Progress Through Partnership

The following is a timeline of the history of our Trust, and the milestones of the Mon & Brec canals restoration that we have been involved in with our partners. Also included are some earlier canal restoration events, and some significant engineering events/incidents.

Click any photo for a bigger view.

1915

Last commercial boat to Moderator Wharf in Newport

1938

Last commercial cargo was carried on the Monmouthshire Canal’s main line

1948

The UK Government nationalised virtually all of Britain’s waterways. The Monmouthshire Canal and Brecknockshire & Abergavenny Canal were grouped together as the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal and put under the authority of the British Transport Commission.

1955

The British Transport Commission classifies the Mon & Brec canal as a “Remainder Waterway”. In effect not having a future.

1968

The Brecon to Pontypool section is redesignated by the recently created British Waterways Board from “Remainder Waterway” to “Cruising Waterway” status.

1970

Canal Restoration begins. Promoted and funded in part by the newly designated Brecon Beacons National Park. The first major works were started with the rebuilding of Brynich lock, and restoration of the Brynich Aqueduct south of Brecon.

1973

Electric drawbridge installation completed at Talybont-on-Usk. Contract price for reconstruction of this bridge was £12,721.11p. Local residents protested during the construction to ensure there were sufficient safety measures in place to protect the public whilst the bridge was being operated.

1974

The Newport Canal Society achieved the restoration of Gwasted Mawr Lock 34 in 1973/74 by funding through an Education project. The lock was restored and re-gated by a maintenance team from British Waterways (River Severn region).

1975

A major breach occurred on the Brecknockshire & Abergavenny Canal due to a channel failure and embankment slip above Llanfoist. The canal had to be closed while the breach was repaired by BW staff from Govilon supported by engineers from Gloucester. A 4 mile stretch of the canal bed was lined with concrete.

1976

Gwent County Council opens Fourteen Locks Canal Centre

1982

Public Inquiry into construction of Cwmbran Drive/Greenforge Way. Local Canal Societies objected, but Secretary of State allowed Cwmbran Development Corporation to destroy 500m of canal.


1984

Formation of Monmouthshire, Brecon and Abergavenny Canals Trust Ltd by combining two existing groups – the Newport Canal Society and the Torfaen Canal Preservation Society.

1985

Ashford Tunnel reopened to navigation

1988

Cambrian Cruiser marina established at Pencelli

1988

IWA and MBACT organise National Trailboat Festival at Pontymoile Basin

1993

Toilets constructed at Pontymoile Basin by the unemployed through a Youth Training Scheme arranged through a partnership with the Trust, Council and British Waterways.

1994

Reconstruction of Crown Bridge and opening ceremony after removal of armco culvert pipe

Dec 1994

Heavy rain caused the embankment to collapse at Talybont On Usk. Residents were evacuated but the canal embankment collapsed sending water, soil and rubble down the main street flooding 15 houses and the Star Inn. The 30 foot hole was repaired and the canal bottom was lined with concrete. Repairs took 4 months.


Photos www.talybontonusk.wales

Dec 1994

A MBACT member saw that the embankment at Llanfoist was cracking. The canal was quickly dewatered and the concrete lining was found to be cracked. A temporary “Tunnel of Love” was installed to allow boat passage whilst repairs were done over a 6 month period.

1995

Monmouthshire Brecon & Abergavenny Canals Regeneration Partnership set up between MBACT, local Councils and British Waterways

1995

New Northern terminus canal basin and theatre at Brecon created.

1995

Malpas Link Planning Study – Ian Walker Assoc./Rust Consulting. Feasibility of a canal to River Usk link.

1997

Start of Monmouthshire Brecon & Abergavenny Canals Regeneration Partnership restoration project

1997

Ash Tree Bridge 32 restoration work with IWA Waterways Recovery Group

1997

New Terminus Mooring Basin constructed at Five Locks

Jan 1998

Newport section of Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal declared a Conservation Area – Newport County Borough Council

1998

Monmouthshire Brecon & Abergavenny Regeneration Partnership produces “Technical and Financial Feasibility” Study on Restoration – Hall Aitken Associates

1999

Restoration of Ty Ffynnon Lock No 36, Newport

2000

Millennium Celebration Boat Rally at Brecon Basin organised by the Trust with British Waterways.

