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Erewash Canal looking towards Derby Road, Long Eaton, 1980
3 April 1980
About this image
Looking north from Long Eaton Lock (No 61 in the Grand Union Canal sequence from London to Langley Mill) on the Erewash Canal towards the bridge carrying Derby Road. The larger chimney on the left belongs to Bridge Mills, a lace tenement factory commenced in 1902, while the smaller stack to the right was part of a bakery.
The Erewash Canal runs for 12 miles (19 km) from the River Trent via Long Eaton, Sandiacre and Ilkeston to Langley Mill and includes 14 locks. The Canal was engineered by John Varley and opened in 1779 at a cost of £21,000. Serving the industrialised Erewash Valley with its many coal mines, iron works and factories, it remained a useful transport artery well into the 20th century and it was only after World War Two that it began to fall into disuse. The section north of Gallows Inn at Ilkeston up to Langley Mill was declared unnavigable in 1962 and closure was proposed. The Erewash Canal Preservation and Development Association was formed in 1968 and after much restoration work the Canal was reopened throughout. In the 1980s it was duly upgraded from a 'remainder' waterway to 'cruiseway' status.