Nelson’s basin set to re-open in full
THE REMAINING PART of the historic canal basin at Nelson’s Wharf on the Grand Union is to reopen.
The first 50 metres of the arm at Stockton which once served Nelson’s Cement Works was reopened when the wharf was reinstated for Willow Wren’s new training centre in 2014, but a further 200 metres has remained buried since the factory was demolished in the mid-1960s. Willow Wren Training has been granted planning approval to reopen this part after studies revealed an ecological net gain and no ground pollutants preventing reconnection.
Some 16,000 cubic metres of concrete, bricks and soil will need to be removed and a new footbridge, where the old rail bridge used to sit, will carry a public footpath. It is hoped that much of the brick infrastructure is repairable, reducing the modern piling required. In one area the canalside coping stones can be seen still in place.
When restored and services installed, Willow Wren Training will offer quiet rural moorings for up to eight boats and a base for its training fleet.