2000

Restoration of Tamplin Lock No 37, South of Pentre Lane. Work was sponsored by Hemming Waste

2000

Trailboat Rally held at Kimberly Park, Newport which attracted 6,000 visitors and 37 Boats

2000

New slipway constructed near Bettws Lane Bridge, Newport

2001

Restoration of Bettws Lane Lock No 35, Newport

2001

New slipway built at Pontywaen – Caerphilly CBC and MBACT partnership

2001

Trailboat Rally held at Cwmcarn with new slipway and 22 boats attending

2001

Successful Public Campaign to persuade Caerphilly CBC not to culvert large sections of the Crumlin Arm

2002

The Trust, with support from the WRG and Contractors restore Cefn Wharf Lock No 21 at the top of the Fourteen Locks Flight

  

2002/2003

British Waterways makes major policy and structure changes – Wales became an autonomous business region within BW structure. BW withdrew from practical regeneration projects on the Mon and Brec canal.

2003

Crindau Marina Proposal – Market Research, Feasibility and Viability Study – British Waterways

2003

“Waterways for Wales” – British Waterways and Welsh Government Vision for restored canals in Wales, including the Mon & Brec

2003

First Waterway Recovery Group work-camp on Torfaen CBC property with work on Ash Tree Bridge.

2003

At the time the Trust’s most successful Duck Race at Llangynidr with over 36 boats attending

2003

IWA Waterway Recovery Group Bonfire Bash – 400 WRG and MBACT volunteers spend 3 days cutting back overgrown vegetation from the Fourteen Locks Flight

2004

Newport Unlimited publishes Masterplan which includes proposal for Crindau Marina and River Usk link.

2004

Gwasted Mawr Lock No 34, Malpas re-gated

2004

Restoration of Gwasted Lock No 2, Crumlin Arm, Newport

2004

Inland Waterways Association, National Trailboat Festival held at Kimberley Park Newport. Organised and run by MBACT in partnership with Newport City Council

2005

Dredging and relining, canal between Cefn Wharf Lock and Ruskin Avenue, Newport

2005

Canal awareness day in Cwmbran included entertainment and boat trips on the canal on Edith-Elizabeth operating as 2 boats

2005

Slipway built at Fourteen Locks top pound

2005

School liaison group take part in project to maintain footpaths around Fourteen Locks

2005

Presented with CPRW Care of the Local Environment Award

2006

Monmouthshire Brecon & Abergavenny Regeneration Partnership submits Big Lottery – Living Links application to restore the canal. Successful 1st round bid – secures £250,000 funding for full cost and engineering study.

May 2006

Newport City Council adopts Unitary Development Plan 1996-2011. Designates Crindau as a Regeneration Area with Marina and Canal Link to River Usk. Adopts polices to protect canal route from damaging development proposals.

2006

Newport City Council dredges Alltyryn section of Crumlin Arm

2006

Trust and Waterway Recovery Group members fit timber fendering to new slipway at Fourteen Locks

2006

Trust and Waterway Recovery Group members construct access path including drainage alongside Fourteen Locks

2006

Bettws Lane Bridge at Malpas – Rebuilding of bridge to allow for navigation

2006

As part of the Interreg European exchange programme volunteers attended a 3 day workshop in Cwmbran installing a seat behind Pets at Home and carrying out maintenance work to Tamplin Lock. The volunteers were from Utrecht, Apeldoorn, Strabane & Lifford and Cwmbran

2007

New “Herons Rest” marina constructed at Pen Pedair Heol Farm, Crickhowell

Oct 2007

Major breach at Gilwern


Photo John Halford

2007

Monmouthshire Brecon & Abergavenny Regeneration Partnership submits Big Lottery – Living Links Application for £25m (75% of restoration cost). Proposal reached final shortlist of UK schemes but loses out to the Helix Canal Project in Scotland.

2008

MBACT takes on management of Fourteen Locks Canal Centre from Newport City Council

2008

180m of relining work at Dardy near Llangattock by CRT

2008

Trust Volunteers and Members of the Waterway Recovery Group fit gates at Waen Lock 3 on the Crumlin Arm

2008

Newport City Council Supplementary Planning Guidance- Design Statement for Crindau. Sets out area redevelopment and Marina vision.

2008

Heads of the Valley A465 dualling project builds new bridge over the canal. The new bridge also allowed longer boats to navigate the turn between bridges 101 and 102.


