Montgomery Canal Forum meeting

Montgomery Canal

A public meeting is being held in Oswestry to look at plans for the future of the Montgomery Canal restoration.

Below Bridge 88 in Pant next to the Montgomery Canal

The event, to be opened by Steve Charmley, Deputy Leader of Shropshire Council, will look at:

• progress of the Restore the Montgomery Canal! appeal (supported by Timothy West and Prunella Scales) – more information is available at www.RestoreTheMontgomeryCanal.uk
• the new Waterways in Progress report (introduced by David Suchet) which highlights the economic, social and environmental benefits achieved while restoration is still continuing
• progress of the National Lottery Heritage Fund works on the Montgomery Canal including the new nature reserves at Aston Locks
• plans for the future.

The meeting will take place a couple of days after the popular Montgomery Canal Triathlon on Saturday 18 May, which sees participants walking along the towpath through Pant and Llanymynech, as well as completing sections by bike and canoe.

There will be an opportunity to discuss any issues concerning the future of the Montgomery Canal and what it can contribute to the area.

Currently, plans are being drawn up for Schoolhouse Bridge between Pant and Crickheath, and Shropshire Council is being very supportive. Funds are being collected and organisers say that the bridge could be replaced in a year or two, which would be a fantastic step forward, and could be the best news for the restoration in twenty years.

The Forum is a public meeting, open to anyone interested in the restoration and development of the Montgomery Canal for present and future generations, so all are welcome.

The Montgomery Canal Forum meeting takes place on Tuesday 21st May 2019 and will be held in Oswestry Memorial Hall, Smithfield St, Oswestry, SY11 2EG at 2.30pm. Parking is available in the Central Car Park opposite – easiest access into town is from Mile End A5/A483 roundabout.

The Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust/Ymddiriedolaeth Adfer Camlas Maldwyn is a non-profit distributing company limited by guarantee and registered charity.

Llanymynech Wharf Visitor Centre needs you!

Llanymynech Wharf on the Montgomery Canal

Llanymynech Wharf Visitor Centre will be opening for the 2019 season on Easter Sunday, 21 April and is looking to recruit new volunteers to help out at this popular local tourist attraction.

Visitors to the centre can look forward to half-hour boat trips along a beautiful stretch of the Montgomery Canal on a 12-seater trip boat, the ‘George Watson Buck’. (The boat is named after the engineer who rescued and repaired the Vyrnwy aqueduct after it was threatened with collapse in the early 1800s). The boat is accessible to people who use wheelchairs. In the Visitor Centre light refreshments are served and there are canal-related gifts and books for sale as well as a selection of plants.

The centre will be open every Sunday and Bank Holiday until the end of September from 1.30 to 4.30. During August the centre will also be open at the same times each Friday. Children go free on the boat on Bank Holidays and on August Fridays. The Centre and the boat are all run by a team of volunteers.

“We always welcome new volunteers,” says Joan Zorn from the centre. “We would like to see more local people getting involved with the centre and if you would like to help, come and talk to us one Sunday afternoon or contact Liz on 01691 828165. You’d only have to commit to one or two Sunday afternoons as a minimum. We do have a lot of fun!”

During the year, there are a number of special events which take place on Bank Holidays such as Strawberry Cream Teas in August. Keep an eye on Pant.Today for information about other events.

The Visitor Centre is housed in the former stables of the Sun Inn which once stood just to the North of the canal bridge carrying the A483. The stables were restored by British Waterways (now Canal & River Trust) around 2003/4. This was at the same time as the 600m stretch of canal in Llanymynech was cleared, restored and reopened.

For further information, why not visit www.llanylime.co.uk

Enjoy a walk from Pant to Llanymynech

Walk from Pant to Llanymynech

In the first of what we hope will be a series of articles about walks in and around the village, we have put together a walk from Pant to Llanymynech, taking in Llanymynech Rocks and other local places of interest.

