HUNDREDS of people learned about Ellesmere’s canal history after the success of a specially-commissioned play last weekend.

Fizzgigs, Ellesmere’s community’s arts group, put on ‘Bridging the Gap’ to a delighted audience of more than 400 people who enjoyed the 60-minute play with music at the canal maintenance yard.

Mirjana Garland, chairman of Fizzgigs and the musical director, said the show was a delight for all.

She added: “It has been wonderful to bring together so many people from the wider community, especially to involve Alison Utting as director, well-known locally for her dramatic skills.”

The script was written by talented local writer Shaun Higgins with songs by Mirjana, and it focused on how The Llangollen Canal began, particularly its route through Ellesmere.

Kate Westgate, Fizzgigs member and one of the organisers of the event, added: “At the height of the canal mania, local landowners were desperate for the canal to go through their land.

“And all in pursuit of profit.

“Most people have heard of Thomas Telford – fewer of a rather reserved engineer called William Jessop yet he was responsible for the initial route-planning.

“The contrast between these two men lay at the heart of the show.”

The story that unfolded was done in a light-hearted way with audience participation, lively songs and some of Fizzgigs’ trademark incredible props.

There was much to see and do with historic narrowboat Saturn open to view, with more than 50 people taking tours of the unique buildings.

Suzie Gale, from Coedpoeth said: “What an interesting place.

“Our guide was so knowledgeable but in an accessible way – this has been a great afternoon.”

Kate added: “We are grateful for the support of the media and art partnership which is working with the Canal & River Trust to rejuvenate the historic maintenance yard.”

Details of all Fizzgigs activities can be found at

Find out about events at the maintenance yard by searching ‘Ellesmere Yard’ on Facebook and on Twitter and Instagram @EllesmereYard.