11 July 2023
IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch took an active part in the festival with committee member John Herson taking people on a fascinating walk around Chester’s historic waterways. John talked about the waterways from their inception – and why Chester became an important Roman port – through the industrial ages until the present day. This year the festival had a special focus on Chester’s waterways and the Rows.
You can see a recording by Stuart Shuttleworth on this topic by using this link: Discovering Chester’s Industrial Past: A Walk Along the Canal Corridor – YouTube
The canal walk took the walkers along a part of the Shropshire Union Canal that was originally called the Chester Canal. They went past the Northgate Locks, and arrived at the canal basin, Tower Wharf and Taylor’s Boatyard. From there the short Dee Branch Canal links the canal system to the tidal River Dee and the old Port of Chester. It is this part of Chester’s waterways that formed the core of an application in April 2021 to have the city’s waterways designated a ‘heritage port’.
The proposal was accepted the first Canal and River System Heritage Port and is recognised by the Maritime Heritage Trust, National Ships and European Maritime Heritage. The ultimate designation by Historic England is now awaited. The proposal has been accepted as the first Canal and River System Heritage Port and is recognised by the Maritime Heritage Trust, National Historic Ships and European Maritime Heritage. The ultimate designation by Historic England is now awaited.