Whitchurch Re-Enacts Cheshire Cheese Canalboat Run

Whitchurch Re-Enacts Cheshire Cheese Canalboat Run

The early 1900’s era when Whitchurch was the epicentre of Cheshire farmhouse cheese production recently brought to life again with the Whitchurch Better Welcome project re-enacting a ‘cheese run’.

The ‘cheese run’ depicted the time when cheese sold at the town’s cheese fair  was brought to the canal-side and loaded onto canal boats for distribution mainly to Manchester and Ellesmere Port some 65 miles away.

The re-enactment used Saturn, a former Shropshire Union Canal Carrying Company Fly Boat originally used for carrying cheese and lovingly restored by the Saturn Trust. The boat was pulled by boat horse, with the re-enactment incorporating local children from John Talbot’s Technology College dressed in period costume as working canal children with a team of helpers assisting with the loading of the cheese which was then taken on the boat from the Whitchurch arm of the Llangollen Canal to Blackoe.

Commenting, Jane Bebbington, coordinator of the project for Better Welcome said, “It was a fantastic day. I would like the thank everyone involved who made the day a success. The Whitchurch Cheese Fair which was previously held every three weeks was the biggest in the country in the early 1900’s. In the 1920’s, an average of 1,411 tons of cheese were produced for sale annually”.

Footage of the event will be made into a short film charting the history of Whitchurch’s Cheshire farmhouse cheese history which can be seen at Whitchurch Heritage Centre.

Date Posted: 7th October 2009

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