AT THE Chesterfield Canal Festival on Saturday, Councillor Shaukat Ali, the Mayor of Rotherham, opened The Chesterfield Canal Festival. He made a short speech. As did John Nuttall from British Waterways, Robin Stonebridge the Chair of The Chesterfield Canal Trust, John Edmonds the Chair of The Inland Waterways Advisory Council and Clive Henderson the Chair of The Inland Waterways Association. All five speakers expressed their support for the complete restoration of the Chesterfield Canal.
Rod Auton, Press Officer for The Chesterfield Canal Trust, points out that over the last decade huge strides have been made restoring 31 locks and over five miles of the canal between Worksop and Kiveton Park. A further five miles and five locks have been restored at the Chesterfield end of the canal, with a huge development based around a new canal basin under construction. The aim now is to complete the missing nine miles between Staveley and Kiveton Park.
This includes an alternative to the old Norwood Tunnel that collapsed over a century ago. Work is progressing on several sites such as Staveley and Renishaw and studies and plans exist for the rest.
The eventual aim is to create a link with the South Yorkshire Navigation at Rotherham by canalising the River Rother. This would create a Three Counties Ring to rival the many cruising rings on the other side of the Pennines and in the West Midlands.
The Festival incorporated the Inland Waterways Association National Campaign Rally and was hosted by the Chesterfield Canal Trust and Chesterfield Canal Partnership with the support of the Inlands Waterways Association, British Waterways, the Land Reclamation Trust and the local community.