Monty Festival looks for traders

July 2017 - The Montgomery Canal is, perhaps, one of the most remote canals with real potential as a tourist success. Sadly it remains unrestored for much of it's length there are those trying to raise its profile as Alec Wood reports.

The Montgomery has been chopped into short lengths by council road 'improvements' within living memory and, whilst sections have been restored, and money promised both sides of the English-Welsh border it remains stubbornly broken.

Unfortunately restrictions on the locks linking the northern section with the Llangollen - partly due to water supplies and partly to the extensive Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) along the canal – mean only a handful of those boaters using the popular Llangollen, venture the few miles to the canal's current terminus.

The section around Welshpool has also been restored for a mile or two but the lengths between the restored sections and the entire onward route to Newtown in mid Wales is cut again and again where bridges have been flattened to give drivers faster roads.

There seems little or no political will to fund restoration that would bring another major tourist canal into being. But there are those fighting for the canal and this September sees another Maesbury Canal Fayre at Canal Central, Maesbury Marsh, close to the current terminus of the restored section running from the Llangollen.

Based around Montgomery canal, bridge 80, it runs from September 15 to 17 and is organised by Bywater Cruises and Canal.

The organisers are hoping to attract canal traders to the event and the fee is just £10 for three days or £5 for one day. Charities and demonstrators free but donation to Friends of the Montgomery Canal will be appreciated.

It is free entry for non-trading boats and people and also free parking. Plans include traditional games for all the family with crafts, entertainment, food and drink.

The Bywater Cruises horse boat will be running trips pulled by Cracker. Contact details Phone: 07941 429980, Email:

Photos: (1st) Canal Central - home of the Canal Fayre, (2nd) One of the stalls from last year, (3rd) Boat Horse Cracker working on the Montgomery.

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