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Mill Green Bridge on the Chesterfield Canal, Staveley, 1991
8 June 1991
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Mill Green Bridge (Bridge No 10) on the derelict Chesterfield Canal looking east.
The Chesterfield Canal opened in 1777 and connected Chesterfield with the River Trent at West Stockwith via Worksop and Retford, a distance of 46 miles. The section from Chesterfield towards Worksop saw little or no use after the closure of the narrow and lengthy Norwood Tunnel on the Canal's summit level in 1908 (as a result of damage from mining subsidence) but Tapton Mill to Staveley remained reasonably intact to provide a water supply for the iron-making and chemical plants at Staveley Works. This section was purchased by Derbyshire County Council in 1989.
With origins going back to 1976, the Chesterfield Canal Trust has long term plans to reopen the canal all the way from its terminus at Chesterfield to the present head of navigation at the eastern end of Norwood Tunnel at Kiveton. Between 1989 and 2012 reinstatement of the length from Tapton to a new basin off Hall Lane, Staveley was completed in stages with Mill Green being reached in 2004. At the time this photograph was taken this was the end of the watered section from Tapton and the bridge - an original structure - has clearly required some strengthening and repairs. An excavator can be seen digging out accumulated silt underneath the arch. The signpost indicates the Cuckoo Way, a long-distance footpath that follows the Canal towpath; its name derives from the nickname once given to the boats used on the waterway.