Visitor Info

The 27th - 29th May 2023 Rally weekend is about celebrating four milestones in the history of the Erewash Canal and its surrounmding area as outlined below. These boating events are also an opportunity to see an eclectic mix of canal history, historic working narrowboats, trade boats as well as modern leisure narrowboats; a photographers dream.

55 Years ago - 1968

From 1962 the canal above Gallows Inn lock was classified as a remainder canal and closed to navigation. The BW Act of 1968 threatened to close the rest of Erewash Canal.

In 1968, 55 years ago,  the Erewash Canal Preservation & Development Association was formed to save the Erewash Canal from permanent closure.

By this time all of the following were being infilled wtth rubbish.:

  • Langley Bridge Lock
  • the confluence of the the Cromford Canal and Nottingham Canal
  • the Great Northern Basin 

50 Years ago - 1973

Between 1968 and 1973 the ECP&DA volunteers:

  • cleared and repaired the navigation from Ilkeston to Langley Bridge Lock.
  • cleared the infilled lock of debris and the Cromford Canal immediately above the lock
  • rebuilt the lock gates
  • excavated and restored the Great Northern Basin

Their achievement was celebrated by the Three Canals Rally in May 1973 to mark the grand opening of the Great Northern Basin.

40 Years ago - 1983

Between 1968 and 1973 the ECP&DA volunteers carried out a vast amount of work along the Erewash Canal from Ilkeston to Langley Bridge lock with support from local business'.

This work continued over the following ten years improving the canal and adjoining infrastructure so that more boats visited the terminus at Langley Mill.

In 1983 British Waterways reinstated the Erewash Canal to cruiseway status and it was no longer under threat of closure.

30 Years ago - 1993

In 1993 the ECP&DA volunteers completed the restoration of the Victorian Pump House and it was officially reopened at the 1993 Rally by Mrs Janie Champion, on 29 May 1993, the 25th anniversary of the ECP&DA.

The original steam pump was refurbished by Severn Trent Water and reinstalled in the Pump House.

A manhole was installed below the Langley Bridge lock with the necessary pipework to create a back pumping system to lift water from the Erewash Canal to the Langley Mill basin above the lock.