Welcome to the website of the Newry & Portadown branch of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI). We have the longterm ambition of restoring the Newry canal and once again joining Carlingford Lough with Lough Neagh. The branch has already begun to conserve and restore the waterway with our regular work parties. Volunteers have been removing trees and vegetation from the lock chambers so that the still impressive craftsmanship and architecture can be better appreciated by the public. In 2015 we manufactured and installed two sets of lock gates at Poyntzpass and near Scarva. We have lobbied locally and nationally to have restoration of the canal placed on the political agenda. The branch has successfully applied for funding for projects to increase public awareness of the canal and to encourage the various waterside communities to become part of our cause.
Our future plans are to continue to lobby and campaign; to fund raise and apply for grants; to maintain and conserve the architecture and industrial heritage of the canal and to continue our voluntary groundwork. We are also lobbying for Waterways Ireland to take over the Newry to Portadown Canal as being the best way to have the canal re-opened
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Old and New Like old maps? The map below is an OS map from circa 1835. The first photo shows the first lock entering the Clanrye River at Kilmorey Street. There’s no Albert Basin as it wasn’t built until the 1850s. Newry Gas Works Company, which can be seen on inspection of photo, was established 1822. The modern day layout is shown on Google map.
The Navvies met Joe Mahon during the week for some filming along the summit of the canal. Joe’s making a series about Norn Iron’s civil engineering giants and the Newry canal surely meets that target being the oldest canal in the UK and Ireland. We had great fun working with the Lesser Spotted Giant himself and look forward to seeing the programme next year.
It’s worth being at the IWAI Newry and Portadown cottage at Lough Shark/Acton Lake at dawn. The views are breathtaking.
More on Henry Barcroft and his propellors. His son, Joseph, was a eminent physiologist. http://www.newulsterbiography.co.uk/index.php/home/viewPerson/1803 The propellors weren’t a great success. The Barcrofts were one of Newry’s most talented families.
This is the barge ‘Ulster’- to the right of the photo is the middle bank in Newry where the bus station now stands. There’s no prizes for correct answer but can you name the type of propellers on the barge?