Shropshire Star

Shropshire's many canal projects to star in Shrewsbury exhibition this weekend

Shropshire's canals are to go under the spotlight at an exhibition in Shrewsbury this weekend.

Holiday boaters leaving Tyrley top lock on the Shropshire Union Canal near Market Drayton

Arranged and hosted by the Inland Waterways Association, an exhibition on Shropshire's canals will go on display this Saturday.

Visitors will have the chance to learn about the many ongoing projects protecting and restoring canals in the county and beyond.

The Local Canals Exhibition will also feature displays by three canal groups, the Shropshire Union Canal Society, the Shrewsbury and Newport Canals Trust and the Friends of the Montgomery Canal.

One of the organisers, Alan Wilding of the local branch of the Inland Waterways Association, said: “Shrewsbury is within 20 miles of many canal towns and villages such as Ellesmere, Whitchurch, Market Drayton, Newport, Queens Head and Welshpool and there is easy access to several spectacular canals – the Llangollen, the Shropshire Union, the Montgomery and the un-restored Shrewsbury & Newport Canal.

“Volunteer restorers have recently added more navigable miles to the Montgomery Canal near the Welsh border while, near Telford, the east canal basin at Wappenshall, on the route of the Shrewsbury & Newport Canal has been re-watered alongside a former warehouse which is undergoing major redevelopment as a café."

Co-organiser, Susan Wilding, added: “We hope the Local Canals Exhibition will provide an opportunity for visitors to meet people who are currently enjoying these waterways and to discover how to get involved. It’s a great chance to find out about the many miles already in regular leisure use and what is being done to restore even more navigation.

“Previously, we have found that many Shrewsbury residents are surprised to learn that there was once a canal in the town."

The original terminus of the Shrewsbury canal was under the Buttermarket in Howard Street, behind the town's railway station.

The route ran alongside the recently restored Flax Mill, through Sundorne, alongside Attingham before joining the Newport Canal at Wappenshall Junction.

From Wappenshall, the canal ran through Newport and joined the Shropshire Union Canal at Norbury Junction.

The exhibition will also provide an opportunity for visitors to get involved with canal groups, and learn about being a volunteer.

The free event will take place from 10.30am to 3.30pm at Abbey Station, Shrewsbury.