Ashby reaches northwards
IT MIGHT ONLY be a short length of canal, but the official opening shown in our picture is a significant one. It represents the first new structure that boaters reach as they continue beyond the former head of navigation of the Ashby Canal and onto the formerly derelict Northern Reaches. Originally running for 31 miles from Marston Junction to near Moira, the canal was progressively closed from the north end by mining subsidence from the 1940s onwards, leaving just 22 miles to Snarestone open in 1966. Following many years of campaigning, the Ashby Canal Trust (a partnership involving the Ashby Canal Association, Leicestershire Council and other groups) has secured a Transport & Works Act Order enabling restoration of the section from Snarestone to Measham. The first quarter-mile has now been restored, and the new Bridge 62 (built by contractors with brick cladding added by Waterway Recovery Group volunteers) was officially opened by the Chairman of Leicestershire Council on narrowboat Waterloo Sunrise, crewed by ACT Chairman Geoff Pursglove.