Festival's 'shipmates'

Waterside Festival is lucky to be sited around Aylesbury’s revitalised canalside public space and with the day of festivity fast approaching, take a moment to appreciate the support received from Waterside Festival supporters.

Before last year’s festival splashed onto the scene, Aylesbury’s canal basin was a  little-known gem, but now it begins a new chapter in its history with a diverse mix of parties offering a selection of stalls.

Coinciding with Heritage Open Weekend, what better way to celebrate the canal basin’s rich 200-year history than visit the Holy Trinity Church at its stand? Discover photographs and stories of the area through the decades,  while enjoying homemade cakes.

Continue the stroll through Aylesbury’s waterway heritage by joining The Aylesbury Society and Aylesbury Town Council for an historical walk along the towpath. Hear the history of the canal and while away an hour listening to tales of old, when the waterways were full of cargo coming in and agricultural products going out. Aylesbury’s canal basin is now a haven for walkers and wildlife.

Bringing the canalside space into the present, visit Bucks New University at its Aylesbury campus, which will be open all day to offer a range of course-related activities and guided tours.

Speak to lecturers and students about the courses available in Aylesbury and at the university’s other sites in High Wycombe and Uxbridge, or relax in the newly-opened Basin Café just inside the rear entrance – perfect for watching the world go by during the festival’s main events.

Ian Harper, Chief Executive of Bucks New University’s Aylesbury Campus, said: ‘We enjoy a fantastic canalside location and are delighted to be part of this year’s Waterside Festival, where we will offer people the chance to step inside our campus and see what we do.

‘The festival comes at an exciting time for us as we have added a range of new facilities, including simulation wards for nursing students which are similar to those you would find in hospitals and hubs to support small and medium-sized digital businesses to develop and grow.

‘We will also have details of courses people can study through Bucks New University, and visitors will be able to step into the cockpit in a flight simulator and enjoy an immersive experience in our “Simulate Your Future” mobile unit, showing how a patient is treated following an accident.

‘The festival is a great way to celebrate Aylesbury’s canal heritage and we’re excited to help build on the success of last year’s inaugural event and show how our campus is growing.’

Andrew Henderson, of Holy Trinity Church, added: ‘It is great to celebrate our links with the Waterside area, past and present – and to help build a strong community spirit.’

The festival has thanked all its supporters who are providing a variety of stalls and activities. It sees it as a ‘fantastic opportunity for festival-goers to see all of the hard work partners do for the local community’.

There are backstage tours of Aylesbury Waterside Theatre (book here), a tombola from the Buckinghamshire WI as well as garden games supplied by Buckinghamshire Disability Service (BuDS) and Aylesbury Town Council, which features a merry-go-round, swing boats, hopscotch and more.

The festival is a non-profit community event sponsored by Aylesbury Garden Town and co-ordinated by Aylesbury Town Centre Partnership. For more information and to see a full list of Waterside Festival supporters, visit: www.watersidefestival.org