A popular pastime for Ellesmere Port residents in a previous century is to be recreated.
The Canal and River Trust and Sustrans, the charity which makes it easier for people to walk and cycle, are turning back the wheels of time to bring back the early 1900s bike carnivals of Ellesmere Port on Sunday, July 9.
Everyone of all ages is invited to ‘bling’ their bikes and join the decorated musical bike ride from the Civic Hall to the National Waterways Museum on South Pier Road.
Music from Ellesmere Port Concert Brass will serenade the riders as they assemble in the Civic Square. They will then be led by Dan Fox and his amazing ‘Boom Box’ with bike-themed music played at full-strength from speakers on Dan’s novelty bike ensuring no one misses the spectacle.
The scenic route will take cyclists of all ages along 1.6 miles of traffic-free canal towpath and roads. They will be welcomed at the museum to enjoy a day of free activities at the Bikes and Boats festival.
Ali Dore, project co-ordinator for Sustrans, explained: “Bike carnivals were first held in 1900 to celebrate the Fall of Mafeking, decorated bikes were cheered along Whitby Road. The carnivals continued until the First World War.
“Over recent months local people, passionate about Ellesmere Port’s rich history, have become involved in our community places project.
“They researched past events and the decorated bike carnivals intrigued everyone, made us smile and inspired this recreation.
“We’re really hoping it could become an annual event and will encourage people to think about using more sustainable modes of transport such as walking and cycling.”
Graham Boxer, head of museums for the Canal and River Trust, said: “The museum is at the heart of Ellesmere Port and tells the stories of local people. We’re delighted to be part of this recreation of a much-loved local event.
“Apparently the weather was excellent that first day so we are hopeful for similar as we welcome the costumed two-wheeled carnival to the museum.”
There will be prizes for the best decorated bikes and free activities, including bicycle-powered smoothie making and bubble blowing. Everyone will also be able to enjoy free entry to the museum.
Supporter Celia Webber, a member of the Sustrans Community Action Group and also a long-time volunteer at the boat museum, said: “For me it’s an absolute dream to get both charitable organisations working together to make this, hopefully, an annual event in the town and something completely different.
“Over 100 years ago cycle parades through Ellesmere Port were a regular feature. Do come and join us and make this a hugely successful event.”
More than 100 people are expected to attend but places are still available by registering via Eventbrite or for more information visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/nwm.