Canal Boat - - News -

We’re used to mark­ing an­niver­saries of great achieve­ments in wa­ter­ways his­tory, such as the open­ing of a canal (in this is­sue we re­port that the Pocklington is mark­ing 200 years since its open­ing), or the com­ple­tion o a restora­tion. But the Canal & River Trust has cho­sen to mark a rather less glo­ri­ous an­niver­sary …

In 1978, a team from CRT’s pre­de­ces­sor Bri­tish Wa­ter­ways were dredg­ing the Ch­ester­field Canal when they came across a length of rusty old chain ly­ing on the canal bed. They suc­ceeded in drag­ging it out and found a lump of wood at­tached to the end. Re­turn­ing from lunch some time later, they were sur­prised to find the canal rapidly drain­ing and sev­eral unim­pressed boaters who’d been left high and dry: they’d found an old drain plug no­body knew about.

Ten years later a boat rally marked the an­niver­sary of their by now fa­mous mis­take, and now CRT has marked the 40th an­niver­sary with a com­mu­nity canal day in Ret­ford, with boat trips, ac­tiv­i­ties, dis­plays and fam­ily fun. But as CRT’s Lind­sey Shirley said, “these days we ask our dredg­ing teams to think twice be­fore pulling on chains or ropes!”

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