The Committee of the Moira Canal Festival have decided to postpone the event for 2021 (due to be held in May) owing to the ongoing pandemic and the uncertainty of when restrictions will be lifted. They are now planning to hold the next event on 28th and 29th May 2022 instead.
Writing on Facebook on 18th January 2021, they commented:
“It is with deep regret that, as a committee, we have reviewed our position and more specifically the safety of all who attend, and have decided to further postpone the event to 2022. The new date will be 28th & 29th May 2022. With how unpredictable the coronavirus outbreak has been, we just cannot commit to a 2021 festival with the chance of a localised lockdown, national lockdown or even event restrictions in place. Our committee work tirelessly on ensuring that the annual festival is entertaining, family friendly and spectacular. We also make sure that it is safe and enjoyed by all. Rest assured, work has began behind the scenes to ensure that the our 20th anniversary event will be the biggest, the best and the most impressive festival we have ever held!
We thank you for your continued support & can’t wait to see you again soon.”
Snarestone Wharf will be in Tier 4 from 31/12/2020, and in order to comply with Government instructions, the shop will be closed.
Access to the wharf will be allowed to use the C&RT rubbish skip, however.
The gate may be open to accept deliveries and to allow access for Leicestershire County Council, Canal & River Trust, and Land & Water contractors, but we ask the general public and non-official visitors to restrict accessing the site.
We thank you for your compliance.
Further to the post on 2nd December, the ACA has now completed the purchase of a workboat. Because its engine is included but not installed, ex-Rothern Group’s workboat “RAM” has to be towed to its temporary mooring at Ashby Canal Centre, Stoke Golding. There, ACA member and marine engineer, Martyn Plant, will restore and replace the engine. In addition RAM will be tidied up and painted in ACA colours of cream and red.
The photos below show RAM entering the Ashby Canal at Marston Junction on 20th December 2020.
Because the ground at Snarestone Wharf is still sodden on Tuesday 22nd December, and with a forecast of heavy rain for the following day, the ACA has reluctantly had to cancel this work party for the time being.
We are currently making some site improvements down at Snarestone Wharf. One of these improvements is laying slabs along the formerly grassy area around the shop as this tends to get very waterlogged and muddy which is not only an eyesore but also somewhat of a safety concern as it creates a very slippery area very close to the canal.
We have prepared the area for laying the slabs but due to the number and weight that we need to move it is not something easily done without some assistance and therefore I am writing to you all to request some help.
We are looking for a few volunteers to attend the site at Snarestone Wharf this coming Wednesday morning (23rd December) to assist with this. We are aware this is very close to Christmas and many of you will likely have a busy week ahead but if any of you could find just a few hours of your time to help us get this done it would be very much appreciated. We wish to make this area safe ASAP and before Christmas.
If you are interested and will be free please email Arran Jenkins on firstname.lastname@example.org or Anne-Marie Eccles on email@example.com as soon as you can and we will give you further details and to those of you not able to attend we hope to see you soon and wish you a very merry Christmas and a much better 2021!
(Update 22/12/2020) A temporary bund (see photo below) has been made opposite the pump house in order to allow the boats at the wharf to float, However, the stop planks opposite the shop are still in place. They need to be removed by Land & Water, whose staff have now begun their Christmas break. They will therefore not be removed until January, which means that there can be no boat movements in or out of the wharf for the time being.
(Update 19/12/2020) Our on-site caretaker at Snarestone Wharf, Michael Wooding, has been monitoring developments concerning the breach since the outset, and has given us the following update:
The temporary bund is all but completed, final sealing with puddle-clay
will take place on Monday morning 21st December. The level in the shortened extension is
now about 15 inches off the normal level, due to leakage through the stop
planks. The planks will be removed on Monday to allow
those trapped boats wishing to move out to do so, and then the planks
will be reinstated into the second set of slots on the extension side of
the swing bridge. This will be as a stop-gap measure in case the
temporary bund should fail.
Land & Water will also be on site to launch their dredger and pontoons,
in order to continue the dredging between bridge 61 and the tunnel and
also, although yet to be ratified by LCC, the required dredging in the
Reserve. Because Eurovia do not currently have suitable equipment on
site, it is anticipated that Land & Water will be facilitating the
actual removal and refitting of the planks.
Regarding the repair to the breach, the latest word from Barry
Watson-Evans, LCC’s engineer, is that the repair method has been pretty
much agreed with CRT and is now in the hands on the LCC Financial
Department for the approval of the required funds. CRT are pressing the
matter as urgent, as is Barry, so we are hoping for a commencement of
works early in the New Year. Eurovia’s plant, etc. currently on site
will be removed early next week and the site cleaned up as much as is
The ACA are close to purchasing a work boat for use on the Ashby Canal. It will be moored at Snarestone Wharf. The boat could be used to carry out maintenance work, in particular on the offside, between the present terminus and Marston Junction. It could also serve as a base for volunteers working elsewhere on the Ashby Canal, or for use as a trip boat – carrying up to 12 passengers through Snarestone tunnel to the winding hole north of Shackerstone and back.
The craft, the ACA is considering, is 32 foot long with a back cabin, a fore-end storage locker, shallow draft and relatively low sides. The boat is in need of some fitting out and restoration work, and the ACA already have some volunteers who have the time and expertise to make it ‘canalworthy’. Indeed, as is apparent from the photos below, this craft is very similar to those used by The Canal and River Trust. Once fully restored, it will be fitted out in ACA colours of cream and red. The original name of RAM will be maintained.
Boaters should be aware that there has been a breach of the Ashby Canal on the new extension north of Snarestone Wharf today. Fortunately, our resident lengthsman at the site. Michael Wooding, was able to assemble a party of volunteers, and with the additional help of some paddleboarders and local farmer Will Badham, stop planks were installed, and the flow of water out of the canal had been stemmed by 2 pm.
The breach was reported on BBC news in the East Midlands. You can view the news item here: https://www.facebook.com/arranjenkins/videos/10158147506373386
There is much more information, including comments, photos and videos available on our Facebook page.
Canal and River Trust are aware of the breach and have issued a Notice Alert. Representatives from Land & Water and Leicestershire County Council have also been on site to assess the damage and plan a course of action.
The canal will remain closed north of the wharf until the breach has been filled in . The C&RT services and the shop, however, remain open.
The shop at Snarestone wharf has been fitted with smart canopy curtain sides. Made from heavy duty translucent plastic with a sympathetic red trim top and bottom, this covering will enable items to be stored outside in all weathers, as well as providing welcome shelter from the elements for visitors to the shop at all times of the year.
Thanks to Michael Wooding and his team for acquiring these and putting them in place.
The AGM usually takes place in mid January and is followed by a social evening. Following Covid-19 restrictions, such an arrangement will not be possible for the forthcoming AGM. According to Statutes the AGM must take place between January and the beginning of April 2021. it is most likely to take place some time between the end of March and the beginning of April 2021.
The current issue of Spout (vol.49 no, 4) includes a nomination form for those Directors of The Ashby Canal Association due to retire by rotation. The next edition of Spout (March 2021) will contain precise details of how and when the AGM will take place.
For the current arrangements please refer to the pdf below:
ACA COVID Secure Work Party Rules