Tag Archives: Shropshire Union Canal

Canal News – September 13th &14th – Looking Busy!

Canal News – September 13th &14th

Looking Busy!


Black Country Boating Festival
13 – 14 Sep 2014
10:00 am – 11:30 pm
Bumble-Hole Nature Reserve, Windmill End, Netherton, DY2

Windmill End, Dudley

Windmill End, Dudley

An annual boating festival held in the picturesque Bumble-Hole Nature Reserve.
An annual boating festival held at Bumble Hole Nature Reserve, Windmill End, Netherton. The event has been running for almost 30 years, and is run entirely by volunteers. It has raised over £100,000 for charity over its history.
There are more than 200 boat, trade and charity stalls, boaters’ competitions, a real ale bar, a funfair and regular boat trips.
The festival is open from 10am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday, admission to the site is free and there is plenty of onsite car parking.
There are moorings for visitors attending by boat, and caravans and campers are welcome, but if you may need to book a spot.
For more information visit: http://www.bcbf.com/index.html

Heritage Open Days – Explore the West Midlands
13 – 14 Sep 2014
10:00 am – 5:00 pm


Birmingham Canal Main Line

Birmingham Canal Main Line

Galton Valley Canal Heritage Centre
Brasshouse Lane
West Midlands
B66 1BA

This September budding heritage buffs and canal enthusiasts will be able to get up close to the nation’s waterway heritage and find out more about the history of the canals in the West Midlands and Black Country.
As part of the events for Heritage Open Days 2014 the charity, Canal & River Trust, working in partnership with Sandwell Council and the Dudley Canal Trust, is offering free entry to two of the region’s best loved canal side destinations.
Starting at 10am on Saturday 13 September visitors to Galton Valley in Smethwick will be able to see the old Smethwick Pumping Station and the old steam engines which were used to pump water around the Birmingham Mail Line Canal. Meeting near Brasshouse Lane (B66 1DU) eager explorers will have the chance to take part in a nature walk and see how working boat people used to live and work at the height of the Industrial Revolution.
On Sunday 14 September from 10:30am visitors can explore the famous Dudley Tunnel & Limestone Mines, travel by boat through the tunnels and discover the wonder of the limestone caverns. They’ll also get the opportunity to enjoy a music and light show in the famous Singing Cavern and see the fossilised remains of creatures and plants which were once in the sea bed.
Free entry
More information
Booking for the Dudley Tunnel boat trip is essential. For more information please email
http://www.dudleycanaltrust.org.uk or call 0121 557 6265.

The Floating Market visits Ellesmere
12 – 14 Sep 2014
9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Banbury Floating Market

Floating Market

Enjoy a day out at the floating market when it visits Ellesmere on its national tour.
The floating market brings together a colourful collection of trading boats selling everything from herbal medicines to arts and crafts and narrowboat accessories.
While you’re there make a day out of it and explore the picturesque Shropshire Union Canal.
Trading boats
The RCTA is still taking bookings from trading boats. For more information and to book your place at one of these events visit http://www.canaltraders.org.uk/markets.html.
If you’ve got any questions about the upcoming markets please contact michael@canaltraders.org.uk.

Warwick Canal Fun Weekend
13 – 14 Sep 2014
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
The Saltisford Canal Trust
Birmingham Road
CV34 5RJ

Canal Festivities

Canal Festivities

A series of fun events organised by the Saltisford Canal Trust as part of the Heritage Open Weekend 2014.
A series of fun packed canal heritage events for the Heritage Open Weekend, at the canal-side gardens of the Saltisford Canal Trust in the centre of Warwick.
Attractions include music, refreshments, boat trips, tombola, craft stalls, model boats and a sensory garden. There will also be the chance to meet some alpacas and dwarf goats!
Admission is free, see http://tinyurl.com/mdnpnu2 for further details.

