Latest News & Events

The Late Ian Reid

Members will be saddened to learn of the death, in early July, of Ian Reid who was a stalwart member of Ashby Canal Association.   Ian was a past chairman of the Association, and also held many other management committee posts during his many decades of membership.  His knowledge of the Ashby Canal, its history, and of the waterways scene in general, was well known and very impressive.   His funeral service will be held at Stoke Golding Methodist Church on Tuesday 25th June at 3.30pm followed by cremation at Nuneaton.

Shackerstone Festival 2nd and 3rd September 2017

Visiting working boats, a classic car gathering, a programme of entertainment for all the family,stalls, bar, funfair, refreshments etc. This major event is firmly established as one of the Midlands premier country shows. For boat entry forms, details of entertainment, ticket details, and up-to-the-minute news visit the Shackerstone Festival website, or follow the link on our home page.

Social Evening on Monday 9th October 2017

ACA member Mary Sibley will give an illustrated talk about boating on the BCN and Dudley Canals at Donisthorpe Woodlands Centre, Church Street, Donisthorpe DE12 7PY at 7:30pm. A bar is available and there is plenty of parking.


Quiz Night on Saturday 18th November 2017

Bookings are now being taken for the ever popular quiz night, which returns to Stoke Golding for a successive year. Numbers are strictly limited, so please make sure you buy a ticket in advance.



Local Schoolchildren Create Models of the Gilwiskaw Aqueduct

Schoolchildren from Snarestone C of E Primary School recently held a competition to create a model of the proposed Gilwiskaw Aqueduct.  The winning entries were proudly displayed to the Association on 12th May 2017. We thank the headteacher and the parents for permitting us to publicize this event.

Information Boards at Gopsall Wharf, Oakthorpe Colliery Picnic Site, and Hinckley

Hard-wearing information displays have now been inserted into the two noticeboards, which were erected at Gopsall Wharf and Oakthorpe Colliery Picnic Site by two previous work parties.

Both displays give the visitor their location on the map, and put the canal into its historical setting. Together with its adjacent milepost (27/3), the noticeboard at Oakthorpe denotes a loop in the canal which remained in water until closure of the colliery in the early 1990s.

Further south along the canal, at the Limekilns water point and moorings near Hinckley, the missing information board has been replaced. This now lists some of the attractions to be found along the canal heading north, with mileages, and is aimed at boaters, walkers and cyclists.

A QR code on the all the new signs enables smartphone users to access this website and the downloadable canal guide.

The printed insert for the noticeboard at Gopsall Wharf.

Inserting the display at Gopsall Wharf on 4th April 2017.

The printed insert for the noticeboard at Oakthorpe Colliery Picnic Site.

Inserting the display at Oakthorpe Colliery Picnic Site on 5th April 2017.

Information Board and Milepost 27/3 at Oakthorpe Colliery Picnic Site. The line of the canal ran immediately behind the noticeboard and milepost in a loop.

The new sign being installed at The Limekilns, Bridge 15 in April 2017.  Joy Harrison of HBBC doing a good job clearing litter from the towpath, while the sign was being erected.





The laying of Tom Henshaw’s Ashes on Saturday 13th May 2017

The late Tom Henshaw made It known that he wished his ashes to be scattered beneath the tree at Snarestone Wharf where his wife’s ashes were scattered. He was the principal founder of the Narrow Boat Trust, and a president of the ACA.

Members of his family assembled south of Snarestone Tunnel at midday where they boarded the working boats Nuneaton and Brighton. A piper, playing Scottish laments, led the boats through the tunnel and on towards Snarestone Wharf, where the family disembarked. They mingled with a large party of well-wishers, reminisced and enjoyed a barbecue. Andrew Denny, the editor of Waterways World, was also present.

Sarah Henshaw, his daughter, accompanied by Tom’s great grandchildren, scattered his ashes beneath the tree, where her mother also lay.

Afterwards there was a short presentation of two cheques from Tom Henshaw’s estate – £2000 to the Narrowboat Trust and £5000 to the Ashby Canal Association.

Social Evening report – first showing of Coventry Canal Film.

On Monday evening 13th March, at Donisthorpe Woodlands Centre, Donisthorpe ,  Brian Langtry of Ashby based Legless Productions Ltd., presented the first showing of his new film “The Coventry Canal”  at a well attended social evening.  The 50 minute film covered the whole length of this most interesting canal from Coventry to Fradley.   There was also  musical entertainment by Brian together with Graham Kettle, much appreciated by the audience.

The next social evening is scheduled for October 9th 2017, also at Donisthorpe Woodlands Centre, when the speaker will be Mary Sibley, talking about the BCN and Dudley Canals..

Brian Langtry and Graham Kettle performing at Donisthorpe Miners’ Welfare Centre 13th March 2017


IWA National Trailboat Festival and Moira Canal Festival report – May 2017

IWA held its 2017 trailboat festival on the northern section of the Ashby Canal between 27th and 29th May 2017, to coincide with the annual Moira Canal Festival. It was a well-attended event, and the Moira section was cruised along its entire length by the twenty-eight visiting trailboats which came from all over the country. The Moira section of canal was also well used by paddle-boarders, canoeists, and, of course, the “Joseph Wilkes” trip boat. The event drew large crowds, who had lots to entertain them on and off the water.


Pumping Station Beams at Snarestone

Beams from the old pumping station adjacent to the canal at Snarestone Wharf have been rescued by ACA member Rod Smith, and erected on a plinth at the wharf. the original iron railings have also been placed in position.  The pumping station is now a private dwelling. The pump was used to supply water to Hinckley – it did not supply the canal.  A small green cabin in the nearby lane houses an electric pump which now does the job for Severn-Trent Water. Interestingly, it is thought hat the steam pumping engine, although built alongside the canal, did not get its coal supplies by water – rather by horse and cart from nearby Measham.

volunteers have helped install the beams and railings, and are now painting them (Spring 2017)  It is intended that they will be finished in Brunswick Green.