The long-awaiting reconstruction of Schoolhouse Bridge on the Montgomery Canal is now under way following the cutting of the first sod by Cllr Vince Hunt, Chairman of Shropshire Council.

The bridge, on a country lane south of Oswestry, was blocked many years ago after the canal was abandoned and is the main obstruction on the derelict section to the Welsh border at Llanymynech. To tackle the bridge the local waterway charities came together to organise its reconstruction. As well as running a series of local and national fund-raising appeals which have raised over £1 million, experienced volunteers prepared the bridge design, obtained all the technical approvals, and negotiated with the Canal & River Trust, Shropshire Council and adjoining landowners for the formal agreements needed for the work.

Cllr Hunt said, “I was delighted to attend to cut the first sod on Schoolhouse Bridge. This has been a long time in coming and will advance the joining of both ends of the Montgomery Canal which is wonderful for tourism in Shropshire and will be a much-needed economic boost for this part of the county.”

The event was attended by representatives of the Restore the Montgomery Canal team which has promoted the rebuilding of this last highway blockage on the canal in Shropshire, with other canal volunteers, local property owners, the contractors and a councillor from the local parish council.  

Following the event Beaver Bridges set to work with their machinery and within days had removed the old road embankment which had blocked the canal for sixty years or more.   

Michael Limbrey, Chairman of the Restore the Montgomery Canal, Don Howell from contractors, Beaver Bridges and Cllr Vince Hunt, Chairman of Shropshire Council.

Pictures courtesy of Beaver Bridges.