Salt Fest at Droitwich Spa
13 – 14 Sep 2014
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Near WR9 9PA

Droitwich Canals, Vines Park, Droitwich

Droitwich Canals, Vines Park, Droitwich

Stay for the weekend on Droitwich Canal in Vines Park for the town’s Salt Fest event which celebrates Droitwich Spa past and present.
Find out more about the town’s salt heritage; visit the Roman camp and the many stalls and activities; enjoy the real ale bar and packed programme of entertainment.
For further information please call Tel: 01386 565355

Canal News – Banbury Floating Market, Linocut exhibition at Audlem Mill, IWA Shrewsbury District Lock Wind

Canal News

Banbury Floating Market

Banbury Floating Market

Banbury Floating Market

01 – 03 Aug 2014
10:00 am – 6:00 pm
There will be plenty to see and do (and buy) at the Banbury Floating Market.
Come along to see a number of canal boats trading in all sorts of canalware, arts and crafts, gifts, souvenirs and more.
To be held on the towpath between Tom Rolt Bridge and Museum Bridge, adjacent to Spiceball Park.

Linocut exhibition at Audlem Mill

14 Jul – 03 Aug 2014
11:00 am – 4:30 pm
The Wharf

An atmospheric exhibition of linocut art by celebrated canal artist Eric Gaskell will be held at Audlem Mill alongside the Shropshire Union Canal from 14 July to 3 August.
The show features works that look at a variety of canal-based motifs; the lock gates, the tumbling water, townscapes and landscape, the boats. All the prints are taken from limited edition sets, printed using either multi-block or reduction methods.
Eric Gaskell was born in Wigan, and studied painting/printmaking at Wigan and Sunderland. He left art college in 1980, winning two scholarships to New York and Istanbul. He has been creating art, illustration and design for more than 32 years and has exhibited widely in one-man and group shows in the UK, Europe and North America. His work has been published and is in many private collections. His small book “Canal Linocuts” (available from http://www.canalbookshop.co.uk) has become a cult book for collectors.
For two days during the linocut exhibition (26/27 July), Audlem Mill hosts the annual Gathering of Historic Boats. About 50 ex-working boats will be moored in the bottom three pounds of the Audlem flight of fifteen locks, and on the Sunday afternoon, 27 July, there is also a display of 300 vintage and classic vehicles on the village playing field, close to the canal wharf. All these events are free entry.

IWA Shrewsbury District Lock Wind

02 – 03 Aug 2014
Bottom Lock
Hurlstone Junction
Llangollen/Shropshire Union Canal
12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Come and watch, or join in the fun, of this traditional lock wind.
In the beautiful setting of Hurlstone Junction on the Llangollen and Shropshire Union Canals, the IWA Shrewsbury District are holding a lock wind.



This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.  Attribution: Roger Kidd

Canal News – Audlem Mill and Foxton Locks

New Charity LogoCanal News

Canal art at Audlem Mill
Audlem Mill
The Wharf

PaintingsCanal paintings at Audlem Mill

06 Apr – 04 May 2014
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Every year, Audlem Mill in Cheshire hosts an exhibition of what is probably now the largest number of canal paintings assembled anywhere.
The 2014 Canal Art Exhibition from 6 April to 4 May, organised in conjunction with the Guild of Waterway Artists, will include paintings, and some photographs, by many of the best canal artists in the country.
The 2013 exhibition featured at least 160 works. Most of the Guild members were represented, including painters Sarah Pressland, Dusty Miller, Helen Harding, Sylvia Hankin, Lesley Pearson, Penny Taylor-Beardow and Louise Moore (also photographs), linoprint arist Eric Gaskell, and photographer Chris Nugent, as well as paintings by others such as Tony Lewery (perhaps better known for being an expert on Rose & Castles painting), Dave Holloway, and Malcom Davies and local artists including Sheila M Webster.
The exhibition always attracts many hundreds of visitors from all across the country.
The Canal Art Exhibition is just one of many events at Audlem Mill during 2014 which will be of interest to boaters. There will be exhibitions of needlework and canal related items, and there is also the gathering of about 40 historic narrow boats on 26/27 July, organised by Audlem Mill as part of the village’s Festival of Transport, which also has around 300 old vehicles on the second day – completely free days out.
Audlem Mill, one of the oldest and best known canal shops, is at Audlem Wharf, close to bridge 78 on the Shropshire Union Canal. For visitors by boat, there are moorings right outside the Mill.

