The countdown for the Whaley Water Weekend, W3, is on. Organisers are putting the final plans into place, and with summer temperatures – up to 24 celsius – forecast, there is a mood of happy anticipation. Chair Barrie Rudd says: “We believe we have the best ever W3 in prospect. It all starts on Friday night (7 June) with something for all ages, then we have two wonderful days ahead. Enjoy! And come early to beat the rush for a free boat trip.”
Friday night launch with treble treats
W3 – the Whaley Water Weekend – launches on Friday 7 June with a treble of treats, ahead of the main events round the canal basin on Saturday and Sunday. There will be something for every age on Friday – acoustic music for mums and dads, some louder music for younger people, and the fairground in full swing with the price of all rides reduced to £1 for the evening.
The acoustic evening is in the Mechanics’ Institute from 7.30pm to midnight, with a licensed bar. Tony Boden and Club Acoustic of Buxton host the evening. Performers from the various bands will be offered Michael Wilde’s beer made at his Whaley Bridge Brewery to ‘wet their whistles’.
Meanwhile at the canal-side stage, Dave Webster, who runs the jujitsu class in Whaley Bridge, is putting on a rock concert for youngsters. Two Buxton bands, Rose Between Thorns and Illegal Regals, have been booked. W3’s famous Whaleyburgers, locally sourced, will be on sale.
Across from the canal basin at Tom Brad’s Croft, the fairground will be a draw for families and younger children, with the attraction of £1 rides for one night only.
Saturday and Sunday – it’s all happening
Saturday and Sunday see the main part of the Water Weekend, with events starting at 10am each day. The committee has worked hard to bring a mixed programme, with the headliners of free boat trips, lots more music, Powderkegs morris dancers, Punch and Judy, the fairground and meerkats. These cute animals have become a favourite in recent years, coming with the petting zoo. The fairground operates both days, with rides at regular prices.
There’s a choice of boats for the free trips, starting each day at 10am: Rachael, Phoenix or Comet on the short ‘trip to the canal junction, and New Horizons for the longer Heritage trip, with commentary, from the canal basin to Bugsworth. The record number of passengers at a W3 weekend is 1,400 (the equivalent of one in six of Whaley Bridge’s population).
On Saturday only, you can also try canoeing with Peak Paddlers. Saturday also sees the first fringe event: members of Whaley Bridge’s Pen Club will be reading excerpts from their writings in Footsteps drop-in centre.
Music plays a main part on Saturday, with Acoustic Collective who have been coming to W3 for years. Singer-guitarist George Borowski, who has played with Meatloaf and Sad Café returns. Local group Air Lock takes W3 into the evening, to be followed by another local band Pajama Factory, and headliners Aziz Ibrahim and Al Fairhurst from Manchester making Whaley Bridge rock until 10pm. .
Sunday is largely a repeat of Saturday events. Whaley Bridge Band appears, as do Chinese Marbles from Macclesfield – a seven piece ‘family band’ – making their first appearance at W3.
More information on whaleywaterweekend.co.uk