Friday, 2 July 2010

Long Lane - Shrewsbury Canal

Long Lane
Shrewsbury Canal
2nd July 2010

Long Lane marked the start of our cycle ride, a lay by off the main road. The logistics of these trips can be quite complicated as we like to do a one way ride. Jeff was deposited at the roadside complete with bicycles whilst Dr D and I set off in both cars looking for an as yet unidentified parking space somewhere near the far end of the canal.

One plan was to go right into Shrewsbury and park near the prison but that meant an extra 40 mins batling with the city centre traffic. Instead we opted to look around Uffington, which marks the start of a towpath cycle way which extends right into the city centre. As luck would have it the church hall has a decent car park with no "no parking" signs, so we left the Mondeo and its cycle rack there and Dr D drove back to Telford.

Long Lane Bridge

Long lane was quite a canal centre in its day, with its now demolished wharf and two bridges, numbers 16 and 17. Bridge 16 came as something of a surprise, standing complete with its brich arch curving gracefully over a short stretch of canal. It seems that the Shrewsbury and Newport Canal Society have been having a go at this site, which is very visible from the adjoining A5, clearing out the rubbish and making a little pearl to attract public support.

Whilst this in water, progress is brought to an abrupt halt in the form of a dropped road deck with no obvious way across. A big problem for another day. Rinky dink engineering solutions involving automated rising aqueducts have been mooted but in my experience, simple is almost always best.

Native English Iris thrive in the boggy sections

There is little to be seen of the next mile, a bit of water near the railway line but generally the track has been ploughed under the field and it's as if it never existed at all.

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