Walk from Pant to Llanymynech

As all of us who live here know, this is a  lovely part of the country with lots of great options for walking routes. The walk we have prepared takes in two countries, four pubs, Offa’s Dyke Way and the Montgomery Canal!

This walk is a superb way of exploring the Parish of Llanymynech and Pant whilst at the same time seeing some of the natural beauty of the area, its industrial heritage and local amenities. The walk starts at The Cross Guns Inn in Pant and is a distance of about three to five miles, depending on detours. As with all walks, please ensure you are fully equipped before you set off, as this is a guide only and some sections are off the footpath.

Click here to see the walk in full.

We hope to add more walks to the Pant Today website over the coming months and we would really welcome any suggestions. If you have an idea for a walk you would like us to try, or if you have put together your own route, please do contact us. We can’t guarantee that all walks will make it onto the website, but we will do our best to include as many as possible.

Welshpool event focuses on Montgomery Canal

Horse drawn canal boat

The Canal & River Trust charity is organising a weekend of fun waterway activities at Welshpool Wharf, as part of the Welshpool Transport Festival on 23-24 June.

Horse drawn canal boatAlthough taking place in Welshpool, the event is open to all and is taking place alongside a music festival – Music for the Monty – which is seeking to raise funds for and publicity about the restoration of the section of canal through Pant to Llanymynech.

Free canoeing and coracle taster sessions will be on offer on the Saturday (10am-5pm) and paddle boarding taster sessions on the Sunday (10am-2pm). Narrowboat trips, also free courtesy of the Heulwen Trust, will be available throughout the weekend.

These activities and other community events are being promoted by the Canal & River Trust, which manages 2,000 miles of the nation’s waterways, as part of the Heritage Lottery-funded project to restore the Montgomery Canal.

Music will keep everything swinging along throughout the weekend and a special charity concert, in aid of the Montgomery Canal restoration, will be held on Saturday night in the Assembly Room at Welshpool Town Hall. Advance tickets at the special price of £8.00 each are available through the website http://restorethemontgomerycanal.uk/tickets.html or £10 on the door.

CanoeingAlso, on both days will be a rare opportunity to enjoy a horse-drawn boat trip along this section of the Montgomery Canal. For the first time in years, this unique mode of transport will take visitors along the Welsh stretch of the waterway. Trips are heavily subsidised and cost only £2 per person. Tickets are available on the day from the bottom of Church Street Car Park near the canalside – postcode SY21 7DD.

Sylvia Edwards, Montgomery Canal community development officer with the Trust, explained: “This special weekend offers visitors a marvellous chance to try out a range of exciting activities on water. Research proves people feel happier and healthier by water so it’s a great event for introducing visitors and local residents to opportunities for enjoying leisure time on the beautiful waterway.

“For people with a more competitive streak, we are hosting a coracle relay race at 2pm on the Saturday. This is free to enter. No previous experience is necessary as participants will have chance to practise in the morning up to midday. We hope lots of supporters will come down for the race to cheer on the competitors.”

Teams of four need to have registered their coracle race entry by 21 June by emailing Sylvia.Edwards@canalrivertrust.org.uk or calling 07787 508 635.

This weekend of community activities are part of a much larger HLF-funded £4 million project which involves the creation of a new three-hectare wildlife habitat within Aston Locks Nature Reserve and navigation restored to 1¼ miles of the canal, from Maesbury to Crickheath.

A dedicated turning point for narrowboats, known as a ‘winding hole’, is also being created, enabling boats to return to the area for the first time since 1936 when the canal was closed. The project includes access improvements to the canal and nearly five miles of towpath upgraded. The Canal & River Trust works with 15 partner organisations which make up the Montgomery Canal Partnership. The Partnership aims to restore the canal fully within the next decade as a haven for people and nature.

For more information about the Montgomery Canal restoration why not visit www.restorethemontgomerycanal.uk.

Photo credit: Cracker photo by Dave Barker at Bywater Cruises.