Latest News & Events

Coal and Canals – a report on the ACA social evening on Monday 17th December 2018

Brian Langtry and his five-piece Zouch Band entertained around 80 people at Stoke Golding Hall on 17th December 2018. Various catchy songs, many of which had been written collaboratively by the band,  were interspersed with a slide show of mainly black and white photographs, which documented the rich history of coal mining in the East Midlands. The audience was invited to sing along to the chorus, and had been issued with the words beforehand. At the end of the show there was an opportunity to chat with the band ‘backstage’ or to buy CDs of their music.

The Zouch band will be continuing to tour with their Coal and Canals show in Spring 2019. See the waterways press for further dates.

To cover costs tickets were priced at £3.00 each and many visitors paid on the door. A raffle was held during the interval and raised further funds.

The Zouch Band with Brian Langtry in the middle.






Work Parties for 2019 – next one on Sunday 20th January 2019


Our  work parties usually take place on the third Sunday of the month, and the usual starting location is Snarestone Wharf, (sat nav postcode DE12 7DD), or Ilott Wharf, Bosworth Road (Google map ref. 52.696407-1.484737) from around 10:00 a.m.

The next work party will take place on Sunday 20th January 2019. Meet at 10 am at Snarestone Wharf DE12 7DD. Hot drinks will be provided, however, please bring your own lunch and wear appropriate clothing and footwear.

We will be trimming the hedge that extends from Snarestone Wharf to Bridge 62, on the towpath side.

There are some ongoing projects, which also require volunteers:

Benches –We have a number of benches, seats or picnic tables spaced along the canal between Snarestone and The Lime Kilns pub. A small number of volunteers have been assigned to various locations along the canal corridor and good progress is being made in repainting these.

If you can help, or would like to know more, please get in touch with Peter Oakden on  01827 880677, or e mail

Working Wednesdays

We hold informal work parties most Wednesdays at Snarestone Wharf,  from approx 10.15 am to early afternoon.  There are usually plenty of jobs to be done – including grass cutting, weeding, keeping the site tidy, sorting  bric-a-brac,  putting up notices, maintaining our sheds, etc.  Very informal but rewarding.  If you would like to join us – you would be most welcome.

Please call Rod Smith on 01530 833307 or David Watts 01455 846007 for details

Report from the work party on Sunday 16th December 2018

Twelve volunteers helped trim the towpath hedge between Snarestone Wharf and bridge 62.

Report from the work party on Sunday 21st October 2018

Fourteen volunteers cleared scrub at the entrance to the car park at Ilott Wharf, thus improving the visibility of the noticeboard from the Bosworth Road.  In addition, grass and brambles were cut around the bases of the saplings that line the wooden fencing. This will improve their chances of further growth.

Report from the work party on Sunday 3rd June 2018

Six volunteers cleared rubbish, cut down saplings and burned scrub in preparation for the visit of the University of Leicester between 5th and 7th June 2018. In order to improve accessibility, and to make the terrain more visible, it has been decided to contract a local farmer to mow the grass before the start of the archaeological dig. This may also help to reduce the prevalence of ruts which make the ground very uneven and difficult to walk or work on.


Report from the work party on Sunday 15th April 2018

Twelve volunteers cleared scrub at Ilott Wharf, and repaired the wire fence that borders the site of the car boot sale. Afterwards the volunteers enjoyed a BBQ at the new purpose-built site at Snarestone Wharf.


Report from the work party on Sunday 18th February 2018

Twenty two volunteers, including several new faces, cleared scrub, broke up large hay bales, painted gates and tidied the hard standing area at Ilott Wharf.

Report from the work party on Sunday 28th January 2018

Sixteen volunteers worked either side of the Gilwiskaw Brook clearing and burning further scrub and brambles. 


Report from the work party on Sunday 12th November 2017

Fifteen volunteers, five of whom turned up for the first time, helped clear scrub and brambles from both sides of the Gilwiskaw Brook, The yellow and red engineering posts, that mark the location of the pending aqueduct are now clearly visible and more easily accessible.














Report on Quiz Night on Saturday 17th November 2018

Just under 80 people attended this year’s quiz night on Saturday 17th November 2018 at Stoke Golding Club.

After the customary start with “stand-up, sit-down” bingo, the main part of the proceedings got under way with a round of ten questions on “This England”. There were seven further rounds on “Science, Music, London Our Capital, General Knowledge, Sport, Geography and Pot Luck”. There was also a picture round of 20 celebrities. As in the past each team was allowed to play a joker to double their score; most people waited some time to do this, with several leaving it to the very last round.

