Montgomery Canal’s beautiful waterway scenery and impressive historic structures provide the inspiration for a touring photographic exhibition which moves to its final destination at Newtown Library on February 2.

Curated by the Canal & River Trust waterways and well-being charity and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of a £4 million Montgomery Canal restoration project, the exhibition features the work of community photographers, as well as fascinating black and white archive pictures of the Welshpool Big Dig of 1969.

Hundreds of people enjoyed viewing the Montgomery Canal Photography Exhibition at Oswestry Library and Powysland Museum Welshpool, and Sylvia Edwards, the Trust’s Montgomery Canal Community Development Officer, is hoping it will have similar appeal for canal enthusiasts in Newtown.

She said: “The exhibition contains some great shots of structures and wildlife, as well as showing the challenging mitigation measures the Canal & River Trust has had to put in place to get permission to restore the canal. Visitors will also be able to compare past and current canal restoration techniques employed by the hard-working, enthusiastic Shropshire Union Canal Society volunteers. The exhibition provides a brilliant window into a fascinating world of canal restoration.”

The Trust, which cares for the Montgomery Canal and 2,000 miles of waterways, is currently working on a major project to restore a section of the Montgomery on the Shropshire/Welsh border, which is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The major canal restoration project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Shropshire Wildlife Trust’s Freshwater First ERDF Programme, supported by the Montgomery Canal Partnership, and delivered by the Canal & River Trust. Only around half of the canal is currently navigable but, with the help of the Shropshire Union Canal Society and other volunteers, this latest major phase should be completed by 2020.

Work is progressing well on upgrading nearly five miles of towpath, restoring 1¼ miles of the canal to navigation from Maesbury to Crickheath and creating a dedicated turning point for narrowboats, known as a ‘winding hole’. This will enable boats to return to the area for the first time since 1936 when the canal was closed.

The Montgomery Canal photographic exhibition will be at Newtown Library until 30 March. Opening hours are Mon/Thurs/Fri: 9.30am-5.30pm, Tues: 9.30am-7.00pm, Saturday: 9.30am- 1pm. Closed Weds and Sun.

The Montgomery Canal is also the subject of a new film “Life on the Monty”, which is a celebration of its wildlife, people and heritage, including rare footage of a young Prince of Wales re-opening Welshpool Lock in the 1970s. To see the film go to on the Canal & River Trust website

For more information about the Montgomery Canal, becoming a Friend of the Canal & River Trust or supporting canal restoration, go online at or phone 0303 040 4040.

If you would like to support the wider restoration effort of the Montgomery Canal, go to