Expecting a wet and dull Sunday morning I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by blue skies and warm temperatures, so having found out the day before that the Brighouse Canal and Music festival was taking place this weekend I packed my trusty Nikon camera and set out on the short drive into Brighouse.
After parking up just outside the town I ambled into the centre of Brighouse, first crossing the bridge over the River Calder before passing the regular Sunday morning car boot sale in one of the council car parks (not as busy as I expected).
As I entered the town I could see many of the food stalls were already up and operating, music was coming from across the street (a young lady on a transit trailer singing to a backing track) and so I decided that the first priority was a cappuccino at a local café.
Suitably replenished I made my way to the canal and followed it to the canal basin where a number of canal boats were moored and several were waiting to pass through the lock. People were lined up waiting for short cruises along the canal often with excited young children, many of whom, had probably never been on a narrow boat before.
The canal basin was a hive of activity with a couple of hundred people just wandering about looking admiringly at some of the beautifully maintained narrow boats as well as watching the boats go through the lock. Although I have seen this many times I never lose that excitement as I watch the lock empty and the boat disappear from view and then emerge through the lock gates at the other end.
As I wandered the streets of the town I came across a plethora of fast food stands and others selling local produce (very impressive cheese and venison stalls). But the one that really caught my eye* was one selling a variety of “hand crafted wood products” and in particular the most upmarket bird feed contraption I have ever seen. I have to say it was just stunning (see photo). Other products included a piece of wood you placed over the neck of a wine bottle and then hung glasses from it (see photo), very classy and very cool.
As I walked down one of the back streets I came across a miniature railway with a real steam engine, which presumably was designed for the kids to have rides on. However, from what I saw it seemed to be middle aged men who were enjoying the ride!
So after a couple of hours I left the festival with people still pouring in to enjoy the weather, the wonderful narrow boats and the excellent food on offer. But there was one last joy to behold, a line up of old cars, beautifully polished and in pristine condition, they ranged from old MGs, a huge American Cadillac to the most magnificent 1974 VW Beetle which is one of my all time favourite cars.
I left a happy man and congratulations to the organisers for putting on such an excellent festival.
*Born Crafty, 37 Kennedy Avenue, Huddersfield HD2 2HH (email@example.com)
Please note I have no association or commercial interest in this company, I was just very impressed by the products.