Angel Canal Festival Over The Years

Wonderful People

Wonderful People

An older woman in a dark dress and hat sits in a chair

Crystal Hale, 1915-1999, is recognised as the founder of the festival in 1986. She was a tireless campaigner, notably for City Road Basin to be saved from redevelopment, and is credited with preventing its loss.

A middle aged lady in red festival sweatshirt seated on a lock gate beam, smiling, holding radio

Beryl Windsor, who died in 2019 was recognised with the British Empire Medal for her indefatigable work leading the management committee of the festival until 2018. For many years Beryl and a small group of colleagues kept the festival going and growing. The festival was taken over by the Canal and River Trust in 2019.

A man in a top had and dark suit addresses a crowd

Costumed characters of all sorts have graced the paving stones of the towpath over the years. This was 2005.

Group of festival volunteers posing in red sweatshirts

On the day, a large team of volunteers is required. Here are some of them posing for the camera in 2014.

Man and woman in dark costumes studded with jewels

The Pearly King and Queen are a long tradition. They are often seen at the festival, kitted out in magnificent style. 2012.

Two men dressed as huge angels on the towpath in voluminous white dresses

Would it be an Angel festival without angels? These huge costumed characters delighted the crowds in 2013.

A man in a space suit stands beside a boat, saluting

In 2008, the festival had a visitor from outer space!

A group of people hold a green plaque in memory of Crystal Hale

In 2011 this plaque was installed to remember the late Crystal Hale, founder of the festival.

A man in a dark costume and top had walks towards the camera as two police offers follow

Hello Hello Hello! What's going on here? On the towpath in 2009.

A young man laughs and pulls a face at his coffee stall on a boat

Coffee from a boat in 2018. The cheerful vendor. Note in particular the sign of changing times "Cash is dead". The stall only accepted contactless card payments. When the festival started in 1986 that would have seemed incredible.

Two red-shirted volunteers with a character whose costume defies description

In 2009 this bizarre costume appears at the festival. We don't know what it was made of!

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