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News article created on 30 July 2013

Horsing around at the National Waterways Museum

The National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port is preparing to celebrate the early days of canals with its annual 'Horses at Work' day on Sunday 11 August.

This year there is something for everyone, from family activities and pony rides to an in-depth look at the historic skills of horseboating. John Inch, museum manager

Working horses will be visiting the museum to give a spectacular demonstration of horse-drawn canal boating – as well as old style horse and carts clip-clopping around the extensive museum grounds.

Visitors will also be able to see a harnessing demonstration, and join special tours of the site which highlight the horsepowered history of canals. Horse drawn cart rides will be running on the day taking visitors on a loop of the waterfront and for youngsters there will be pony rides available from the Parkgate Pony Sanctuary. This year there is also the opportunity to see the new sculpture recently unveiled at the museum, celebrating the contribution of horses to the early canal history.

Family activities

The horseboating demonstration, which will be running twice during the day, will see horseboating expert Sue Day and her specially trained horse towing the Boat Museum Society’s 1926 oil tanker Gifford along the canal and back again.

General manager John Inch said: “Horses at Work has really carved out a place in our museum calendar over the last few years, and each year we refine the event a little more. This year there is something for everyone, from family activities and pony rides to an in-depth look at the historic skills of horseboating.

“The museum will be brought to life and there will be plenty for visitors to see and do – both experts and families will have a great day out at this atmospheric event.”