Royal naming for Scotland’s QE2 Canal
THE QUEEN gave her name to a short but important length of waterway at a ceremony in Scotland which followed the 2015 opening of the new eastern entrance to the Forth & Clyde Canal – including the famous Kelpie sculptures.
The Giant horses’ heads standing guard either side of the new Lock 2 and forming the centrepiece of the Helix Park regeneration caught the public imagination and the newly christened three-quarter-mile Queen Elizabeth Canal has an important practical function.
During the building it faced serious engineering issues, needing to be slotted under a motorway and main road, and connected to the tidal River Carron, in a way that it would avoid the twin problems of low headroom at high tide and shallow depth at low water which have made access from the Firth of Forth more tricky since the restored lowland canals were opened in 2002.
Her Majesty took a trip aboard the Seagull Trust’s barge Wooden Spoon Seagull which led a small flotilla along the new length of channel, before unveiling a plaque bearing the new name of the canal, which Scotland’s Communities Secretary Angela Constance said had “transformed access for mariners from Northern Europe and created a world-class marine hub in and out of Scotland”.