A length of the Uttoxeter Canal is pictured emerging from the undergrowth after more than a century and a half of dereliction, thanks to the efforts of over 80 volunteers during Waterway Recovery Group’s annual ‘Bonfire Bash’ reunion and major working party.
The volunteers targeted a length of canal near Alton, Staffordshire, which hasn’t seen a boat since the 1840s when the Uttoxeter (an extension of the Caldon Canal) was closed and parts of its route used for a railway line. During the weekend, the first clear signs were uncovered of Charlesworths Lock, whose exact position had not been known by Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust, while the next lock, Carringtons Lock, was cleared of vegetation and shown to be in better condition than had been thought. Looking back on a highly successful weekend, CUCT’s Steve Wood said “I never cease to be astonished by what WRGies do, and all with smiles and jokes on the way.” In the medium term, the Trust hopes to establish a navigable length suitable for trip-boat operation in this area, as a step toward its long-term goal of reopening the route throughout.
WRG’s volunteers clear the Uttoxeter Canal near Alton