The standard of questions was generally perceived to be harder this year. Here are some examples:

  • (This England): What body of water did the aviator Amy Johnson crash into?
  • (Science): What sort of natural formations are speleologists interested in?
  • (General Knowledge): Who was the first female presenter of Blue Peter?
  • (Sport): Which footballer, now retired, was known as “The Kaiser”?
  • (Pot Luck): How many limbs does a woodlouse have?

The lead changed hands several times throughout the tournament, but the eventual winners were “3 Bananas” with 77 points. The wooden spoon was won by “Gone Cruising” with 43 points, much to the dismay of the “Not So Dimmoes” team, who habitually try their best to finish in last place. However, they were a whole 8 points off the bottom place, and so they may have to change their name again before next year’s quiz.

Many thanks also to ACA member, Mary Sibley, who organised the raffle.

A member of the winning team of “3 Bananas”

Andrew Bridgen MP becomes the new Patron of the Ashby Canal Association

Andrew Bridgen is the MP for North West Leicestershire, and the route of the Ashby Canal from bridge 62 through to Measham and beyond falls within his parliamentary constituency. He is an enthusiastic supporter of the restoration, and continues to assist with the negotiations with HS2 concerning its proposed route through Measham.

Andrew is frequently interviewed by both the national and the local media for his views on a wide variety of matters, and we hope that he will help to boost the profile of the Ashby Canal in the public eye.


ACA Press Release on Prospects for the Restoration of the Ashby Canal

Ashby Canal Association

Press Release

Leicestershire County Council has offered Ashby Canal Association (ACA) all its canal land from Snarestone Wharf to Measham.  It would also be prepared to donate the canal money left over from the donation by UK Coal.  Finally it would be prepared to share the powers it had obtained through the Transport and Works Act which includes access to land and permission to restore the canal. 

Why has the council done this?  The council has been seriously hit by the cuts resulting from austerity and has had to give up its lead role in the restoration of the Ashby Canal to Measham.  The council cannot afford to employ officers to lead the restoration campaign any longer, having been the champions of the restoration for 25 years.  ACA, a charity set up for this purpose, is more than willing to take over.  ACA has already pumped £160,000 into the canal restoration and has a campaign chest with over £100,000 to allow it to make a start on the ground.

For the deal to go through the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs must be satisfied and the department wishes that the public have their say. 

We would welcome your views and comments.  Please  write on the accompanying sheet including your name: 

Comments on Press Release of ACA

Please email your completed form to:

This is for ACA use only. This press release has been issued to the local press, and it will also feature in the Autumn edition of Spout, to be distributed to members before the end of September 2018.

Shackerstone Festival Report 1st – 2nd September 2018

Good weather saw another successful family festival take place. Highlights included the RAF Falcons Parachute Team on the Saturday and a fly past by a Hurricane from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight on the Sunday. Teams from The Portsmouth Field Guns competed in the Arena, and The Age of the Jacobites relived the era of chivalry. There were also numerous classic cars and bikes and boats, and for the first time, a land train that helped ferry visitors around the site.

Card payments now accepted at Snarestone Wharf

Snarestone Wharf is now set up to take card payments for purchases from the shop, and for membership applications, which have been completed  on site. Payment by cash continues as before. Most of the leading cards are accepted, and contactless payment is also possible. This is part of an ongoing scheme by the ACA  to modernise and ease the processing of payments.


Evening walk from Snarestone with IWA Lichfield branch on Wednesday 18th July 2018

10 walkers enjoyed a four and a half mile circular walk from Snarestone to Shackerstone. Assembling at The Globe Inn in Snarestone at 6:15 pm we set off along the Ivanhoe Way, following it southwards to join up with Derby Lane at Beanfield Farm.  After a wet Spring and a dry and hot Summer, many of the stiles were overgrown and barely visible, but our intrepid band of walkers got through nonetheless. We also had to contend with a gate that barred the way to the public footpath. Mindful that we had pre-ordered our meals, we took a short cut on Derby Lane to turn right and pick up the towpath at Hill’s Bridge. from where we returned northwards to our starting point and a good meal at the pub. Many of the IWA members expressed their appreciation at the tranquility and beauty of this stretch of the Ashby Canal.

Archaeology Day on 4th July 2018

The Department of Archaeology at the University of Leicester held an open day at Ilott Wharf on Wednesday 7th July 2018. Contractors from the university had been working on site for the previous two days and they presented some provisional findings on the third and final day. It also gave ACA volunteers an opportunity to learn about and handle some of their equipment, which will be familiar to many from the popular TV series, Time Team.

This archaeological survey was funded by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant and their findings will be published in due course.