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Union 200 celebrations

22 June 2022

Did you now that the Union Canal is 200 years old this year? To celebrate, our Heritage Officer Lisa has been out and about working with canal side communities to explore the past, present and future of the canal, culminating in a floating museum, part of a Flotilla in May, and a pop-up museum at the Edinburgh Canal Festival last weekend.

Once a transport artery that stoked the fires of the industrial revolution, the Union Canal is now home to cyclist and canoeists instead of coal scows and Clydesdale horses. The canal stretches from Lochrin Basin in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh to the Falkirk Wheel, passing through beautiful countryside, towns and villages.

One of our It's Your Neighbourhood community groups, The Sorted Project, uses the canal to support their recovery community by teaching them how to operate their custom-built canal boat, the Panacea, and undertaking conservation activities at Bridge 10 near Hermiston. Our Heritage Officer has been working with them to help them achieve a Cultural Heritage SVQ. They have been carrying out vegetation clearance, surveying and recording of Bridge 10, visiting archives, participating in the Flotilla and creating exhibits for the museums.

Lisa also worked with a group of teachers who were keen for their classes to be part of the celebrations. The classes achieved Heritage Hero Awards by learning about the Union Canal’s natural and built history. They carried out research and got creative to build their own exhibits for the museums.

Lisa commented: "There has been a lot of highlights working on the Union 200 project, being part of the Flotilla in May and showcasing the work of the local young people was really special, and the feedback from museum visitors was fantastic. The canal is such an important place for the people who live alongside it and, by involving them in its care, ensures that the future is bright for the Union Canal."

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