Latest News

Repairs to Fidlers Ferry Lock

During the week beginning the 13th September, contractors for Warrington BC have been installing stop-logs beside the swing bridge above Fidlers Ferry lock within the gate recesses.

When that had been completed, they would be emptying the lock to repair the sills and paddles.

But, on the 20th September, they removed all of the stop logs equipment including the vertical channels which the diver had been bolting to the canal walls.

Since then, I have discovered that the contractor was causing damage to the lock wall stonework when drilling for the anchor bolts to the up-right channels. 

I understand they are now intending to install the channels on the other side of the swing bridge where the walls are the concrete foundations for the swing-bridge but the stop-logs are too short and they are waiting for longer ones to be made and galvanised.


The Newton Town Show is on Saturday 7th August 2021

It is at Mesnes Park, Park Road North, Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside, WA12 9TA.

We will have our stand at the show which opens to the public at 11am and closes at 5.00pm.

The public car park is accessible from St Aeldred’s Drive WA12 9GQ.


This year we will be selling our colourful Calendar for 2022 along with all the other SCARS publications, such as the “Sankey Canal Towpath Guide”, “The Sankey Canal Story”, “Why did St. Helens Grow” and the “Alan Godfrey Maps” along with our new range of SCARS souvenirs.

Come and join us for this wonderful show for all the family.

So do come along and say hello, have a chat to one of our team, tell us your stories about the Sankey Canal etc.

We will also have a wide selection of pre-owned transport & local history books and our excellent collection of Bric-a-Brac.

See you there!

IWA Donation to SCARS

On Wednesday 9th June at 4.00pm a group of IWA Chester & Merseyside members met up with members of the Society to organise a publicity photograph for the presentation of a cheque to the Sankey Canal Restoration Society for four milestones which have now all been installed along the whole length of the canal.

In the photo, Jim Forkin Chairman of IWA Chester & Merseyside presented the cheque to SCARS Treasurer Mike Harrison by Milestone “3 Mile to Ferry Lock" with SCARS Chairman Colin Greenall and Work Party Organiser Ian Hornby in attendance.

The Nine Arches and the Canal are to be awarded Red Wheel plaques

On Wednesday 2nd June 2021, Dr Barrie Pennington invited members of SCARS and several of St Helens councillors to the Nine Arches viaduct to decide on the locations of the National Transport Trust's Red Wheel plaques which will be placed on the structure.

One will be for the Liverpool to Manchester Railway viaduct which is the first railway viaduct on the first InterCity route, and the other will be for the Sankey Canal which is the first industrial canal in England.

The intention is to attain World Heritage Status for the location of the railway crossing the canal by 2029 which will be the 200th anniversary of the Rainhill Trials in which Stephenson's Rocket was the winner.


Attending the meeting were: (from left to right)

Pete Morris - St Helens Parks and Gardens

Peter Keen - Hon. Secretary of SCARS

Neil Forshaw - St Helens Councillor

David Banks - St Helens Councillor Earlestown ward

Jeanette Banks - St Helens Councillor Earlestown ward

Dr Barrie Pennington

Ian Hornby - SCARS

Terry Maguire - St Helens Councillor Earlestown ward

David Smith - St Helens Councillor Newton ward

Richard Corner - SCARS (photographer)

They are all standing on what should be the towpath

and the current path is where the canal will be soon!

Canal Cuttings On-line

There are now the most recent three years' worth of Canal Cuttings editions uploaded under the Archive tab on the Canal Cuttings pages.  They are in pdf format along with an image of the Contents. 

Click on the Cover image to open the document in a new browser window.

26 Jan 21 13:30

More on Milestones

This is an article from the Winter 2016 edition of Canal Cuttings on Milestones by Dave Smallshaw.

Please read the full document by clicking and downloading the image on the right and the .pdf document will open in a new browser window.

19 Jan 21 22:00

More Milestones installed

New information about the milestones in the Warrington Borough area.

Two more milestones were installed on Christmas Eve: the '2 Mile to Widnes Lock' and the '3 Mile to Widnes Lock' milestones were installed between Fiddlers Ferry and Spike Island.  The last one: '1 Mile to Widnes Lock' will be installed after Halton BC have upgraded their section of towpath.

There is a document that details the Locations of each of the Milestones. Click the link on the right to read it.

12 Jan 21 21:00

Locations of the New Milestones

We were told by Warrington Borough Council that the milestones in the borough would be installed beginning the 23rd December.

Five milestones have been installed: 1 mile from Ferry Lock through to 5 mile from Ferry Lock.

Thank you to Sankey Canal, Past, Present and Future Facebook group members for posting photos of the newly installed milestones.

