Latest News & Events

Social Evening on Monday 8th October 2018 – “Great Central Railway”

Bill Devitt will give an illustrated talk on the Great Central Railway, Past and Present.     A look at the history and development of this famous railway, and the preservation of the stretch between Nottingham and Leicester as a heritage line.

This promises to be a fascinating talk, and a great start to our programme of autumn and winter events.   All are welcome, and admission is fre

Venue: Donisthorpe Woodland Centre (DM’s), Church Road, Donisthorpe DE12 7PY, starting at 7:30 pm on Monday 8th October 2018. The venue has a bar and ample parking on site.

Coal and Canals – an evening entertainment

Our pre- Christmas social evening will be something special…………….

COAL AND CANALS – featuring the five piece ZOUCH BAND with Brian Langtry

The story in words and music of the coal industry and its relationship with the canals.

A lively and engaging two act performance in words and music which will include some audience involvement.

Monday 10th December 2018  7.30pm

Venue:  Stoke Golding Club, Stoke Golding CV13 6DZ

A small admission charge of £3 per head will apply for this event – pay on the door, no need to book.   All welcome.





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.


Quiz Night – 17th November 2018 – tickets on sale from 1st October 2018

The ACA’s annual quiz night with a fish & chip supper is now firmly fixed in the social calendar. Last year’s event was held on Saturday 18th November 2017 at Stoke Golding Club, when 83 contestants wracked their brains over general knowledge questions and the picture quiz. We return to Stoke Golding for this year too.

Tickets for this year’s event  go on sale on 1st October 2018, on a first come first served basis. This time, in addition to the customary purchase of tickets by cheque or cash, we are also able to take payments and bookings by card – see the poster below for further information.



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.

Work Parties for 2018/2019 – next one on Sunday 21st October 2018


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 is scheduled for Sunday 21st October 2018. It is likely that it will involve hedge cutting at Snarestone, and further scrub clearance at Ilott Wharf. Further details will be published nearer the time.

There are some ongoing projects, which 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 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.