Folk in the Museum at Foxton Locks Canal Museum
Middle Lock
Gumley Road
Market Harborough
LE16 7RT

FoxtonFoxton Locks open day

06 Apr 2014
7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Free event
Folk in the Museum on Sunday 6th April
Free event, please take part or sit back and enjoy

For more information please call Tel: 0116 2792 657

Canal News – WRG volunteers spend a dirty weekend on the Shrewsbury and Newport Canals

WRG Header

PRESS RELEASE: WRG volunteers spend a dirty weekend on the Shrewsbury and Newport Canals

Date: 15th January 2014

Last weekend over a dozen volunteers from Waterway Recovery Group’s (WRG) Regional Group London WRG spent two days helping the Shrewsbury and Newport Canals Trust carry out restoration work at Meretown Lock.

meretown lock

The main task for the weekend involved removing infill from Meretown Lock. The lock had been completely filled in, and volunteers removed around 3ft of topsoil from the entire length of the chamber, using an excavator and two dumpers. The volunteers then transported the materials 90 metres to build a dam at the far end of the length of canal, above the lock, that is going to be restored and re-watered. As well as lots of soil and some rubble, the chamber excavation job produced an interesting assortment of old iron – parts of the paddle gear including a rack and a distinctive Shropshire Union type jackhead, both of the top stop-plank grooves, and parts of the gate reinforcing ironwork – plus many reusable coping stones.

The second task of the weekend consisted of digging a 100 metre long trench (by hand and with an excavator) to install a water supply pipe, which will be used with a pump, that’s currently keeping the length of the canal between Meretown Lock and Newport town centre in water, to re-water the new length of canal.


Volunteers also removed vegetation and trees that were encroaching on the towpath and the offside canal bank. Click here to see photos from the weekend.

Martin Ludgate, London WRG’s site leader for the weekend, said ‘it’s quite a distance for us to travel up from London, but it is well worth it to help a canal restoration that’s starting to make some real progress!”.

WRG volunteers will be returning in the summer for a weeklong canal camp from 16th-23rd August to continue clearing the chamber and start working on the section above the lock that is going to be re-watered. Visit the WRG website to find out more.


Canal News – Beeston Iron Lock, Shropshire Union Canal, November 17th

Canal News

Beeston Iron Lock, ShropshireUnionCanal

Come to our open day to see first-hand what it takes to keep this unique iron lock working.

4479Beeston Iron Lock, ShropshireUnionCanal


17 Nov 2013
10:00am – 16:00pm


Beeston Iron Lock Shropshire Union Canal Beeston CW6 9NH

 As part of this year’s restoration and repair work, the top end mitre gates at Beeston Iron Lock are being replaced in order to keep the historic structure in working order. The gates date back to 1978 and are of composite design – the balance beam and gates leaves are steel and the head and heel posts are timber. The replacement gates will use a traditional timber planked/framed style. 

We’re inviting you to come and visit us to find out how we’re restoring this magnificent structure. As we’re draining the lock, you’ll have the chance to walk inside the lock and talk to our maintenance teams about what it takes to keep it in working order. You’ll find out all about the history of the canal and be able to see the parts of it that are usually under water.

The canal at Beeston has undergone significant alteration since its original construction in the 1770s. When it was first built, there was a staircase double lock at Beeston located on the side of the slipway and bywash. The lock caused the canal company many problems due to the unstable ground conditions and in 1787 the structure collapsed. The line of the canal was altered and the staircase was replaced with two locks, one near the original site and one half a mile to the east, known today as Stone Lock.

There’s no need to book in advance. Please just turn up on the day and don’t forget your wellies!

