Wyrley & Essington Canal – Busy and Getting Busier!

Canal Festival bt Melvyn Salter Community Artist. August2016

Here Community Artist Melvyn Salter recorded the Canal Festival on August 14th 2016

Wyrley & Essington Canal is a great little canal! The numbers of boaters are growing every year since Wednesfield Councillors started to develop and promote the canal as a leisure venue and a Local Nature Reserve.

There are more people on the tow paths walking, using them to cycle, fish and just leisure walks now, than at any time previously for decades if not ever! Plus its not only those that are out for exercise. Last week there was a Community Artist sitting sketching painting and recording activities taking place a long the canal! How good is that! (Thank You Melvyn for sending me a photograph of your work on the day!)

There are more boats finding their way down the canal as well, as the Wyrley & Essington canal’s reputation increases within the Leisure boat and Narrowboat fraternity.

Some 130 vessels have used the canal this year alone, and we have three and a half months still left in the year. That is put into perspective when measured against the just 50 movements that took place throughout the whole of 2007!

Today our third cruise this year moored in Wednesfield – Bentley Bridge, that is a record in itself!

I am grateful to Stewart & Marie from the Birmingham Canal & Navigation Society for organising and arranging this important event.

Every time a boat moors and stays overnight somewhere around £100 is spent locally by these tourists, either in provisioning in local Shops, Pubs, restaurants or leisure outlets. It’s an important economic success we are having and we should be darn proud of what we all have done to raise the profile of our great little canal and the history and facilities our Village has to offer.

Whilst we will not have any more organised cruises this year, there are still those tourists that will be travelling independently on the canal this year.

In the meantime if you are a Narrow Boat owner and you have travelled on the WE or have stayed over in Wednesfield, can you let me know when, with date so I can keep the records straight…..

Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more