North Walsham and Dilham Canal restoration
19th May 2010
Regular readers will know that I am particularly fond of the North Walsham and Dilham canal, Norfolk's only true canal and one which ran within a few miles of my childhood home.
During a recent visit to North Walsham I was given a copy of an article torn from "Just North Walsham" which featured a two page spread on the restoration effort going on just down the road.
It appears that a canal sympathetic company called 'The Old Canal Company' has bought the top two and a quarter miles above Ebridge Mill, through Bacton Lock and on to Swafield with the stated intent of opening it up for mavigation. And its not just words, a dredger (Ex BW boat Weasel) has been installed and the lock at Bacton Wood is well on the way to full reinstatement.
This great leap forward, after nine years of negotiation, taken together with the three miles and two locks still owned by the North Walsham Canal Company represents a meaningful addition to the inland waterways network.
There have been recurring dreams of full restoration, firstly by Robert Aickman in 1953, then David Hutchings in 1972 and now, at last, that vision seems to be inching towards fruition.
I am a regular reader of Canal Boat and always find Martin Ludgate's Restoration News particularly interesting. Martin I can feel a trip to Norfolk coming on...
And the catalyst to this latest progress? The owner of Bacton Wood Mill has restored the internal mechanism and wants the canal restored to bring him a head of water. It seems that the traditional emnity betyween millers and canal owners is a thing of the past. But then, they do things diff'rnt in Norfolk.