So I was determined to go along this year. I was also keen to see how they were making use of the new staging area built on Sandygate as part of the canal-side development.
Although it takes place at the weekend it doesn’t run over to the bank holiday for some reason so Sunday was the only day we could go – along with two lively grandchildren.
So down Sandygate to the main hub; food-stalls, live music from the flamboyant Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band and rat-pack style music from The Boogie Bill Roberts Trio, free canoe rides, art & craft workshops, henna hand-painting and lots more.
We didn’t spend much time at the Inn on the Wharf end of the festival which is where the rides and other play activities were based. (Organisers please note that The Inn on the Wharf wan’t up to scratch with out of order ladies toilets and no chilled bottles of beer on a day that they wished they could have every weekend).
We’d hoped to go for a ride on the canal taxi but it was only a one-way trip with long queues. So no chance to re-create that Titanic moment from the last time we did it in 2015.
Keeping a wary eye on the kids’ whereabouts I found lots of interesting photo opportunities but not enough time to capture it all. Here are some of the pictures I took.
NB I wish I’d taken some of the diverse food stalls but was too busy eating some Lancashire hotpot with mushy peas and red cabbage!
I hope that when they get older she’ll teach them the highway code.
I had a look online and it seemed interesting but then I noticed it was vegetarian.
Now I know my friend isn’t averse to eating on the wrong side of the tracks from time to time as it were but I’m a dedicated omnivore.
However I decided it was worth a try and as we thought at least I could have an omelette. Well no as it turned out. They don’t do omelettes (although they have other dishes with eggs in them). Too much trouble they said. So I had to settle for a potato hash thing with an egg on top. It was OK but I left half of it, it just wasn’t appetising enough for me.
The Illy Italian coffee was very good though, with a very smooth and rounded flavour.
However the service was a bit hit and miss. I ordered a ginger IPA but they forgot about it and even when reminded it took a while to come to the table.
They also allowed dogs in which I object to. (When I was visiting Keswick I had the same problem. Thank goodness for Costa coffee and Wetherspoons which don’t allow them)
The building is the old Todmorden Industrial & Cooperative society and has scrubbed tables and an interesting collection of canned beers with fancy titles (and prices to match) as well as bottled ones. They also sell seconds crockery and there were some nice pieces although I couldn’t see the prices.
Outside and next door is the Kava cafe – yet another vegan and vegetarian venue. This was a quick visit, I had another appointment to go to and I was parked on a 60 minute spot. However Todmorden seems to have a free parking policy on all its public car parks, no wonder they were all full.
My friend took several photos so I’m sure they’ll appear on his blog soon when I’ll make a link to it.
In the meantime you can check out this stretch of the canal on the Pennine Waterways website.
I will probably go back for another visit providing I can find a “proper cafe” – although I’d go back to the Co-op for its coffee. If I’d wanted veggie I’d have gone to Hebden Bridge again, not far up the road (or canal.)
Not the only stupid/lazy driver that day.
Young guy parked in child & family spot, someone else doing a Clarkson, but this was the worst.