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£16 million funding announced to restore Montgomery Canal


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Umm, partly true, yes. But the Rochdale was restored from East to West, with the restoration halting Around l’boro IIRC, until a great wodge of lottery money arrived and did the rest into M/cr in a Big Bang. However, if the Eastern half hadn’t already been done, the case would’ve been a lot harder to make. The Huddersfield was, essentially, one Big Bang of lottery money start to finish.

OTOH the Mont is shaping up to be a classic ‘isolated bits’ approach, although it will become more focussed as the bits get closer to linking up - as I suggested above the pressure to fix the Arddleen mile will become v great once that’s the last barrier to reaching Welshpool.  

 

However the point I was making was that the necessity of starting with the easier bits can, later, add momentum to dealing with the nasty bits of any restoration, as the payback once they are defeated is much bigger than just that 1/2 mile of canal or whatever.

So what looks wildly over-ambitious when one is prodding at the first unrestored lock on the Rochdale (“We’ll never get it restored through Manchester…”.  I remember the alcoholic discussions) becomes just a hard thing that now needs doing when that’s all that stands between now and a fully open canal.

Newtown’s time will come. 

Edited by Tarboat Tim
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23 hours ago, Tarboat Tim said:

Hi Graham, I agree about the road - I think the drop lock may be the only game in town, but I detest them.  Two separate locks with a 100-200 yard pound between them would be much easier to work and safer, but would cost more to do. So we’ll get a 7’ version of that abort**n in Glasgow.

Running towards Newtown - nah, it’s a goer. If you take a look at the challenges that the Rochdale and HNC got over/under/around, this is small beer.  The 483 crossings are a bit nasty, and the worst is the first going south. The route there has already been identified, dont go under the road there, go another 150 yards or so south, where the 483 has climbed, then go under it.  Doable but not particularly cheap.

 

The other two crossings I only have a hazy recollection of, but IIRC the carriageway is quite a lot higher than the canal, so driving a ‘tunnel’ thro underneath is, again, viable.   I seem to remember that along that length the road embankment has also taken up part of the canal - that will need some sorting out as well.   There are lots of other bits and bobs, missing piped min-aqueducts etc, but no real deal breakers.

The three crossings at Garthmyl and going south look to be the biggest problem to me.
The northern one, by the rebuilt Crow's warehouse, the canal looks to be only just above the road, then it has to cross the side B road towards Montgomery. I can't see a way of going around that, since the pub is in the way, as is the entrance to Garthmyl Hall.
The next two, Fron and Abernant, are again almost on a level with the road. Perhaps what could be done there is to remove both of those and build a new canal alongside the road, between it and the river. That would only need a bridge over the "yellow" that leads towards Severn Villa and towards the Golf Club


Entering Newtown the bed is drained & filled in, and sold off. However and not really built on until you get to around Cymric Mill when it used to leave the side of the river and head into the terminal basin complex.  That last few hundred yards has gone.

It would be interesting to see how far they could get, but agreed the last section disappeared long ago.

The rest has been kept pretty open, largely preserved by that cycle route. Newtown council is also bound and determined it will get there one day, so the odds on getting planning permission for further development on the line are slim to none.

 

  It’ll happen, I do hope I stay around long enough to see it!!

 

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6 hours ago, Tarboat Tim said:

But the Rochdale was restored from East to West, with the restoration halting Around l’boro IIRC, until a great wodge of lottery money arrived and did the rest into M/cr in a Big Bang. However, if the Eastern half hadn’t already been done, the case would’ve been a lot harder to make.

Agreed, Although until the money to sort Tuel Lane was found the Tuel Lane-Littleborough section was an isolated navigation available only to trailboaters and the Shire Cruisers boats craned in and out at the beginning and end of the season each year.  And while I am glad the whole canal got reopened, the difference in usage between the western and eastern sides suggests that there was better value for money in the first half to be reopened!

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Graham, absolutely agree that the Garthmyl 2 dropped bridges + 150 - yards of vanished canal is the worst blockage on the southern bit before the dry section at Newtown. There seems to be no way it would go back on the original alignment or anything like it.

What I have seen mentioned as the subject of semi-official discussion in the past are alternative routes such as sketched by myself in the appended picture.  From an engineering perspective the road is slightly rising going south, and there  may be JUST the required headroom under it for a crossing without any unacceptable (highway requirements etc) uplift.  As OS contour maps are to the nearest 5m I cannot be definitive on this, but I’m repeating what others have said. 

From a property perspective it cuts through Hall lands and crosses one of the two drives into the Hall, necessitating a lift bridge, I imagine. I’m not sure how that would go down, but we’re not in the 18th and 19th centuries where landowner rights could kill such a proposition stone dead. Perhaps outline very early soundings have even happened? 

 

I have seen versions of this rough concept being mentioned by sources I respect on a number of occasions, so I currently believe that it has some merit… but nothing is certain. 

