Shropshire canals trust launches fundraiser

Telford | News | Published:

It might be on wheels, but it is still the first time a canal boat has made it to the centre of Shrewsbury since the 1930s.

The boat was taken to The Square by Shrewsbury and Newport Canals Trust in a bid to promote fundraising for a restoration project. The trust is running a host of events over the next few months and chairman Bernie Jones said it was a great way to get people involved.

He said: "It is a publicity thing, really. It is the first time since the canal closed so it is the first time a boat has been in the centre. It's a bit of a cheat as it's on wheels – but it is true.

"Our colleagues at Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust have lent us costumes and we are all in Victorian wear.

"We are using it to attract attention and hand out flyers about our events. We have three themes to promote – the history and the coming of the canals, life on the canals and restoration of our canals."

The trust has been given a £1 million lottery-funded grant to help with the restoration of Thomas Telford's Wappenshall Wharf near Wellington.

It has also raised £150,000 towards the project but still needs to raise a further £350,000 by the end of the year. The first fundraiser of the year is an exhibition from today until April 17 at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery.

On Saturday Barrie Trinder will speak about Wappenshall Wharf, while Neil Clarke will speak about the canals of east Shropshire on February 6.

On March 19 Tony Lewery will speak about the restoration of the fly boat Saturn, and on April 9 Bernie Jones will speak about the trust and ongoing work.

All talks will be held at 2.30pm in the Vaughan Suite in the museum.

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