Prince of Wales reconnects Thames & Severn and Stroudwater Navigation in Stroud

Volunteers explain the work

Volunteers explain the work - Credit: Martin Ludgate

A royal reconnection took place to mark completion of Cotswold Canals restoration from Brimscombe to Stonehouse

Prince Charles cuts the ribbon

Prince Charles cuts the ribbon - Credit: Martin Ludgate

The Prince of Wales is pictured cutting a tape to symbolically reconnect the restored lengths of the Thames & Severn Canal and the Stroudwater Navigation in the centre of Stroud – and mark the completion of restoration of the Phase 1a length of the Cotswold Canals from below Brimscombe to Stonehouse.

Well, not quite the completion: as the inset picture shows, there were Cotswold Canals Trust volunteers still hard at work completing the surfacing around the bottom gates at Wallbridge Lower Lock, and His Royal Highness was introduced to them after disembarking following a short ride from Wallbridge Upper Lock on trip-boat Perseverence.

The restoration is at a critical stage with a decision due in April on major Lottery funding for Phase 1b length - the vital link to the national network at Saul Junction. The Prince referred to the work still to be done – saying that it would be a “great achievement” but remarking wryly that he might not live to see it done.