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Warm up at winter ale, cider & sausage festival

Wilts & Berks Canal Trust will be holding its second annual Winter Ale, Cider and Sausage Festival at Melksham Assembly Hall next month.

The day festival will be held on Saturday 12th November from 12pm to 4pm, followed by live music in a separate event in the evening.

Dave Maloney, organiser and chair of the charity’s Melksham, Calne and Chippenham branch said, “Last year’s Winter Ale Festival was our first but had a good turnout despite atrocious weather, showing that local people enjoy the opportunity to try a wider variety of ales.

“We will once again provide winter beers which are slightly stronger than usual. We will have a selection of ales from independent breweries, so they should be different from those usually available in the local pubs. There will also be a couple of ciders.”

Tickets cost £5 and, if bought in advance, will include one free drink. They are available from Melksham Tourist Information Centre, The Bell at Lacock, or  from Dave on 07809 374754.

They will also be available on the day on the door. Every ticket purchased will include a free commemorative glass sponsored by The Bell at Lacock, which has made the trust its charity of the year for 2016.

Dave added, “Restoring heritage canals is thirsty work, so in the best tradition of the original navvies, modern day volunteers tend to appreciate a good pint of ale, and would like to share their enthusiasm with local people.

“Newman’s, Melksham’s independent local butcher, has again kindly agreed to help us by supplying a variety of good quality sausages, which will make tasty accompaniments to the ales.

“There will also be traditional pub games, so it should be a delicious and entertaining day!”

Following the afternoon there will be live music in the evening with bouzouki singer-songwriter Antoine Architeuthis, ‘30’s jazz and swing band Dr Zebo’s Wheezy Club, and Irish country duo Out on Bail.

The evening starts at 7pm and tickets are £8 in advance or £10 on the door.  Alternatively a combined day and evening ticket costs £11 in advance – a saving of £4 over the price on the door.

Dave added, “All money raised will be used to help in the local restoration and promotion of the Wilts & Berks Canal.”

For more information on the Trust, visit www.melkshamwaterway.org.uk or www.wbct.org.uk