Photo John Halford

May 2008

Fourteen Locks Canal Centre extended to provide Cafe, meeting room and office facilities

2008

Full inspection of the canal in the Newport City Council area

May 2009

Pontymoile Spring Rally

June 2009

Gilwern Celebration Rally

2010

Restoration of 2 pairs of locks started at Fourteen Locks. Education Through Restoration Project. Partnership between Newport City Council and MBACT, funding from Heritage Lottery Fund and Newport City Council.

2010

Inland Waterways Association National Trailboat Festival, Kimberley Park Newport. Organised and run by MBACT in partnership with Newport City Council.

2010

As part of the National Trailboat Festival – first boats for 70 years cruise the 2.5 miles from Barrack Hill Tunnel entrance to Pentre Lane

2010

Malpas – Bettws Lift-Bridge installed to replace low timber footbridge

2011

Completion of restoration of the Cefn flight locks 17-20 and their pounds were completely restored with grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and other bodies

2011

Torfaen section of Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal declared a Conservation Area – Torfaen County Borough Council

2011

Bridge 61 collapses and is re-built

2011

Education Through Restoration Project wins RICS Wales Restoration Award. Judges were impressed with level of Community and Schools engagement

2012

1812 – 2012 Bicentenary Celebrations – 200th anniversary of the joining of the Monmouthshire Canal with The Brecknock and Abergavenny Canal

2012

Heritage Lottery funding secured to restore the Ty Coch Flight

2012 – 2013

470m of relining work near Llangattock by CRT

Apr 2013

A plaque was unveiled at the Fourteen Locks Canal Centre to commemorate canal engineer Thomas Dadford Jnr. and his achievements

2013

Brecon Beacons National Park Authority – Survey identifies the Mon & Brec Canal as the most visited attraction in the National Park

2014

Beyond the Towpath – A Ten Year Strategy for Glandwr Cymru – Recommends a strategy for Wales Canals

2014

Major repairs to the canal at Llanfoist after a serious breach included 1.5km of re-lining work.

2015

Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal Sustainability Impact Assessment – Peter Brett Associates

2015

Newport City Council adopts new Local Development Plan 2011-2026. Designation of Crindau as a Regeneration Area and associated Marina proposal is dropped.

2015

Caerphilly CBC – publishes Crumlin Arm Action Plan

Nov 2015

Beacon Park Boats open new base at Llangattock

Jul 2016

Restored Ty Coch locks officially re-opened with the Trust’s boat Edith-Elizabeth passing through Lower Brake lock

Oct 2016

MBACT, in partneship with Newport City Council, set up the Canal and Countryside volunteer team. The group have made a huge impact with conservation along this canal section.

2017

Last lock restoration completed at end of Ty Coch Waterworks project with completion of lock 44. A total of 11 locks at Ty Coch were restored

2017

650m of major relining works at Llangattock by CRT

2016-2017

Section of canal relined and retaining wall replaced at Pont-y-Waen

2016-2017

Relining of Cwmcarn Aqueduct, a Scheduled Ancient Monument. Caerphilly County Borough Council

2017

Stage one Heritage Lottery Fund bid submitted by Torfaen CBC supported by MBACT to restore Five Locks and extend current navigation of the canal in Pontnewydd village by 1.5 miles. Application was unsuccessful, but resubmission invited.

May 2017

Our first monthly walk from fourteen locks canal centre with Newport City Council. A new partnership created to get people outdoors, exercising and learning about what’s on their doorstep.

2017

Ty Coch restoration project wins the Preservation and Rejuvenation Award at the annual Construction Excellence Wales Awards

2018

Funding Secured for the Adventure Triangle Scheme – Visit Wales ERDF bid by Torfaen CBC and Caerphilly CBC, CRT supported by MBACT

2018

Canal and River Trust Board Members visit and help us celebrate 10 years managing the Fourteen Locks Canal Centre

Jul 2019

Friends Of Chernobyl’s Children – Raglan, South Wales organise the 1st of several planned annual visits to the canal at Goytre

Sep 2019

The Trust’s new trip boat “Lord Raglan” is commissioned

Oct 2019

‘Expression of Interest’ funding application submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund for regeneration at Ty Coch

Mar 2020

Ty Coch Heritage Lottery Fund application put on-hold due to Covid-19

2020

Canal towpath resurfaced, Crumlin Arm. Newport City Council

March 2021

Caerphilly CBC commission major maintenance works to reline sections of the Crumlin Arm between Pontywaun Aqueduct to Green Meadow Bridge

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