It promises to be a fabulous day in Audlem with the Transport Festival attracting a record number of vehicle entries, 320 in all, with others having to be turned down because the Festival is at capacity. The parade starts from Hankelow at 12.30 and passes through Audlem towards 1.00pm with the cars, tractors, commercials, motor bikes etc then parking on the playing field. Admission is free. There is a bucket collection which helps ASET, the Audlem Special Events Team, defray the considerable costs they have to bear.
Skywards, a real thrill will be the Spitfire display over the village this afternoon at 2.30 (subject to weather conditions) with the distinctive sound of the Merlin engine by Rolls-Royce. Designed by Potteries man R. J. Mitchell, the first Spitfire flew in 1938 and thousands fought and helped win the Battle of Britain in 1940. The Spitfire was the only Allied fighter in production at the outbreak of war that was still in production at the end of the Second World War. It remained in operation until 1955 and an amazing 20,351 were built. Be prepared for the display from 2.00pm onwards with the flight scheduled for 2.30pm. A helicopter will also be on the playing field, and will land at 10.30 this morning.
Amongst the narrow boats that have already arrived in Audlem for the Festival is Hyperion, a Grand Union Company Star class boat built by Harland & Woolf at Woolwich in the 1930s. Thea is a conversion from a boat built at Northwich, also in the 1930s, while regular visitors to Audlem Wharf who saw the opening of the Weaver Way in June will be delighted to hear that Saturn, the famous and beautifully restored 'Shroppie Fly' boat, is once again in Audlem this weekend for the Festival. So do have a look down on the Wharf.
Audlem Online has heard of visitors from far and wide arriving this weekend. Narrow boats have been moored along the canal as far as the Moss Hall aquaduct over the Weaver. One boat owner said it was his third visit this year – for the Open Gardens, Proms on the Park and now the Transport Festival. We have also heard that visitors from Brisbane, Australia will be here, making a special diversion from their tour of Britain to visit Audlem.
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