Regarding the two 483 crossings further south at Fron farm, they also provide challenges but you have started to pencil in one engineering line of attack.  My worry about the approach of staying on the East of the 483 with a new 1/2 mile length of canal, is that in the area roughly opposite the farm, the field is perhaps 4-5 m lower than the canal, necessitating a considerable embankment. I suppose the good news is that makes the side road crossing easier, but it is substantial work.

The two existing crossings might be viable if they were moved short distances along the 483 to gain headroom. However this would be two sets of crossing works, and very touch & go on height as well.  There might also be issue with property at one of them. So overall I’d guess your suggestion is the most likely - certainly it would minimise road disruption.

David, I still shake my head in wonder at Tuel lane - we’ve boated through it a few times with our 70’ Tarboat, and it just shows what CAN be done when the chips are down. A positive lesson for us all, and it shows the focus that can be brought to bear when one gets into ‘last remaining obstructions’ territory.  I still have an abiding admiration for the parties involved who managed to make that happen.  Look at that and then think Arddleen - or even Garthmyl - not so depressing after all, perhaps ;-).  True it was in a different time and things are flatter/slower at present, but the good times ebb and flow, and the worst that seems to happen in the bad times is that things slow or nearly stop. We don’t seem to go into reverse anywhere in the country (other than the Dearne & Dove which I think has finally gone). I take some heart from the re-affirmation implied by the recent Uttoxeter canal planning refusal decision.

The Manchester end of the Rochdale is  only just there. So much of the lottery money had to be spent on a small number of major projects that they nearly ran out on the funds for the track itself. That’s one of the reasons why chunks of the water channel still exist on the offside along some of the length, and you need very precise instruction with a deep boat to get along some of the pounds.  So, tricky, post-industrial, heavily locked, it is and will always be lightly used. A poor cousin to the eastern half, but still a great gain to the system.

Take care guys 🙂

 

 

 

23873D93-0653-4725-92DD-F7B0EEFF35FC.jpeg

  • Greenie 1
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Agreed Graham. If ever I’m in that part of the world I’d probably pull over and check it out myself. Mind you, estimating slight rises and falls to these levels of accuracy, when the canal is some distance away, really needs the proper kit I suspect. Still, there’s no harm in having a good old look at it 😉

From my perusing of the OS map, I’d estimate the canal level to be somewhere >90 and <95m.  Best guess around 93-94m.  If u ever do have a gander at it, pop it on the end of this thread!

 

Cheers. Tim

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6 minutes ago, Tarboat Tim said:

Agreed Graham. If ever I’m in that part of the world I’d probably pull over and check it out myself. Mind you, estimating slight rises and falls to these levels of accuracy, when the canal is some distance away, really needs the proper kit I suspect. Still, there’s no harm in having a good old look at it 😉

From my perusing of the OS map, I’d estimate the canal level to be somewhere >90 and <95m.  Best guess around 93-94m.  If u ever do have a gander at it, pop it on the end of this thread!

 

Cheers. Tim

 

I've got a handheld Garmin GPS that seems fairly accurate, so can try that.

  • Happy 1
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On 19/11/2021 at 13:02, nebulae said:

One of the problems restoring the final length of the Mongtgomery Canal is that a major sewer pipe is now in the bed of the canal as far as the sewage works/wildlife sanctury. I believe,but am not certain,that this pipe serves the whole of Newtown. This explains why this length now belongs to Severn Trent Water. I believe that the wier that impounds the water which the pump drew from the River Severn in Newtown would need work. The Water Wheel/Steam/diesel/electric pumps were removed as soon as the works that used this water,closed. Below Freestone Lock the canal takes water from the river via a substantial leat and is in good order The next lock, Newhouse Lock,has been restored. The towpath past the pump keepers house has been slightly diverted. The access for road vehicles to the pump keepers cottage would need a bridge of some kind. The basin has been built over and a major flood bank now infringes on the canal. There is some space for a new basin in the old dairy site/builders yard.?                    I think the article posted by Stroudwater 1 is a little unclear. Acording to The Trow magazine(Cotswold Canal Trust issue 190),the total cost of the phase 1b Ocean to Saul is £24 million,of which the National Lottery is giving 9 million.  Not sure if the 4 million Whitminster Rounabout scheme is included in the 24 million.


This I believe clarify’s that the A38 roundabout isn’t the only thing that the £4m highways grant covers, in issue 194 of The Trow (Cotswold Canal Trust magazine Winter 2021.) 

I suspect that the £4m is part of the £24m restoration of phase 1b. I’m pretty sure It came in after the total coatings were drawn up, so would be unusual to completely remove from the headline figure. 

 

Estimated completion is 2025. 
 

 

8273C4F5-9004-42BD-918C-EC6D62226E1F.jpeg

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