Historic wharf hosts annual open day

Volunteers aiming to develop a derelict Shropshire wharf with links to Thomas Telford into a vibrant visitor and heritage centre will host an annual open day at the historic site next month.

The Shrewsbury and Newport Canals Trust will open the doors to Wappenshall Wharf near Apley in Telford between 10am and 3pm on September 3.

The trust is currently aiming to raise £350,000 to unlock more than £1 million of grants and funding to foot the £1.5 million bill to restore buildings at the wharf and turn it into a visitor attraction and community hub. The ultimate aim includes restoring the Shrewsbury to Newport waterway link – both canals that were engineered by Thomas Telford.

At the free open day hosted at neighbouring Bridge House, there will be guided tours around the Grade II listed buildings by Trust volunteers who can explain the wharf’s background and the plans to redevelop the site.

Visitors will be able to learn more about life on the waterways on the display narrowboat called Jusfashow and there will be refreshments, a bouncy castle, and stalls.

The second round of the Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £913,000 will be applied for in December this year once the additional funding has been raised.

Shrewsbury and Newport Canals Trust chairman, Bernie Jones, said: “The site is not generally open to the public, so this is a rare chance to have a look at the site and learn more about our plans to restore the wharf to its former glory.

“We are at a crucial stage of fundraising as we aim to raise around £350,000 before December so we can apply for a second round of Heritage Lottery funding to take us to the £1.5 million total we need to start work.”

To find Wappenshall Wharf, turn off the A442 at Apley, near the Maxell site. It is signposted for Wappenshall and the historic site is just under a mile along the lane (use postcode TF6 6DE for sat nav directions).