Two transport events in one

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This is, except for a small update, the article written by the webteam that has been published in July's Gossip magazines, free publications which are distributed in Whitchurch and Market Drayton and many parts of Audlem.

After the spectacular success of Audlem's Party on the Park on 6th July, the next major event, well two events on the same day, sees the Audlem Transport Festival and the Historic Narrow Boat Gathering on Sunday 28th July.

Parade

The ASET (Audlem Special Events Team) Transport Festival sees a parade of vintage, veteran and fascinating vehicles from Hankelow to Audlem before all park up on the Playing Field where visitors and proud vehicle owners can mix and mingle.

The event has now been running for over a decade and is hugely popular. This year is no exception with all available places snapped up months ago. It is free entry and a lovely day out for the family.

Gathering

Down on the canal, literally a few yards away, over thirty, and maybe near forty historic narrow boats will have gathered from lock 12 northwards. Organised by Peter and Christine Silvester of Audlem Mill Shop, this gathering has developed in just a few years into one of the largest in the country. The boats include pairs, including some that have rarely met up for many years, and it is fascinating to wander along the towpath to see these brightly painted vessels and chat to their owners.

To see even more of the canal, hop onto Audlem Lass, the 12-berth boat that plies the canal between Lock 15 and the Overwater Marina a mile or so north of Audlem. It's a run by a team of local volunteers from Easter until late October to raise money for the lifeboat charity, raising about £4,000 a year for the RNLI through passenger donations.

There's a cafe at the marina and around 230 narrow boats are based there. The marina is just four years old and is set in beautiful countryside and has proved to be a major boost to the local area since its opening.

Mill Shop

Back on Audlem Wharf, if you are interested in transport or crafts, a visit to the Audlem Mill canal shop is a must with a vast array of books, paintings, models and much more on the ground floor and crafts galore on the first floor. There's a book on sale that contains sketches of the narrow boats that were at last year's gathering by local artist Sheila M Webster.

As always, with events in Audlem, check on AudlemOnline (www.audlem.org) for details and local news which is published every day of the year.

New businesses

Try and take time for a wander around the village which is seeing new businesses opening. This month saw the arrival of The Pinfold, a beautiful cafe in a courtyard just opposite the car park in Cheshire Street. This welcome addition to village facilities will soon be joined by HodgePodge, a 'paint your own pottery' shop which promises to be an attraction to visitors and locals alike. And in Shropshire Street, a new 'Boat Share' business has just opened so, if you have liked what you have seen on the canal, you can take that first step to owning a narrow boat.