4480 Beeston Iron Lock, ShropshireUnionCanal

Canal News – Audlem Festival of Transport

Canal News

Audlem Festival of Transport

678Audlem,  Cheshire

 27 – 28 Jul 2013

12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Historical boats and vintage cars will bring history to life at the Audlem Festival of Transport.

Audlem WharfAudlem Wharf, Shropshire Union Canal, Cheshire

The waiting area for Lock No 13 outside the Shroppie Fly pub is very limited, especially in busy times. This is a favourite gongoozling place, especially on a bank holiday when all mooring spots are taken and several boats want to tie up to wait for this lock but there’s only room for two! Maybe we should campaign for bad ale so everyone goes away !!  © Copyright Roger Kidd and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 This festival has been getting bigger and better by the year.

This summer, more than 300 vintage cars, vans, trucks, buses are expected to join the festival parade from Hankelow to Audlem. The parade starts at 12 noon on Hankelow Green when it will proceed to Audlem through the village to the playing field off Cheshire Street. Here the entrants will be parked for viewing by the public for the remainder of the day.

A record number of vintage canal boats are expected at the Audlem Warf next to Audlem Mill and the Shroppie Fly.

Shroppie FlyThe Shroppie Fly and Audlem Mill, Shropshire Union Canal, Cheshire

The Shroppie Fly was built as a warehouse which closed in 1970. Conversion to a pub, with a mock narrow boat as a bar, was completed in 1974. The crane on the wharf was “salvaged” from a former railway. The history of the mill, built in 1916 can be seen at Link  © Copyright Roger Kidd and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Canal News – Round the MIdlands, March 2013

Canal News round the Midlands, March 2013

Canal Br 66Trent and Mersey Canal in Rugeley, Staffordshire

Approaching Leather Lane Bridge, No 66. Visitor moorings here are good for a visit to Morrison’s supermarket nearby off to the left.  © Copyright Roger Kidd and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.



Boating MontgomeryBoating on the Montgomery Canal

Discovery and invention at Gloucester Waterways Museum as part of National Science and Engineering Week

15 – 24 Mar 2013
10:00 am – 4:30 pm

Science and engineering is at the heart of Britain‘s waterways and what better time to celebrate the inventions that have contributed to our canals and rivers than National Science and Engineering Week (15-24 March).

Families will be able to follow a specially created science trail around the museum and learn more about the science and engineering behind some of the museum’s mechanical exhibits, including the Fielding Engine, steam crane and the museum’s famous SND No4 steam dredger, restored recently thanks to Heritage Lottery Funding.

Visitors can put their problem-solving skills to good use when they learn how to build a bridge to get a tall ship through as well as understanding more about the intricacies of dredging Gloucester Docks.

Steam Dredger GlosSND No4 Steam dredger at Gloucester Waterways Museum

Forthcoming Canal Attractions – Canal News 4-12-2012

Canal News 4-12-2012


IWA morning walk near Atherstone

06 Dec 2012

10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Join the IWA Lichfield Branch for a morning walk near Atherstone.

A circular walk of about 5½ miles including Baddesley Common, countryside and the Coventry Canal towpath at Atherstone Locks. Rising to the common, then gradual descent to canal and return uphill. There are 3 stiles en route so this walk may not be suitable for larger dogs.

Meet at 10am for a 10.15am start at St Nicholas Church Hall car park. Turn off A5 at the Black Swan roundabout at Grendon (between Tamworth and Atherstone) and follow road up Boot Hill to the church hall. Free parking.

Optional lunch on return at Rose Inn, Baxterley (a short car journey).

Leader: Ed Rule.

Organised by the Inland Waterways Association, Lichfield Branch; non-members welcome. Further information from Margaret Beardsmore on 07581 794111 or email margaret.beardsmore@waterways.org.uk

Coventry Canal Basin, Coventry Canal


Christmas concert at the National Waterways Museum

Father Christmas at the National Waterways Museum Father Christmas at the National Waterways Museum

07 Dec 2012

19:30 pm – 22:00 pm

Join the Wirral Singers in our lovely waterside café for a traditional choral concert of Christmas favourites.