29 Dec 20 11:25

Obituary to Cllr Keith Morley 1939-2020

It is with great sadness that I have to report that on Thursday 12th November Cllr Keith Morley at the age of 81 passed away following his battle with cancer.

Keith first came to the society as the representative for Halton Borough Council some twenty years ago and from then on became our go-to man for anything to do with canal matters at the Widnes end of the Sankey Canal.  He was a hard working councillor who would always go out of his way to help the society in whatever way he could, be it arranging visits to the Mersey Gateway Bridge construction site to acquiring the container at Spike Island for our work party team, nothing ever seemed to be too much trouble.

Working with the Sankey Canal Restoration Steering group he helped in the “Linking the Locks Project” and in getting Halton Council to replace the swing bridge on Spike Island.  More recently he was involved with negotiations over the water supply situation with the closure of Fiddlers Ferry Power station.

He became Halton Council’s representative on the Sankey Canal Partnership Board on its formation in 2017 and his advice and commitment to the group was always accepted knowing that if he said he would do something it would eventually lead to it being achieved.

He has represented the Broadheath Ward of Halton Council for the last twenty years and been described as an “outstanding“ councillor with nothing being too much trouble to help his constituents.

In 2011 he had the honour of being appointed Mayor of Halton Borough Council, a role which he thoroughly enjoyed along with his wife to be Sheila Glynn as the Lady Mayoress.

Keith and Sheila married on Valentine’s Day 2015 at Runcorn Town Hall and held their reception at the Select Stadium, home of Widnes Vikings RFL Club.

Keith said he had known Sheila for more than fifty years, she used to help carry the band’s equipment into the Queens Hall, Widnes where Keith was the drummer in a local band called the Ramblers.

Tributes have been paid by his former councillor colleagues at Halton Council and these are summed up nicely by Council Leader Rob Polhill who simply said that Keith “Was irrepressible, irreplaceable and irresponsible at times in the nicest way possible”.

On behalf of the Sankey Canal Restoration Society, I would like to say thank you for the many hours spent in the company of a person so dedicated to his position as a councillor and for the way in which he approached life with kind hearted humour and responsibility.

Rest in Peace dear friend you will be sadly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing you as a friend or colleague.                                                                                                          Colin Greenall 2020-11-21

Chalon Way Carpark is to be demolished

Chalon Way Carpark in St Helens is being demolished and will 'kick-start' the regeneration around the Sankey Canal.

£1 Million pounds from the Government's town deal accelerated fund will be used to support this demolition.

St Helens' new Mayor will raise money for the Sankey Canal

St Helens new Mayor, Blackbrook councillor, Paul McQuade has said he will raise money for the Sankey Canal Restoration Society (SCARS).

He said: "Having had the pleasure of being associated with this cause for a number of years, I know first-hand that it takes a considerable amount of time and effort by this group of dedicated volunteers to enhance the amenity value of Sankey Canal."

Halton Council’s New Bridge: A Commitment to Restore the  SANKEY CANAL.

Halton Borough Council has firmed up its commitment to the future of Spike Island and The Sankey Canal, with plans to replace the ageing wooden bridge there with a steel swing structure.

Please read the full document by clicking and downloading the .pdf document icon on the left.

Sankey Canal to lose its Water supply

SCARS has recently been informed by Halton Council that Fiddlers Ferry Power Station will discontinue its regular supply of water to the Sankey Canal.

This will mean that the section of canal between Bewsey Lock in Warrington and Spike Island in Widnes will gradually dry up unless a new source of supply is found soon.

Fiddlers Ferry Power Station has been feeding water into the canal since its restoration way back in the 1980’s. This was done as a goodwill gesture at no expense to either Warrington or Halton Councils.

Please read the full document by clicking and downloading the .pdf document icon on the left.

Sankey Canal Advocacy Booklet

The latest update from the Sankey Canal Partnership is here for you to download and read.

Please click on the PDF logo below to open the document:

Desilting Work Begins at College Street

In spite of the best efforts of Storms Ciara and Dennis, work commenced on the desilting of the Gerards Bridge Branch of the Sankey Canal on Monday 11th February.

This £330,000 scheme will help reduce the risk of flooding at Gerards Bridge on College Street after St.Helens Council secured funding from Liverpool City Region and The European Regional Development Fund.

The work is being carried out by Environment Agency and is scheduled to take around eight to ten weeks.

The work involves removing silt from the bed of Rainford Brook (which flows along the course of the Sankey Canal), starting at College Street through to Merton Bank and on to Park Road in Blackbrook.

Future Events that SCARS Sales & Exhibition Gazebo will be attending:

Events will appear here when I know the details!

Although we cannot have any Work Parties during the Covid-19 restrictions.

Please see the new News Archive page for previous News items

Last Edited: 05 Oct 21 15:15