Thousands wave at canal flotilla in Kirkintilloch

10th Anniversary of Forth and Clyde canal opening. Flotilla of boats leaving from Kirkintilloch launched Provost Gotts 24.9.11 Picture by Jamie Forbes

10th Anniversary of Forth and Clyde canal opening. Flotilla of boats leaving from Kirkintilloch launched Provost Gotts 24.9.11 Picture by Jamie Forbes

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FAMILIES enjoyed glorious sunshine and an unusual sight at the Forth and Clyde Canal on Saturday – an 82-strong flotilla of boats.

The flotilla was the biggest ever to set sail on the Forth and Clyde Canal – part of celebrations to mark the 10th anniversary of the re-opening of the waterway.

Setting off from Speirs Wharf in Glasgow on Saturday morning, the boats passed along the canal and at Kirkintilloch were heralded in by bagpipers.

Tom Lawton of the Forth and Clyde Canal Society said: “It was fabulous that the crowds came out for what was a wonderful day.

“There were about a hundred at the Leisuredrome sports centre bridge in Bishopbriggs, about the same at Cadder and people lined all along the towpath when we came into Kirkintilloch. There were thousands there.

“As the provost said in his speech, it proves the point that Kirkintilloch is the canal capital of Scotland.”

The boats, whose eventual destination was The Falkirk Wheel, were waved off by crowds at Townhead Bridge (pictured below).

East Dunbartonshire Provost Eric Gotts said: “I was really delighted to welcome this celebratory fleet at Kirkintilloch Marina on the Forth and Clyde Canal.

“The 10th anniversary of the re-opening of the Forth and Clyde Canal coincides with the 800th anniversary of Kirkintilloch as a Barony Burgh. This is a very appropriate coincidence as the canal has played an important role in the history of Kirkintilloch.

“It was great to see so many people on the canal banks waving to the boats.”

See this week’s Herald for more pictures...