What better way to celebrate the start of the festive season than with a good old sing song in beautiful surroundings?

Book your ticket for the Chistmas Concert at the National Waterways Museum from mid-November.

Visit Santa in Dudley Caverns


Completed in 1792, the Dudley No 1 Canal provided one link between the Stourbridge Canal & the Birmingham Main Line. The tunnel is 2888 metres long, extremely low and narrow, and contains a network of natural caverns, basins and branch lines, serving the old quarries and mines. There are believed to be some 4500 metres of waterways which were at one time connected inside the tunnel, some of which are still accessible. Picture taken from SO 93267 89233.  Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved] © Copyright Martyn B and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

08 – 09 Dec 2012

10:00 am – 17:00 pm

Take a magical illuminated boat trip through Dudley Caverns and meet Santa in his underground grotto.

Carols, mince pies and hot drinks will help everyone get into the Christmas spirit and of course there will be a gift for every child.

Trips depart every half an hour from 10am to 5pm.

Early booking is recommended as places are limited. Contact Dudley Canal Trust for more information. Tel 01384 236 275.

Why take the kids to Lapland to see Santa this Christmas when they can visit him by boat in his underground grotto deep in the Dudley Caverns?

Just imagine your children’s faces as they visit Santa on a magical illuminated journey that truly brings the festive season to life with fun and excitement. It’s a dramatically different way to get into the festive spirit. There’ll be carols, hot drinks, mince pies, seasonal entertainment and, of course………gifts for all the kiddies.

These trips last an hour, and they will run at weekends throughout December.

These events are always very popular and places are limited, so early booking is strongly advised.

8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd & 23rd December 2012


Dudley Canal TunnelDudley Canal Tunnel

Run by the Dudley canal trust, there are/were many caverns created when mining limestone. The trust run daily boat tours.  Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved] © Copyright Ashley Dace and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

   Bedford Street Staircase, Caldon Canal, 8 December

Bedford Street Staircase Lock, Caldon CanalBedford Street Staircase Lock, Caldon Canal

We’re draining three locks on the Bedford Street Staircase on the Caldon Canal and inviting you to take a look around.

We’re draining three of the 17 locks on the Caldon Canal, so that we can carry out a full inspection of the lock chambers and replace the 26 year-old gates at lock 3.

Due to extensive coal mining over the years, the depth of Lock 1 and 2 has increased by a few feet due to mining subsidence, making it essential to keep an eye on the structure of the locks with regular inspections. Engineers will check the brickwork, timber work, lock gates and lock gate furniture such as paddles and gearing.

Once the lock has been drained the team will also be using their heritage skills to carry out other repairs to the brickwork in the lock chamber.

Visit us

On Saturday 8 December we’re inviting you to venture into the deep lock, walk along the lock bottom and ask our experts about their work. You’ll also get the chance to meet the Etruria Boat Group Volunteers, who are bringing along one of their heritage boats.

No pre-booking required.

Location: Bedford Street Staircase Locks 1 & 2, Caldon Canal, Off Lower Bedford Street, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 4BT

Time: 10am – 4pm, last entrance into the lock at 3:30pm

Parking: Etruria Vale Road at Etruria Locks, ST1 4RB. Follow the signs for the Etruria Industrial Museum (over the white bridge)


Canal News – Santa Comes to Audlem Wharf

 Old canalside crane, Audlem.

Outside the “Shroppie Fly”. This former industrial area in the Weaver valley was important for chemicals and salt. Today the traffic is more recreational.  The crane originally stood in the goods shed at the former Audlem railway station. In the early 1970s when the complex of warehouses on Audlem wharf was turned into the Shroppie Fly, the corrugated-iron shed that stood on this brick base was demolished and the old railway crane brought half a mile eastwards to form a feature in the new canalside development. [Thanks – Christopher Hilton]  © Copyright Colin Smith and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Santa Comes to Audlem Wharf

29 Nov 2012

17:30 pm – 21:00 pm

It’s the big Christmas lights switch-on in Audlem and Santa is arriving by boat.

