Our meeting in June was organised by our regular duo David Hayes and Derek Hathaway and our thanks are due to them both for a well researched walk as usual. The walk was publicised by the Society and was also promoted by the City Council. We had a very good turnout of around 45 people, some of whom had obviously already researched the canal route.
The walk started at The Navigation (no prized for guessing the source of the name!) on the A6 in bright sunshine and we walked along the canal line maintained so well by the City Council to Pacific Way to inspect the top of the culvert already in place to take the canal and buried after completion. Then we saw the open area parallel to Pride Parkway by the Citypoint housing development to see where the canal will be constructed before it crosses under the railway line.
Next on to the site of the Derby Arm, where the railway crosses the Derwent to explain how the Arm will work, where it will be and the status of discussions with developers and other interested parties. We had a lot of interest on this topic as you might imagine. From here we followed the proposed route up the river to the still existing canal culvert under the railway’s approach to the station by the Alexandra Arms. The bridge still shows the rope wear on the bridge side and the stones marking the edge of the towpath under the bridge. Walking under the bridge you now walk on the (paved) bed of the original canal. David explained that in the early days it had been hoped to use the bridge for the canal, but the Pride Park access road concrete support now stand right on the only possible canal line, and hence the plan to use the river.
You’ll be pleased to know that with David and Derek now fielding questions galore the group continued on their way through Bass recreation ground to the Royal Standard (sorry the Brewery tap) to look at pictures of how the canal used to be and how it will be soon! One thing we always stress is how well canals help local businesses – or should that just be locals!
Photo below shows the group before the start of the walk