ONE of East Lancashire’s most important industrial heritage sites was transformed into an ‘oasis of loveliness’ as the proud history of our waterways was revived.

That was the verdict of Dianne Hunt, team leader for the Canal and Rivers Trust, who was making her first visit to Burnley’s famed Weavers’ Triangle and the Straight Mile.

The location, a favourite of Prince Charles, once again formed the backdrop for the fourth annual Burnley Canal Festival, with the Inn on the Wharf hosting the main attractions over the bank holiday weekend.

Dianne and her team were on hand to guide thousands of visitors around the Leeds Liverpool Canal during the two-day gathering, which was opened by deputy mayor, Councillor Jeff Sumner.

She told the Lancashire Telegraph: “It’s the first time I’ve been involved in this event and it’s brilliant.

“It’s like a little oasis of loveliness in the middle of an urban town centre and the people we’ve had come along have been great too.”

Up to 30 boats from across East Lancashire were moored up at any one time, with the marinas and locks at Blackburn, Barrowford, Reedley and Lower Park in Barnoldswick fairly represented.

Supporters of the Weavers’ Triangle Visitors Centre, who promote the cotton heartland throughout the spring and summer, were on hand to give insight into the mills and millhands which once formed the backbone of the area. Out front, the entertainment was fittingly traditional, with rousing numbers by Burnley Silver Alliance Band alternating with Brian Gore’s Punch and Judy show, which provided a vintage thrill for a crowd of youngsters.

Outdoor Elements also staged kayak racing on the canal.

Michael Walmsley, the festival’s harbour master, said: “We are just getting stronger every year and have moved things on even from 2014. There’s a lot going on and the public have been great.”

The restored 1947 canal boat Kennet, which belongs to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal Society, was moored beside the pub, offering a floating museum detailing the waterway’s working past.

Greg Lakesman, from Longridge, who attended the festival with his wife Kathy, said: “I wasn’t sure I’d like it before I set out, but it’s been wonderful walking around the boats and displays.”