Join in the festive fun at Audlem with the big Christmas lights switch-on, the children’s Santa Parade from Audlem School and last but not least, Father Christmas himself arriving in Audlem Wharf by boat.

The festivities commence at 5pm with Santa set to arrive at 6pm. Late night shopping will follow.

Shropshire Union Canal near Audlem Wharf

  © Copyright David Martin and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


Audlem stands at the intersection of the roads from Nantwich to Market Drayton and Newcastle to Whitchurch. The Shropshire border is just over a mile to the south on the Market Drayton road and about 3 miles to the east on the road to Woore and Newcastle. The parish includes the pretty hamlet of Coxbank situated about one mile to the south between the canal and A529.

The Shropshire Union Canal, with its run of 15 locks, runs through the village. The River Weaver passes by to the west of the village, and flows north through fine open countryside to Nantwich.

Adderley Locks, south of Audlem, Shropshire

There are five locks in the flight at Adderley, altogether altering the water level by thirty-one feet ( about nine and a half metres). This image, taken with some telephoto from Adderley Wharf Bridge (No 69) shows Lock Nos 1 and 2 with Wems Bridge. Massey’s Bridge is just visible in the distance.

The Shropshire Union Canal was opened fully by 1835, engineered by Thomas Telford. © Copyright Roger Kidd and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Canal News – Waterways Beer Festival – Real Ale

I know that it’s ‘Canal news’ posts two days running but i couldn’t miss this one!!

Waterways Beer Festival

12 – 14 Oct 2012

Fans of real ale will be welcomed to the National Waterways Museum in October when it hosts a three day beer festival.

The festival, organised in conjunction with Titanic Brewery, will run from Friday October 12 to Sunday October 14 and will showcase a range of real ales with canal and waterways connections from across the country.

Our first beer festival last year was a great event and we’re looking forwards to repeating it. We’re busy putting together a list of great ale from the canal network, using brewers from canalside locations and classic canal towns.

Roses and Castles

The cabin of a narrowboat at the National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port. It shows the traditional paintwork feature (Roses and Castles) of canal narrow boats. Nobody knows the origins of the tradition but such motifs were used to decorate almost everything on the narrowboats.  © Copyright David Dixon and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

  The Museum has good public transport links, being only a few minutes signposted walk from the railway station and for groups who have organised a designated driver the museum is just off junction 9 of the M53. Moorings for the weekend are available.

Tickets are now on sale at the Museum at just £10 – which gets visitors to the festival entry to the museum, a programme and enough tokens for four pints of real ale.

The festival will be open on Friday 12 from 2pm to 11pm, Saturday 13 from 2pm to 11pm and on Sunday 14 from 2pm to 5pm.

And an added bonus on Sunday 14 October will be the homecoming ceremony of the narrowboat Ilkeston which has been on display at the London Canal Museum since August. She has been showcasing the skills and work of the museum’s Heritage Boatyard.

The Boat Museum at Ellesmere Port

As well as the collection of full-sized preserved canal boats, there were many, detailed working models being demonstrated by enthusiasts on the island between the two sets of Grade II listed locks at the National Waterways Museum.

The National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port

The National Waterways Museum is based in the historic canal docks at Ellesmere Port at the northern extremity of the Shropshire Union Canal where it enters the Manchester Ship Canal at Ellesmere Port.

 The museum site consists of the former canal port which initially linked the Shropshire Union Canal with the River Mersey (before the Ship Canal was built). The canal port consisted of a system of locks, docks and warehouses, together with a pump and engine room all of which have been preserved and used within the museum. The port was designed by Thomas Telford under the direction of William Jessop and continued to function as a working canal port until the 1950s after which it gradually became derelict until it was taken over as “the North West Museum of Inland Navigation”, later “The Boat Museum” in the 1970s. In the 1990s The Waterways Trust took on the management of the National Waterways Museum. Funding from Heritage Lottery Fund helped create new displays and improve visitor facilities.  The museum contains the largest collection of canal boats in the world.  © Copyright David Dixon and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.