History of the River Avon
The River Avon has long been navigable with a series of locks and weirs being built around 1635. Furthermore, navigation is possible within 4miles of Warwick. Despite abandoning navigation of the upper reaches above Evesham in 1877, however, the lower portion never really closed.
Restoration of the Lower Avon, as it became known, began in 1950 and finished in 1962. In addition, the re-opening of the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother two years later prompted the considerably more difficult restoration of the Upper Avon. Moreover, under the leadership of David Hutchings MBE, the 17 miles of navigation with nine new locks were completed in 1974 using mostly volunteers and famously prison labour.
Photo: Alveston Weir in Warwickshire on the River Avon by Tony Green.