Latest News & Events

Work Parties for 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.

Archaeology experience day on Thursday 7th June 2018 – postponed until further notice

As part of a three day archaeological survey of Ilott Wharf by a specialist team from The University of Leicester, their Department of Archaeology had invited ACA members to gain first-hand experience in archaeology. Unfortunately this experience day has had to be postponed; the Department of Archaeology deemed the terrain unsuited and unsafe in its current state. The ACA will have to have the grass mowed, and the terrain levelled off before the archaeologists can get to work. There is currently no date fixed for this to happen.

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.














Moira Canal Festival – 19th-20th May 2018

This year’s Moira Canal Festival was blessed with good weather, and in spite of competing with the draw of a Royal Wedding, the attendance was good on both days thanks to widespread publicity and a good range of entertainment.


Grant awarded from the Heritage Lottery Fund – launch event of 7th April 2018

To celebrate the award of a grant of £10.000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the ACA held a launch event at Ilott Wharf on Friday 7th April 2019. The grant will be used to uncover the industrial archaeology and social history of the Ashby Canal’s Ilott Wharf which was well known to working boatmen and the local mining community. ACA will be working with experts from the Archaeology and History Department of the University of Leicester who will use state of the art scanning equipment to identify what historical information can be found in and under the site of the wharf from its heyday and record recollections of local people who knew the area well.

An information board, which faces Bosworth Road,  was formally unveiled by Bev Smith, the mayor of North West Leicestershire District Council following a pioneering speech by Peter Oakden, the ACA Chairman.  A large cottage used to stand on the site, and Brian Goodwin, one of its former occupants, was also present. He was able to identify himself in a display of historic photos held by Measham Museum, and tell the story behind the images.

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

ACA members are welcome to join a guided walk from Snarestone to Shackerstone and back. Details as below:

This is a 5.6 mile dog-friendly walk with six stiles (of which two can currently be bypassed) on even ground, across fields, quiet country lanes and the towing path. The walk can be shortened to 4 miles if required.


Our starting point is The Globe Inn in Snarestone village. We follow The Ivanhoe Way in a south-easterly direction across farmland (all the stiles occur along this stretch) and then join a tarmacked byroad at Shackerstone Fields Farm. We proceed along Derby Lane (there is the possibility of shortening the walk by turning right on Derby Lane after about 800 metres) towards the entrance to The Battlefield Railway Line. Crossing the old railway bridge we join the Ashby Canal at Town Bridge and return to Snarestone along the towpath, passing through small cuttings and the thick woodland of The Crown Estate. There is then the chance of refreshment at the pub.

Meet 6 pm for a 6:15 pm start in the car park of The Globe Inn, Main Street, Snarestone, Leicestershire DE12 7DB.  Contact Clive Walker on 07866 201873 or

Shop Sales – also available via Facebook


For the benefit of visiting boaters and walkers the Snarestone shop and Information Kiosk now stocks  tea bags, long-life milk, jars of coffee, cold drinks, and ice cream.

Solid Fuel is also available for boaters, and charcoal for those wishing to use the barbecue facility adjacent to the Snarestone visitor moorings

We also have souvenirs, mugs, tea-towels, plaques and gift-ware.  The adjacent Bric-a-Brac emporium is full of interesting items to tempt you.

An illustrated walk leaflet is available for those wishing to explore the canal route as far as Moira and beyond.

It is now possible to buy selected items from the Snarestone shop online via Facebook. All sales support the work of ACA.  You can either collect your purchase in person or have it delivered at cost price.


Visit the Ashby Canal Association Sales Page at:

Please note, however, that you must have an active account with Facebook in order to use this service.  

Below is the layout of the homepage of the site. You must scroll down the Facebook page to view the individual listings and their prices.

Our thanks go to Michael Wooding, our on-site member and shop manager, for setting up and administering this new venture.

Quiz Night – date already set for this year – 17th November 2018

The ACA’s annual quiz night with 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, battling it out for the prizes.  This fun event is not canal-related, so anyone can enjoy a good night out.

Make a date in your diary for next year’s event on 17th November 2018.

Shackerstone Festival 1st-2nd September 2018

This year’s dates for the popular Shackerstone Family Festival have been set for the weekend of 1st-2nd September.  Click on the lilac-coloured  Shackerstone Festival button on the bottom right of this page for more details.

Here are some pictures of last year’s successful event, when good weather on Saturday brought out the crowds.  There was, as always, a good programme of entertainment for all the family, stalls, bar, funfair, refreshments, classic cars, and lots of historic boats to admire.  The Ashby Canal Association stand did brisk business, and recruited several new members, as well as selling loads of bric-a-brac and giftware, and raising funds for our restoration project. The Shackerstone Family Festival website (click on the lilac button on the right)  has more.


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

Bill Devitt, testing officer for the Great Central Railway, will give an illustrated talk on the Great Central Railway, Past and Present. 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.

Report on the Annual General Meeting on 15th January 2018

The AGM of the ACA was well attended at the new venue of Café 1804 at Bosworth Marina.

Chairman Peter Oakden reviewed the progress made over the past year, after which John Roddis gave his last talk as Treasurer, before retiring from the post he has held stoutly and efficiently for the past 19 years.  He was rewarded with an Honorary Life Family Membership. ACA life member, Bob Taylor, takes over the Treasury role.

The AGM was followed by a social evening. Paul Burrows showed three short films of the canal taken by his quadcopter. There then followed a talk on the restoration by Peter Oakden, accompanied by illustrations and slides from Geoff Pursglove.

Hedgelaying at Snarestone

A professional hedgelayer has been contracted by LCC to ‘build’ the offside hedge between bridge 61 and the winding hole at Snarestone. Using traditional tools, and working on his own for just two days a week, the job was completed in the Spring of 2018.