Friday 1 March 2019


Our masthead for the month of March 2019 celebrates the restoration and re-opening of the Shropshire Union Canal's Middlewich branch after nine months of closure following the disastrous breach in its banks nearly a year ago.

In the early hours of the 16th March 2018 one of the most disastrous canal breaches in history occurred at the  River Wheelock aqueduct, at a point seen in Lupeta Evans' excellent photo, where the canal curves away towards Stanthorne Lock on its way to join the SUC proper at Barbridge near Nantwich.

Here's Lupeta's photo, taken at the end of February 2019 after a spell of exceptionally fine weather for the time of year, with some parts of the country recording temperatures of 20 degrees and over.

On either side of the restored section of canal can be seen the new concrete edgings on the canal banks, showing just what a superb job the Canal & River Trust's engineers and contractors have done.

In time the new concrete will weather and blend in with the older sections of canal, and there will be little, if anything, to show that such a catastrophe ever happened.

Here's the feature we wrote on the 17th March, and which we modestly subtitled: 'What really happened'.

The Middlewich Canal Breach 2018

The canal re-opened on the 21st December 2018, almost exactly nine months after the calamity.

Many thanks to Lupeta for permission to use her superb photo.

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