Droitwich Ring opens in July

Published: Monday, 30 May 2011

IN VIEW of the present economic climate and the lack of funding over the past few years, it is indeed an achievement by the Droitwich Canals Trust, and more recently, project partners, that its waterway has been restored.

The 35 years project will come to fruition on the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd of July, when the 21 miles ring including the Droitwich Barge Canal and the Droitwich Junction Canal will be open for boating. The picture shows the first boat after the Barge Canal was restored.

The ring

Regular readers may have seen our report of the completion of the Barge Canal into the town, but now with the restoration of the Junction Canal, the ring, that includes the Worcester & Birmingham Canal and the Severn, will be complete.

Originally the Droitwich Barge Canal was built by James Brindley and opened in 1771. It served the Droitwich salt industry, linking the town to the Severn and the world beyond. The Droitwich Junction Canal was built by R Boddington and opened in 1854, being one of the last canals to be completed. Both canals declined due to competition from the railways and were officially abandoned in 1939. In 2011, over 70 years on they are open for business once again, albeit of a very different kind!


British Waterways Marketing & Communications Manager Michelle Kozomara relates:

"The dedication and determination of the Droitwich Canals Trust and more recently by the project partners were the catalyst to restoring the canals, which are now set to attract thousands more visitors to the area and bring a major long-term boost to the local economy, generating an additional £2.75m a year in the local community.

"As part of the canal restoration, a linear park has been created providing picnic sites, fishing pegs, and new stop off points for boaters, walkers and cyclists with new and improved access points and 26 new visitor moorings."

Water Festival

The Droitwich Canals Partnership has timed the launch with a packed weekend of celebrations to mark the momentous occasion between Friday 1st July and Sunday 3rd July, with the weekends Water Festival taking place in Vines Park featuring a display of boats and the opportunity to experience a boat trip and canoe taster session.

There will also be craft and trade stalls, information stands and competitions plus demonstrations by the Fire Service plus much, much more. The event will coincide with the annual Droitwich Spa Music and Arts Festival with live performances in the town centre on Saturday 2nd July.