South West Wales

Swansea canal restoration: Engineer 'sheds new light'

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Media captionSwansea Canal Society and Glandwr Cymru are working to reopen parts of the canal

Volunteers working to restore the historical Swansea canal have enlisted an unusual ally - the engineer tasked with filling it in back in the 1970s.

Swansea Canal Society and Glandwr Cymru - the Canal & River Trust in Wales - are working to reopen parts of the 16 mile (26km)-long canal.

They have made contact with John Evans, who has been advising volunteers on how to restore a lock near Clydach.

The canal society said he helped "shed new light" on the waterway.

Built by the Swansea Canal Navigation Company between 1794 and 1798, the canal runs from Swansea to Abercraf in Powys.

But since 1958, parts have been abandoned, sold off and filled in - leaving only six miles (10km) and six out of an original 36 locks in water.

Image copyright Swansea Canal Society
Image copyright Swansea Canal Society
Image caption A historical photograph showing a section of the canal, with a view of the bridge at Clydach

The canal society said Mr Evans was one of three men still alive who knew how the canal was buried, having been the engineer appointed by Glamorgan County Council to take on the original project.

Trustee Martin Davies said: "John has shed new light on what happened on the day the lock was buried.

"We hope that the society and the Canal & River Trust can restore both lock and canal and reward John's act of faith."

Nick Worthington, waterway manager at Glandwr Cymru, added: "Getting one of the original engineers on board is a big step towards bringing lost parts of the waterway back into use."

Image copyright Swansea Canal Society
Image caption A lock gate at Clydach

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