Great progress with Montgomery Canal appeal

Published: Saturday, 16 April 2022

ORGANISERS of the Restore the Montgomery Canal! appeal are delighted with the response to the appeal from supporters across the country.

The appeal is for the final funds for the reconstruction of Schoolhouse Bridge, the last highway blockage in Shropshire, due to be rebuilt this year but affected by the sharply rising cost of construction materials. The appeal was launched in the waterway press last month with leaflets featuring TV canal stars Timothy West and Prunella Scales and is boosted by a supporter matching every £1 raised.

Schoolhouse Lane BridgeOver £25,000

In a few weeks the appeal has received many donations, some of £1,000 and many of £100 or more, which with Gift Aid and the matching £1 bring the total raised already to over £25,000.

A further addition to the appeal fund has come from a £10,000 legacy from a late member of the Friends of the Montgomery Canal.

Michael Limbrey, Chairman of the Restore the Montgomery Canal! group explained:

Worked five years

“Our team of volunteers has worked for five years for the reconstruction of Schoolhouse Bridge, one of the main obstructions to restoration of the derelict section of the canal to the Welsh border at Llanymynech.

“We now have the formal consents for the project and are finding that there is real inflation in the cost of materials: contributions to the appeal fund will help us meet those extra costs.

“We are absolutely delighted with the extent that people all over the country have responded to our appeal.

“This support is boosted by the generosity of a former member of the Friends of the Montgomery Canal who left a legacy of £10,000 for the restoration.

“We are now working to put in place the final arrangements to rebuild Schoolhouse Bridge and to fix a starting date. In just a few months we have to close the road, excavate the embankment blocking the canal, build the new bridge and reopen the road.

During this time discussions will continue with consultants, engineers and Shropshire Council about the restoration of those final two miles from the bridge to Llanymynech. This will match what is going on across the border in Powys where a programme of restoration is being planned under recently announced government grants, with the hope that work will get under way later in the year. This year too volunteers of the Shropshire Union Canal Society are working to finish their lottery-supported extension of the navigable section north of Crickheath.