In 1968 the Erewash Canal Preservation &Development Association (ECP&DA) was formed in response to a threat by the British Waterways Board to close the canal. One of the ECP&DA's achievements was the re-opening of the Great Northern Basin at Langley Mill. This canal basin was the point at which the Cromford, Erewash and Nottingham Canals met. The Langley Mill Boat Company, formed in 1974 by members of the ECP&DA ( Pete was one of the original members) and based at the Great Northern Basin, had cleared and put back into water a short section of the Cromford Canal connected to the basin. Pete now runs the Langley Mill Boat Company and with him and members of the ECP&DA had the dock and workshop built and helped encourage boat owners to moor in a safe environment.
|The gates in green open and the dock and boats beyond|
It now appears that the Council official reluctantly gave way and bypassed the gate making the footpath go along land owned by C&RT. So thegate can remain closed protecting Petes dry dock and workshop area, but it would rejoin the track a little further along still offering no security for any of the berth holders. Yesterday I walked over to the workshop and spoke to Pete. He was understandably peeved off but totally resigned to what was going to happen. He then surprised me by saying it wasn't the council that was paying for the path but C&RT! So it seems that we as licence payers are providing this footpath for the pleasure of the public. To me this is an outrage especially as at the end of the track there is nothing but a quagmire. To even attempt to walk through it would be foolhardy. There is no route along this section of the disused Cromford canal as a very wide obstacle stands in the way. The River Erewash!!! To me this is a total waste of the licence payers money. It should never have been proposed and we certainly should not have had to fork out for it!
I have found a discussion started by Mat B about this 'so called right of way' on the boating canal forum of which there had been numerous replies but this one by Hugh C stood out. I would love to hear your thoughts on this matter.
There has never been a public right of way along this route. Before the stretch was restored by the ECP&DA and the Langley Mill Boat Comapny the land had been opencasted and was lying waste; before that there was a working colliery wharf and railway over much of the site.Going further back a tramway feeding the Nottingham canal was laid along the site.At this stage the whole area was a wasteland and the canal had totally disappeared from just above the derelict lock. When industrial development was taking place alongside the basin - about 12/15 years ago- on the site of Beggarlee wharf the plans showed buildings built to the edge of the water so there was no ROW shown on the definitive map at that stage None of these uses lend themseleves to being shared by a pedestrian ROW.The question of whether or not a ROW exists has been deliberately engineeered by someone with an agenda they seem to prefer not to make public and this has been backed by a pushy footpaths officer for reasons about which we can only speculate. The whole site encompassing the Great Northern Basin and the Langley Mill Boat Co. moorings and dry dock has been brought back from dereliction to provide both a well used public amenity and a useful and much needed boaters' facility. Public access to the moorings will destroy any security and lead to a exodus of boats and the Erewash does need as many boats as possible. Regards, HughC.