Monty appeal aims for Welsh border
THE SYMBOLIC milestone of reopening the Montgomery Canal through to the Welsh border within a decade is the aim of a £250,000 appeal launched by a partnership of organisations all working to restore the canal.
Already it is navigable for seven miles and eight locks from the Llangollen at Frankton Junction to beyond Maesbury and a further length to Crickheath is on the way to reopening thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant.
That leaves just two more miles to Llanymynech where the canal crosses into Wales. It’s not an easy two miles, as Michael Limbrey of the Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust explained: “This section has been dry for over half a century; now we want to re-line the canal bed so it can hold water again.”
It will also need an old railway embankment removing (which Waterway Recovery Group’s volunteers are already tackling), and a road bridge rebuilding – which is set to get underway thanks to £70,000 from the Inland Waterways Association’s Tony Harrison legacy (see
June 17). The appeal, titled ‘Restore the Montgomery Canal!’ brings together all the above organisations plus the Shropshire Union Canal Society with the aim of raising £250,000 – which just happens to be the value of a line of £ 2 coins stretching along the two-mile length of canal. With an anonymous donor having offered to match everything raised (up to £ 60,000) over the next five years, the organisations are confident that by using of volunteers for as much as possible of the work, this will see boats through to Llanymynech in ten years.
“The restoration has more momentum than ever,” said Mr Limbrey, who added that reaching Llanymynech is just one part of a larger plan to link up with the isolated restored length through Welshpool and beyond.
To support the appeal, go to restorethemontgomerycanal.uk