under the expert supervision of Open Source Arts. Give the builders a wave across the canal on Saturday and make your way back on Sunday to follow the boats along the canal from 1.30pm and cheer them along to their destination at Granary Wharf. Will they sink or swim? It is so exciting and if anything like last year, a little touch and go at times! Let's hope they all make it to the finish line again this year!
Graffiti Artist Hyrograff will be working with his creative crew of artists and local young people to create a Graffiti Gallery at Wellington Road Bridge this year and we invite you to come and explore their art and talk about how you feel about graffiti along the canal. Conversations with passers by are helping to shape the work we are doing to tackle the anti-social tagging and spray painting along the canal.
This kind of graffiti is ruining our heritage along the canal, causing damage to old stone walls and bridges as well as making the area feel unwelcoming and unsafe for users. Our team is working with young people to divert them away from this and create safe spaces where inspiring work can be created for everyone to enjoy.
Creating the festival means it's our job to showcase all the wonderful work that goes on throughout the year by the local communities, charities, artists and businesses. They all work together to improve the environment along our city centre waterways and create opportunities for individuals and the wider community within our wonderful waterfront.
Life along the canal is emerging bright. From the wonderful heritage to the work carried out by local communities such as those at Oddy Locks, the River Clean Up Crew at Open Source Arts and Canal Connections who work to tidy up and maintain our canal and river, as well as the curators of our UK waterways, the Canal & River Trust, along with local businesses. We are very excited to be showing off all the improvements that have been made over the last 12 months.
So come and explore and tell us what you think, and help the canal community keep working together to create a wonderful place to be enjoyed all year long by all our visitors.
The Leeds and Liverpool Canal Society will be at Granary Wharf on Sunday 25th June to talk about their work to preserve and celebrate the heritage of the amazing Leeds and Liverpool Canal, which is crucial to our city's success during the industrial revolution.
Thank you to Leeds Civic Trust for supporting our creative work along the canal this year to engage the wider community in our canal and waterway.