A few days ago I had one of the most memorable and enlightening afternoons ever.
Along with the mayors of both Lancaster and Kendal I was invited to cruise the most northerly navigable reach of that stretch of canal that weaves from Crooklands to Stainton.
We were guests of the Lancaster Canal Trust on board their newly liveried craft Waterwitch, which now proudly displays paintings of the Coats of Arms of both Lancaster and Kendal, alongside depictions of Nether Bridge and Lancaster Castle.
All of this is finished in the traditional style of canal barge artistry.
Splendid though the journey was, it was at the northern limit (where we disembarked) that our eyes really popped out as we viewed the unbelievably impressive construction and design work of the trust volunteers on what is dubbed “the first furlong”.
This is a most remarkable piece of work in progress, as volunteer construction workers and designers restore and regenerate this currently dry section of the canal, the disused bed of which continues – sad and drained – to the very heart of Kendal.
But if the trust fulfils its ambitious dreams, one day we will again travel that section by waterborne craft.
I cannot do full justice to the project that is underway and which was shown to us by the trust president Hal Bagot of Levens and the chairman, Richard Trevitt of Lancaster.
Suffice to say that they are overseeing something of mind boggling proportions that will render observers speechless with admiration.
My own subscription to the charitable trust was in the post the very next day and I do sincerely urge readers to consider offering their own support by visiting their website searching for Lancaster Canal Trust, and learning more about what is truly a 21st century project.
Coun Ron Sands
Cabinet Member for Culture Lancaster City Council