The Shropshire Union Canal Society (SUCS) is currently restoring the Montgomery Canal’s dry section near Crickheath and is looking for local people interested in becoming trustees of its governing body as it prepares for the next phase towards Pant.
The Shropshire Union Canal network stretches in the east from the West Midlands to the Mersey and in the west reaches into Wales along the Montgomery and Llangollen canals. It includes the Pontcysyllte Aquaduct – a world heritage site.
For over 50 years the Society has worked to maintain, improve and restore the network for all. A wide variety of activities has been undertaken from rebuilding locks and restoring disused channel to towpath and mooring improvements. Much of the canal, which many regard as one of the jewels in the canal network is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and includes over 120 listed structures.
Currently, the main focus of the charity’s work is restoring the channel of the Montgomery Canal between Lloyd’s Mill and Crickheath Wharf. This restoration will connect a further 1.2 miles of navigable section to the national network. It is expected to be complete by the end of 2022 when the canal is handed over to the Canal & River Trust for a water test. Work will then continue south towards Pant until the restoration reaches Llanymynech where the channel is already in water.
Tom Fulda who lives in Pant became a trustee himself earlier this year and is keen to welcome new trustees. The Society is a registered charity and trustees are voluntary. They act in the charity’s best interests, manage resources responsibly and act with reasonable care and skill.
“We are looking to recruit up to three new trustees to join Council, our governing body, and are particularly keen to represent the widest range of interests,” he says.
“Whether you have experience of running organisations, an enthusiasm for publicity and events, an interest in civil engineering or are young talent looking to gain experience in the charity sector, we welcome applications from all backgrounds. We’ll willingly offer training and mentoring if this is required.”
Given the focus of current work is within Shropshire, Tom believes these roles would be ideally suited to local people in Pant and the surrounding area, but as Council meetings are held virtually, travel is not required so trustees could live anywhere.
Tom says: “If you are interested in becoming a trustee please go to the Society’s website where there are details of how to apply or, if you would like an informal chat first then simply email your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch with you.”
A number of organisations are involved with the restoration of the Montgomery Canal and it is receiving a lot of attention at present. The Board of Growing Mid Wales has submitted a proposal for developments in the Welsh section and the reconstruction of Schoolhouse Bridge between Pant and Crickheath is scheduled for next year.