Royal nam­ing for Scot­land’s QE2 Canal

Canal Boat - - This Month -

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”.

Royal nam­ing

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