Memories of Pocklington Canal sought for bicentenary celebrations

Canal Head in 1970. PHOTOS SUPPLIED

THE.5-mile Pocklington Canal is 200 years old this summer, and as part of the celebrations the Canal & River Trust wants to share its story and show how people have enjoyed the canal over the years.

Authorisation to build the Pocklington Canal was given by parliament in 1815, and on July 30, 1818 it was officially opened, at a cost of £32,695. However, after three successful decades, the railway arrived, marking the beginning of the end for transporting goods by the waterway.

The canal fell into disrepair for many years, but is now thriving again thanks to the Trust and Pocklington Canal Amenity Society, with a whole host of restoration and enhancement work taking place over the last few decades to bring the waterway back to life.

As part of the bicentenary activities, the Trust is going to be collating and sharing the stories of the Pocklington Canal, showcasing how it went from an essential but short-lived transport link, to a protected natural habitat, boaters’ haven and much-loved community open space.

Coracle sailing as part of the mid-project open day at Canal Head.

Volunteers are needed to help gather the stories and archive material ahead of the bicentenary exhibition in the summer. They will receive dedicated training from the Trust’s archivist John Benson at a workshop on Tuesday 13th March from 2pm to 5pm, with further support as the project develops.

Lizzie Dealey, Pocklington Canal project officer at Canal & River Trust, said: “Pocklington Canal had a short lifespan as a commercial transport route, and sadly spent many years in decline, but thanks to PCAS and the Trust it is now a well-used and much-loved waterway, not only by boaters but also by people on the towpath and a wide array of wildlife.

“We’re looking forward to helping people discover the stories of the canal through the years and would be delighted to hear from anyone who has a tale to share about their experiences on or by the water, as well as people who would like to help us compile this special history archive.”

For more details about volunteering for the oral history project and to reserve a space on the workshop, visit:


Anyone with an interesting anecdote, fact or memory about Pocklington Canal, or any images or memorabilia, can email


Find out more about the Pocklington Canal bicentenary celebrations and how to get involved with looking after the waterway at: