The Montgomery Canal Restoration Appeal is being managed by the Appeal Steering Group
on behalf of:-
The Friends of the Montgomery Canal, registered charity number 510448.
Shropshire Union Canal Society, registered charity number 245875.
IWA, Shrewsbury District & North Wales branch, registered charity number 212342
Restore the Montgomery Canal!
Plans are being drawn for Schoolhouse Bridge and Shropshire Council is being helpful.
If we can raise the money, the bridge could be replaced in a year or two. That
would be a fantastic step forward, and could be the best news for the restoration
in twenty years. No-
What can you do to help?
Donate: follow the ‘Local Giving’ link above.
Run a fund-
Join us when we take the appeal to the canalside or an event – more below.
Promote the appeal online: do you use social media? Or could you help us with
an occasional e-
Offer your special skill: we will be keen to try to make use of it.
Join a restoration work party or one of the adoption groups
We will be delighted to help you to help the Montgomery Canal.
Montgomery Canal Forum hears about current restoration and plans for the future
Over seventy people attended the Montgomery Canal Forum in Oswestry’s Memorial Hall on 21st May to hear report of developments in the restoration of the canal and plans for the future.
The meeting was opened by Cllr Steve Charmley, Deputy Leader of Shropshire Council
who spoke of the value of the canal in economic and social terms, its health and
A presentation of the recent Inland Waterways Association report Waterways in Progress,
by a video introduced by Association Vice-
Two more presentations showed what had been achieved under the current Lottery-
These were followed by a presentation of the plans for rebuilding Schoolhouse Bridge near Crickheath, the last road blockage in Shropshire. Roger Bravey, who leads the rebuild team, showed how the project had developed so as to reconcile the need for a great input from volunteers, to keep the cost down, with the wish to do the work in the shortest time and to minimise the impact on those who use the road.
The last presentation was a tribute to waterway journalist and photographer Harry Arnold, a founder member of the Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust, who had recorded the revival of the canal for more than fifty years.
Michael Limbrey said, “Waterways in Progress is a recent report which shows from other restorations across the country that restoring a canal can bring benefits to a community even before the restoration is finished. We have so many examples on the Montgomery Canal including two popular pubs on the Shropshire section, thriving canoe groups at Queen's Head and Welshpool and no less than three different boat trips – in Maesbury, Llanymynech and Welshpool. In addition, the canal is host to popular events like the recent Montgomery Canal Triathlon and Welshpool’s Transport Festival in June.
“The current National Lottery Heritage Fund programme, managed through the canal’s owners, the Canal & River Trust, is providing new nature reserves and another length of canal which in a couple of years’ time will mean an extra 1.3 miles added to the national waterway system. It was very valuable to see how much is being achieved by volunteers of the regular Shropshire Union Canal Society regular work party team as part of this programme.
“We hope to be rebuilding Schoolhouse Bridge next year. This will be one of the most significant volunteer projects on the Montgomery Canal for some time. Volunteers have been raising funds for the bridge through the Restore the Montgomery Canal! appeal over the last two years or so and I’m delighted that over £500 was raised through generous donations at the meeting.
“All this brings nearer the time when boats from across the country can return to
Canal & River Trust Directors visit the restoration.
There was a very positive visit recently from Wales & South West CRT director Richard Thomas and West Midlands ditto Adnan Saif, with CRT Trustee Nigel Annett CBE, formerly of Welsh Water, plus several CRT officers.
At Welshpool Council Chamber we were joined by Cllr Malcolm Douglass, Cllr Phil Pitched (Town and PCC) and Town Clerk Robert Robinson. John Dodwell gave an initial presentation about the restoration. The party then went to Town Lock for a short trip on the volunteer group’s workboat ‘Mantis’ before moving on to the Wern Reserve where Stuart Moodie told the party about the role of the reserves. Then on to Williams Bridge and Vyrnwy Aqueduct – it is in the CRT programme, but some years off, so we were able to emphasise its importance, the perilous state of the aqueduct and the ferocity of the river.
The party then moved to Llanymynech Wharf where there was a presentation of the ‘Life on the Monty’ video – with the help of Chris Smith of CMS Video. Cllr Dilys Gaskill joined us there.
After a quick lunch a to drive to SUCS at Redwith where Fred Barratt had arranged a display and David Carter showed the works. Then to Schoolhouse Bridge via Crickheath where Roger Bravey joined us to explain the bridge design. The final ecological survey was due to have taken place that morning. Roger was able to discuss technical aspects with Peter Walker Head of technical Support, CRT.
Aboard Mantis at Welshpool
With Stuart Moodie at the Wern
BBC TV Midlands Today filming Stuart Moodie (CRT Ecologist) operating an underwater drone in new Aston Nature Reserve
Prolific growth of underwater plant ‘Luronium Natans’ in New Aston Reserve. Picture taken by the underwater drone. This highly species was nurtured by Chester Zoo and is now well established in the new Aston reserve.
Welshpool Transport Festival
Nearly £500 was raised for the Appeal at the recent Welshpool Transport Festival.
This came from a mixture of donations (all eligible for Gift Aid tax relief, thus
adding 25% from the Government to what people kindly donated -
Braunston Historic Boats Festival
Another nearly £500 was raised the following weekend at the Braunston Historic Boats Festival in Northamptonshire, including Gift Aid. This sum included a generous £200 donation from Braunston Marina, the Festival organisers, derived from the car parking fees.
Coracle racing at
Welshpool Transport Festival
John Dodwell (Chair, Montgomery Canal Partnership) (2nd from right) and Fred Barrett (from the Shropshire Union Canal Society) (2nd from left) receiving a £200 cheque from Ivor Caplan (chair, Inland Waterways Association) (1st right) at the 2019 annual Braunston Historic Boats Festival on June 29. The money was generously donated by Tim Coughlan (1st left) of Braunston Marina, who organise the Event.