Canoeists recreate historic paddle over Edstone Aqueduct

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Under starter's orders. The 60 canoeists get ready for their historic paddle at Edstone Aqueduct.

AROUND 60 canoeists recently recreated a historical paddle which changed the face of the Warwickshire waterways.

Leaving from the Navigation Inn in Wootton Wawen, the flotilla passed over the Edstone Aqueduct on their way to Wilmcote.

The journey replicated the one completed by two canoeists in 1957 which subsequently led to the cancellation of a planned abandonment of the southern section of the waterway.

When John Pinder and Michael Fox paddled the same stretch of water 60 years ago, their toll-ticket was enough proof that there was a need for the canals to remain open and this enabled its well-documented restoration in the early 1960s.

It was the first canal restoration in the country and it was officially re-opened in 1964 by Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. It ultimately became the template for the restoration of hundreds of miles of further derelict canals in the following decades and halted the abandonment of many others.