Cromford Canal gets blue plaque honour
CROMFORD Canal is to become the first Derbyshire landmark to be recognised with a blue plaque.
Members of the public voted for the canal to receive the special recognition to mark the pivotal role it played in the transformation of the Derwent Valley.
Derbyshire County Council began running its blue plaque scheme in November 2009.
The likes of Sir Henry Royce, William Barron, Sir Joseph Whitworth and George Herbert Strutt have had a plaque unveiled in their honour.
Now Cromford Canal has become the first landmark to be given the honour and Patrick Morriss, chairman of the Friends of Cromford Canal, said he was thrilled.
He said: "I'm very pleased and quite honoured. It gives recognition to the historical significance of the canal and its role in shaping the industrial heritage of Derbyshire.
"No-one disputes the fact that Cromford Canal played a vitally important role in the industrial history of the county, but it is heartening to see how much public support the canal actually has."
A spokeswoman for Derbyshire County Council said Cromford Canal was deserving of the blue plaque.
She said: "Cromford Canal was constructed during the golden age of canal building and brought prosperity to rural communities that had previously struggled to transport their goods long distances.
"The canal originally ran for 14½ miles and in its heyday, was a highly-profitable mode of transport, carrying coal, limestone and iron to the Erewash Canal, then beyond as far south of London.
"Today, the canal is a haven for wildlife and the towpaths are popular for ramblers.
"Work to dredge a 1.3-mile section of the canal from Cromford Wharf to Leawood Pumphouse started last month and the council-funded project is due to complete in June, when it is hoped that historic narrow boats will once again take to the water here at Cromford Canal."
A ceremony to unveil the plaque will take place next Tuesday at the canal's High Peak junction at 2.30pm. The public are welcome to attend.
Councillor Andrew Lewer, leader of Derbyshire County Council, will unveil it.