An Abandoned Canal

Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery is hosting a display on the history and future of the Shrewsbury and Newport Canals

12-17 January and 26 January to 16 April 2016

The Shrewsbury & Newport Canals Trust (SNCT) has been given a 'local communities' slot in the newly re-opened Shrewsbury Museum. This is for an exhibition covering the Shrewsbury and Newport Canals from their construction in the 18th and 19th centuries through to their abandonment in 1944, what has happened to them since then and the Trust’s plans for their future. The themes that run through the displays are:

  • The coming of the canals to Shropshire (both the original Shrewsbury canal of 1797 and the Newport branch from Norbury in 1835)

  • Working life on the canals

  • Canal restoration

We will be using historic items, photographs, maps and plans to explore these themes and we will also use artefacts to illustrate them. We have a lot of items from the last two centuries being loaned by the National Waterways Museum, the Canals & River Trust boatyards at Ellesmere and Norbury, the Saturn fly boat project and by SNCT members and other local people

Amongst the subjects covered by the displays are: canal engineering, including the role of smithies and foundries; how tolls were collected; the use of horses as motive power; the domestic lives of boating families; and canal restoration, with particular reference to the Shrewsbury and Newport canals. The displays include maps, a timeline, 'roses and castles' painted canal ware, horse paraphernalia and a reconstruction of a forge.

A particular feature is an audio-visual display of some of the interviews with local residents that have been carried out by the SNCT’s Oral History Project, illustrated by past and present-day scenes of the canal in Shrewsbury.

During the event there will be four different talks on canal based subjects in the museum at 2.30 pm on Saturday afternoons. Tickets for the talks can be obtained in advance from the museum (01743 258885). The price of £3 per head is excellent value, as it also includes free entry to the museum (normal price £4).

Talks at Shrewsbury Museum:

16th January Barrie Trinder Wappenshall wharf: its place in the history of


6th February Neil Clarke The canals of East Shropshire

19th March Tony Lewery The restoration of the Shropshire Union

flyboat Saturn

9th April Bernie Jones The Shrewsbury & Newport Canals and their


The Museum & Art Gallery is closed:

18-25 January

1 February

10 April Tel: 01743 258885

For further information contact:

John Myers

Forge Reconstruction