Major grant received from the Wolfson Foundation

We are delighted to announce that the Wolfson Foundation has awarded the Shrewsbury and Newport Canals Trust a grant of £20,000 towards our “Thomas Telford @ Wappenshall Wharf” project.

The money will be used to help the SNCT redevelop Wappenshall Wharf as a heritage site and tourist attraction, to protect the architectural and heritage importance of the buildings, to engage the whole community, especially young people, in education, training and the arts and to provide the best level of public and community access and use of the site and buildings.

Chairman, Bernie Jones said “This is a major step forward for this key project in our Trust’s history. I am very grateful to the Wolfson Foundation, as raising the money in the present economic climate has been a real challenge. With this grant we will certainly be able to complete Phase 1 now.”

The Wolfson Foundation ( is an independent charity that supports and promotes excellence in the fields of science, health, education and the arts and humanities. Since it was established in 1955, over £900 million (about £1.9 billion in real terms) has been awarded by it to over 11,000 projects throughout the UK, all on the basis of expert review.


Wappenshall small warehouse newly tiled

The small warehouse roof is now complete with all the slates and ridges back on.

With sadness we announce the passing of Derek Taylor. Derek was one of the Shrewsbury Support Group's founding members and gave of his all for the Trust. He could be relied upon to man the Trust stand at any event and worked tirelessly at the work parties in the Shrewsbury area. One of his highlights was winning the “Upton Magna Fete Town Cryer Award” in 2016. He will be greatly missed by the many friends he made within the Trust, but he will live on because he interviewed many of the contributors to our Oral Archives, which are now part of the National Archive. His dulcet tone will therefore never be forgotten.

The funeral took place on Monday 21st January 2019 at Shrewsbury Crematorium.  

With sadness we announce the death of Jo Havell on December 14th 2018.  Jo has been an active member of the Trust and she and her late husband, Paul did a great deal for the SNCT.  She will be greatly missed.

Re-roofing progresses on the small warehouse

Work is progressing on the re-roofing of the small warehouse at Wappenshall. The repairs to the timbers have been completed and the roofers have installed a roof membrane prior to retiling. Whilst the building is now weatherproof it will be a few weeks before the slates are replaced but once that is completed, we can then fix new guttering, replace the timber on the roof soffit and install new drains to carry the rainwater away into the canal. We then need to obtain planning permission and listed building consent before we can continue with the restoration work. If you would like more information or if you are able to help in any way please contact John Heather on

Repaired roof timbers on small warehousemembrane laid over roof of small warehouse

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Daniel Champagne at Norbury Junction

Wednesday 21st November 2018

A great night out!

Daniel Champagne

Dan Walsh



Australian folk/roots musical prodigy Daniel Champagne came to Norbury Junction to do a fundraiser concert for the SNCT as part of his latest world tour! Even better, Stafford's own Dan Walsh agreed to do a support slot!

Daniel Champagne plays major festivals and fills theatres in Australia, Canada and the USA, while Dan Walsh was recently nominated as BBC Folk Musician of the Year. 

We were privileged and honoured to have them playing for us and our cause.

You can hear Daniel's music here on YouTube:

Posted by Sallie Lines Thursday, November 22, 2018 2:35:00 PM

In Memory of Harry Arnold MBE


It is with much regret and sadness that we have to report the death of Harry Arnold MBE.  Harry was one of the characters of the canal world, a founder member of the Saturn Project, a trustee or member of many canal trusts, a journalist and a waterways photographer. He was a friend of the SNCT and a useful contact, having lived at Norbury Wharf in the 50's and 60's, and he gave us a lot of help and support over many years..

Wednesday, November 07, 2018 3:37:00 PM

The Thomas Telford Trail Exhibition

After its public launch at Southwater 1 on the 5th September, the display was moved to Madeley Library and then other locations around the area.  It is not on display at the moment but for more information about the trail click here.


In and around the town named after him

Supported by Telford & Wrekin Council as part of the Telford @ 50 celebrations The Thomas Telford Trail highlights 24 well and lesser known bridges, roads, canals and buildings that Telford was involved in during his time as the county’s engineer, it features 13 landmarks in the borough of Telford and Wrekin including Wappenshall Junction which is home to the SNCT.

You can download the Thomas Telford Trail map from here. You can also watch a short video from the Launch event here.









Stop Lock Gate Display completed!

Thanks to the Tesco Bags of Help grant and all our volunteers.

Stop lock gate after being pulled out of the waterThe stop lock gate on its display standThis was the stop lock gate after it was dragged out of the canal at Wappenshall.  As an historic artifact we felt it should be preserved and displayed so one of our volunteers designed a stand and while this was being fabricated other volunteers treated the gate with wood preservative.


The site was marked out, the top scraped off, the concrete base was laid and the fabricated stand was bolted in position before the gate was finally lifted into place.

Here is the finished display.

Norbury Canal Festival 2018

After the event had to be cancelled in 2017, it bounced back in record breaking sunny weather over the 3-day Bank Holiday.

Crowds that exceeded 8,000 people enjoyed canal boat trips, over 40 trade, craft and food stalls, and over 30 narrowboats that were in the rally. Some top entertainment was enjoyed on Saturday evening with local bands Bon Accord and Savannah performing. Then, on Sunday, a Comedy Evening direct from the Edinburgh Fringe produced some riotous fun.

Organised by the Shrewsbury & Newport Canals Trust (SNCT), the Junction Inn and Norbury Wharf, the event was declared a resounding success.

