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Pirates, Singing Sailors and Mermaids Set Sail at National Waterways Museum's Best-Ever Summer Events

Ahoy there! Pirates, sailors, and Mermaid Aurora dock at Ellesmere Port’s National Waterways Museum from May 17-19, kicking off its best summer events yet.

A music group wearing old fashioned clothing playing folk instruments and singing

Hosted by us, the Mutiny at the Port Pirate Weekender kicks off on Friday 17 May, 7pm, with live music from the Old Time Sailors. The group, who are a support act for Madness later this summer, promise an evening of riotous shanty songs, dancing and foot-stomping folk music.

What's on?

On Saturday 18 May, Conwy Pirates swing into action for two days of thrilling high seas shenanigans, including cannon and pistol firing, treasure hunts, boat trips, pirate costume parades – and of course, rum will be served in the Toll House tavern!

Over May school half term, there will be a chance to examine underwater wildlife, with What Lies Beneath on Wednesday 29 May and the following day look upwards at moths and water birds in What Flies Above.

British history and the fascinating development of the local port are at the heart of many of the special events this summer. Located at the junction of the Manchester Ship Canal and the Shropshire Union Canal, the museum is home to working steam engines in the Power Hall and an incredible array of historic boats.

At Medical Marvels on Sunday 2 June, the British Army Medical Living History Group will set up wartime dressing stations, operating theatres, and a chance to climb aboard a jeep ambulance. A heritage gardener will demonstrate how to create herbal remedies and visitors can try taster sessions in reiki and crystal therapy.

Also in June, the museum will host a Football Retrospective (9 June), World War Two event (16 June), Art on the Cut (23 June) and a Vintage Vehicle Weekend (29-30 June). In July, visitors can enjoy historic Canal Town and Chocolate Day (7 July), Homefront at Play (14 July), Traditional Village Fete and Dog Show (21 July) and World War One (28 July). This is followed in August with a Viking Day (4 August), Canal Town and Horse Boating (11 August), Yarn Fest (18 August) and a Bank Holiday Beer Festival (24-26 August).

Best ever events programme

Chris Done, our visitor services manager, said: “The 2024 summer events programme is our best-ever. We’re delighted to be staging a packed programme of fantastic fun activities and attractions for the whole family. From wartime re-enactments and traction engines to medicine and horse boating, they offer a brilliant education opportunity for young people as well as appealing to adult enthusiasts.

“On many special Sundays through the season, we give visitors an extra exciting, themed attraction on top of their museum visit. All these special days are included in our annual pass, but we also offer day tickets for one-off visits.”

Adult tickets cost £12.95, with discounts for children, seniors and families. The museum is open six days a week (closed Monday) until 14 July, and then every day during the school summer holidays until 1 September. We would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in volunteering at the museum.

Last Edited: 26 April 2024

photo of a location on the canals
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