8th Apr, 2020

Coventry to mark 250 years of city canal basin

John Carlon 22nd Oct, 2019

HERITAGE enthusiasts will gather at the Coventry canal basin on Saturday (October 26), to mark 250 years of a canal in the city

A free event, 10am to 4pm, will celebrate the anniversary of the first coal boats coming to Coventry, in 1769.

In that year ‘the Coventry Mercury’ newspaper reported: “Two boats laden with coal were brought to this city from this side of Bedworth. Being the first ones, they were received with loud cheers by a number of people who had assembled to witness their arrival.”

The Canal and River Trust and the Coventry Society will host with a display of vintage Riley cars; canoeing on the the canal; ‘steampunk-style drumming’; a display of street art and information from experts in the Coventry Canal Society.

The historic anniversary will mark the opening of the canal to bring coal from the Warwickshire coalfield pits in Bedworth and Coventry to midlands industry.

Pioneering canal engineer James Brindley designed the waterway, after the Coventry Canal Company was formed in 1768.

After the introduction of the railways, and the decline of Warwickshire collieries, the Coventry canal basin fell into disrepair through the 20th century.

To promote the maintenance of the historic canal, the Coventry Canal Society was established in 1957.

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