SNCT Chairman, Bernie Jones, said “It was wonderful to see so many people enjoying our Festival in such great weather! Thank you to all who came, as all proceeds will go towards restoring the historically important Shrewsbury & Newport Canals.”

Norbury canal festival 2018Visitors enjoying a boat trip at Norbury Festival 2018


Visit of the High Sheriff of Shropshire to Newport

The High Sheriff of Shropshire, Charles Lillis and his wife, Veronica, visited Newport today. The visit was hosted by Newport Town Mayor, Cllr Lyn Fowler, who was kind enough to invite me too, as the High Sheriff wanted to know more about the Newport Canal and the work our Trust has been doing to restore it.

Here is a photo of (from L to R) Cllr Tim Nelson, myself, Veronica Lillis, the High Sheriff and Cllr Lyn Fowler, Mayor of Newport at Meretown Lock, looking west to the Wrekin in the distance. From here we went to the Black Shed and walked along the re-surfaced towpath to Tickethouse Lock.

The High Sheriff showed great interest in and enthusiasm for the canal’s restoration and complimented the Trust volunteers on their efforts.






Local Plan adopted by Council

The Telford and Wrekin Local Plan was officially adopted by the Council on 11 January 2018.  You can see the plan at

The Inspector, Mr Michael Hetherington,  at the Examination of the Local Plan, proposed that the following wording should be included: "The Council will safeguard the alignment of the Shrewsbury and Newport Canals (as shown on the Policies Plan) with a view to their long-term re-establishment as navigable waterways by:

i. Not supporting development likely to destroy the canal alignment or its associated structures

ii. Ensuring that when the canal is affected by development the alignment is protected or an alternative alignment provided.”


Bernie Jones spoke with Colin Morris, a Ranger with the National Trust at Attingham Park on Saturday, 13th January 2018. He is responsible for clearing scrub and trees from the Berwick Wharf and the walls of the bridge. As you can see from the photographs, our canal is still very much there and is in water! Colin told him that he plans further clearance of both banks in the near future. Indeed, it may be possible for our volunteers to work with his team on the section that passes through NT land.


December 2017

The SNCT has been awarded a Telford @ 50 grant of £1,700 from Telford & Wrekin Council. This is for the design and creation of 4 or 5 free-standing and portable interpretation panels about the life and works of Thomas Telford and how this relates to the town named after him 50 years ago next year.

They will be unveiled at an event (possibly our AGM) with period actors who could play Telford and another character. The panels will then go on a roadshow at events celebrating the year with whoever would like to borrow them and are able to transport them between various venues.

ecology information board at Newport

This is Bernie Jones, Chairman of the SNCT, with the new information display board installed at Newport on 2nd December 2017.

The photo was taken by Tim Nelson, who is a Newport Town Councillor and a Telford and Wrekin Councillor. He is planning to arrange for the current Mayor of Newport (Cllr Lynn Fowler) to perform an "unveiling ceremony" and will make this the first small step on the road to his plan for improving the canal tow path, installing lock gates in Town Lock and getting the canal dredged. Funding has been provided for this from Newport town Council.

November 2017


We took our stand to the CRT Annual Showcase Event.  Richard Parry CEO of the CRT was impressed with what the SNCT has achieved and our stand was voted the Best in Show.
















Over the weekend 15/16/17th Sept the trust had a stand at Maesbury Marsh. Alistair Price and Chas Warren took their narrowboats to moor on site and compliment the trust gazebo which had a good position at the entrance. While attendance was lower than expected, the stand attracted a lot of interest and the sacks of fire logs which were offered for sale for the first time sold out. Chas Warren took along his coracle which attracted a lot of attention with a few people testing their skill. After clearing up the trust site and putting away the equipment members enjoyed a nice cup of tea in the evening sun which sadly had been in short supply most of the weekend.



This is a great pat on the back for all our wonderful volunteers and recognition of our achievements so far.


The presentation of the QAVS citation and crystal by Sir Algernon Heber-Percy, the Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire took place at Wappenshall on 14th August 2017 followed by a barbeque for the members of the Trust.

Work party leaders receiving citation and crystal

the citation and crystal

The Lord Lieutentant visiting the transhipment building

Cindy Jones & Anne Jones








The photos were taken by Alan Harding

The Queen's Award Office has created a limited edition crystal gift available to purchase exclusively by winning volunteer and organisation members.

Once again the AGM was a great success thanks to the organisers and the volunteers who worked so hard to prepare the site and buildings.  The speakers were fascinating, the food was enjoyed by all who partook and the weather was kind.

The picture below shows from left to right: John Freeman (SNCT Trustee), Professor Timothy Peters (first guest speaker), Bernie Jones, (SNCT Chairman), Julian Glover (second guest speaker and author of "Man of Iron"), Mark Cuthbert-Brown (Lord Lieutenant's Office).

AGM 2017

The weekend of 21/22 January 2017 saw the London Waterway Recovery Group come to assist our band of SNCT volunteers at Sundorne once again.

WRGies at Shrewsbury Jan 2017

A great deal of work was done to improve the appearance of the section behind the Sports Village. Dead trees were removed from the water, intrusive brambles and branches were cut back along the towpath and the laid hedge on the river Severn side was cleared to let light in to regenerate its growth.

A “Meet and Greet” station was set up to offer passing members of the public a cup of tea and piece of cake. This went down well and some much-needed funds were generated and some possible new members recruited. Well done to all our members that turned out – and outnumbered the WRGies again!

Welcome tent for WRG visit Shrewsbury Jan 2017











Jennie & Tony Perks doing their "shift" on the Welcome Station. Note all the wonderful cakes that members supplied to go with tea and coffee for both workers and members of the public.