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Lancaster Canal bicentenary celebrated on walls of Kendal's Westmorland Shopping Centre

An exhibition of 42 illustrations from ‘The Lanky’, the world’s first canal comic book, will be launched at Kendal’s Westmorland Shopping Centre this Friday as part of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival.

Artwork from 'The Lanky' by Oliver East

We are promoting this event with the Lancaster Canal Regeneration Partnership. The book's illustrations are featured on the walls of the shopping centre by comic book creator, artist Oliver East.

Both he and our local canal community project manager Carrie House will be on hand this Friday at 4pm in the Shopping Centre to talk about the ground-breaking comic book, funded by a £15,000 Arts Council National Lottery grant, and the amazing opportunities to get involved with the Lancaster Canal, which celebrates its bicentenary this year.

Comic strip artwork from 'The Lanky' by Oliver East

Carrie joined the Trust earlier this year on a two-year community engagement project, funded as part of a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of £1.3million which is helping finance vital repairs to Grade II-listed Stainton Aqueduct, near Sedgwick.

As the Lancaster Canal celebrates its bicentenary this year, Carrie's role has been to shine a light on cultural and leisure opportunities offered by the waterway's fascinating historic structures and beautiful natural environment.

Over the summer she has organised a wide range of community activities from bat walks to volunteer training in dry stone wall repairs. Future plans include a series of history projects, including oral history, and new interpretation along the towpath between Stainton and Sedgwick.

Carrie said: “The Lanky is a great piece of artwork and really helps people to engage with the unique history and heritage of the Lancaster Canal. Oliver launched the comic book at the same Lakes International Festival a couple of years ago and we are delighted to bring the whole comic story to life on the walls of the shopping centre for this year's festival."

“We hope people will come and visit us on Friday or get in touch if they would like to get involved with volunteering on the canal. The artwork will be in place until the end of October, so there is plenty of opportunity to see the wonderful pictures.”

The exhibition is free for anyone to visit during shopping centre opening hours. (Monday – Saturday 8:30am-6pm and Sunday 9:30am-4:30pm.).

If you are interested in volunteering on the Lancaster Canal, please email Carrie House at [email protected].

For more information about visiting the canal, please visit or try the three-mile Lancaster Canal walk.

Learn more about the Lake International Comic Art Festival:

Two women eat lunch next to the canal

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Last Edited: 10 October 2019

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