Can you help volunteers extend the restoration towards the Welsh border?
Friday, June 2nd saw the long-awaited official re-opening of the Montgomery Canal navigation from Gronwen Bridge, near Maesbury Marsh, to the new basin at Crickheath Wharf. Some 60 official guests and a similar number of interested members of the public watched as North Shropshire MP Helen Morgan and National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Julian Glover cut the ceremonial ribbon across the canal from the bow of the steam launch Ictus.
At a reception on the wharf, Helen Morgan MP and Shropshire Council leader Lezley Picton praised the work of the volunteers who had spent eight years on this length of the restoration and unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion.
Meanwhile, an outstanding fundraising effort has achieved the £1 million needed to rebuild Schoolhouse Bridge, the last remaining road bridge obstacle confronting the restoration between Crickheath and the Welsh border at Llanymynech. Contractors Beaver Bridges have excavated the infilled canal and begun work to reinstate an arched road bridge over the navigation. Completion is expected by Autumn 2023.
Volunteers from the Shropshire Union Canal Society (SUCS) have already started the next stage of the restoration from Crickheath Basin towards Schoolhouse Bridge, and the Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust and its partners in the Restore the Montgomery Canal! appeal group have launched a fresh appeal for funds to enable this effort to continue.
IWA Shrewsbury District & North Wales Branch is a member of the Restore the Montgomery Canal! group, along with SUCS and the Friends of the Montgomery Canal.
The fundraising push aims to raise £250,000 to fund the next stage towards Schoolhouse Bridge and beyond, and is again being endorsed by popular actors and TV personalities Timothy West and Prunella Scales. The appeal has already raised £50,000 towards its target and is now asking for support from well-wishers among the public.
The appeal leaflet will be included with IWA member communications as well as titles in the waterways press. Well-wishers can also donate online at www.localgiving.org/charity/restorethemontgomerycanal