Community 17.01.19

From coal route to community space: Sheffield & Tinsley Canal turns 200

As the Sheffield & Tinsley Canal turns 200, the Canal & River Trust is planning a series of events and activities to mark its historical and current-day importance to the area, starting with a birthday bash next month.

On 22 February 1819 a whopping 60,000 people gathered to watch the first coal barges travel along the brand new Sheffield Canal, so exactly two centuries later on Friday 22 February 2019, Canal & River Trust is recreating the spectacle for all to enjoy.

For the day, one of the charity’s workboats will be renamed The Industry, after the first boat that travelled along the new canal.  It will depart from Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park moorings at 12.30pm, with Worsbrough Brass on board to provide music en route. A parade of vessels will join at Attercliffe, arriving into Victoria Quays around 1.30pm.

Entertainment and activities start from 11am at Victoria Quays and go on to late in the evening:

  • crafts and games in the cosy igloo
  • be transported back in time on a whirlwind adventure with Rusticus Arts’ giant storybook and live actors
  • get your dancing shoes on at the silent disco (afternoon sessions for kids and evening disco for adults from 9pm with local legend Dive Pharaoh)
  • fire dancing by Inferno Ash

Tom Wright, development and engagement manager at Canal & River Trust, said: “Sheffield & Tinsley Canal is a wonderful place for residents and visitors to enjoy, whether on the water or the towpath, but many people do not know its history.

“The birthday bash is the perfect start to the celebrations, recreating the spectacular flotilla and telling some of the stories from the heyday of the canal, and demonstrating how the canal remains as important to the local community today, albeit in different ways.

“Throughout the bicentenary year there will be a host of events and activities so everyone can find out how this important waterway came into being and how Canal & River Trust is caring for it so that generations to come can continue to benefit from spending time on or by the water.”

To find out more about the Sheffield & Tinsley Canal’s history and for details on upcoming bicentenary events, visit: