TIVERTON Canal Company will celebrate its 40th birthday with a joint event of entertainment and celebrations on August's Bank Holiday weekend.

The celebrations, on August 25, will mark 40 years of horse-drawn barge operating along the banks of the Grand Western Canal, in the same year the canal marked its 200th birthday during a weekend of bicentenary celebrations in May.

During the past forty years, two families have walked the towpath, starting in 1974 with Tony Stockwell and his Wife.

Since then, Ray and Pat Brind have taken over the reins with sons, Philip and Ricky and barge horses, Duke, Ernie, Gavin, Jim and Prince to name a few.

Tiverton Canal Co. and Devon County Council are hosting a joint event of entertainment and celebrations on Bank Holiday Monday, with Taffy the Welsh Cob, who became famous when a photograph of him pulling Tivertonian won the Countryfile Calendar in 2012, towing an old tub boat into the Canal Basin - a sight not seen since the last boat worked in the 1920's.

In an interview with Cathy Fisher, Pat Brind spoke of his favourite memories from the past 40 years.

He said: “It's hard to pick just one as there have been so many memorable events and occasions that we've celebrated at the Canal.

“The Queens Jubilee Party at the Canal Basin in June 2012 sticks in my mind as a personal favourite - we had such amazing weather that day. There was a great atmosphere and it was lovely seeing extended families and friends coming together to share picnics and laze around on the banks of the Canal watching the world go by.

“The recent Grand Western Canal bicentenary celebrations were also incredible and cumulated in a Sunday night illuminated boat parade by the Inland Waterways Association. People were in high spirits and whole families turned out to enjoy the spectacle.

“During the last 40 years we've had many events but I've never seen so many people line the banks of the Canal as on that evening.”