THE Hive and The River Weaver Navigation Society have teamed up to produce the first ever UK waterway's boat rally to take in three free events across three towns.

On Friday, August 17, canal boats will be gathering at The King’s Lock in Middlewich for the reception and launch party for The Salt Town's Rally – a brand new Cheshire waterways event.

Jim Mole, chairman of the River Weaver Navigation Society, said: “We are delighted to support this exciting event to promote the importance of waterways in Mid Cheshire. The potential for further connection to the system via the Restoration of Runcorn Locks and the Winsford Link will be explained during the Rally.”

After a weekend of festivities in Middlewich, the cavalcade of boats will head for Northwich via The Anderton Lift where a stage will be erected in Baron's Quay on Thursday 23rd where artists and bands on stage will entertain boaters and locals from midday.

On Friday, August 24, the boats depart for Winsford where they will form a parade upon arrival and enjoy a reception at The Red Lion.

The Marina island will be alive with festivities and pageantry whilst the Offcut Festival on the parkway behind the Red Lion, now in its 5th year the festival runs throughout the bank holiday weekend.

Damon Horrill said: “The idea of the three towns working together on projects such as this have been long discussed given the shared salt mining heritage and waterways linking Middlewich, Winsford, Northwich.

“The Salt Town’s Rally sets out to highlight the fantastic waterways that link the three towns whilst campaigning for a boat lift in Winsford to raise boats from the end of the Weaver to the Middlewich branch of the Shropshire Union Canal so as to create The Weaver Valley Ring of water which will become the most popular stretch of water in the country for leisure boaters and tourists.

“The waterways that brought industrial prosperity to Cheshire once before are ready to bring prosperity once again in the new age of leisure tourism on and around the waterways connecting the three towns.”