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Nostalgia for canal restoration

By Sue Austin | Oswestry | Mid Wales entertainment | Published: | Last Updated:

It has been a labour of love for almost half a century, volunteers spending countless hours working to restore a disused canal.

Narrowboats now run on much of the Montgomery Canal, thanks to the hard work of generations of volunteers and work is ongoing to complete the restoration of the 35 mile waterway between Newtown in mid Wales and the junction with the Llangollen Canal near Ellesmere.

A fascinating insight into the enormous task that has been undertake is the subject on an exhibition that is currently on display at Oswestry Library.

The photographic exhibition organised by the Canal and River Trust charity will remain in the library in Arthur Street for the rest of January.

A touring exhibition, it has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the Montgomery Canal restoration project.

It attracted hundreds of viewers when it was displayed in Welshpool and Newtown, the two other towns on the canal.

Sylvia Edwards, Montgomery Canal community development officer, said the exhibition brought together a unique record of the canal from 1969 to 2017, as seen through the eyes of several generations of waterway-lovers.

“This exhibition combines photographs from workshops, archives, events and from the current restoration of the canal being carried out by the Shropshire Union Canal Society volunteers.

“For many people, it will be a trip down memory lane and a reminder of enjoyable times and restoration achievements so far.”

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The exhibition is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9.30am to 5.30pm, and Wednesday 9.30am to 6pm. On Saturday it will open 9.30am to 4pm.

It is part of a larger project lining photography and film with the canal's restoration. Those looking to book a group or school for free photographic workshops or to be involved in the making of a short film about the heritage and wildlife of the canal, can email sylvia.edwards@canalrivertrust.org.uk to register interest.

Restoration work received a boost last year with a grant from the Lottery to the Canal and River Trust. This is being used with the help of both volunteer and professional workers to carry on bring back sections of the canal into use including the contruction of a 'winding' point that allows boats to turn around.

Work is also underway on a new section of the nature reserve at Aston Locks, Queens Head near Oswestry.

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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