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Sunday, 2 June, 2002, 16:34 GMT 17:34 UK
Search for canal wonders
Caen Hill Locks
Caen Hill Locks is one of the original "wonders"
Canal enthusiasts are being urged to vote for their favourite engineering feat.

Organisers of the ballot hope to find the seven wonders of the UK's canal system.

An earlier list of marvels was compiled by enthusiast Robert Aickman 50 years ago.

However, campaigners believe the list should be updated because of extensive restoration that has taken place across the network.


Waterways have been re-evaluated and are once again widely valued

Dave Fletcher, British Waterways
Enthusiast and antiques expert Paul Atterbury started the campaign on Friday at Hatton Locks on the Grand Union Canal near Warwick.

He said: "Britain's canals are steeped in the fascinating history of the industrial revolution, as well as being at the forefront of innovative design, featuring many wonderful buildings and structures."

Voting for the seven wonders begins on Saturday at the three-day Crick Boat Show in Northamptonshire and will be open until the end of August.

'Impossible achievements'

Dave Fletcher, chief executive of British Waterways, said he was looking forward to finding out the new seven wonders.

"When canals were built more than two centuries ago, their engineers achieved the impossible.

"Aqueducts so high as to be virtually waterways in the sky, tunnels which slice through miles of rock and staircases of locks which climb the steepest of hills.

"Fifty years ago, much of this heritage was felt to be at risk but, at the beginning of the 21st Century, waterways have been re-evaluated and are once again widely valued."

The original seven wonders were:

  • Standedge Tunnel - three-mile tunnel on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal under the Pennines

  • Caen Hill Locks - 16 locks on the Kennet and Avon Canal in Devizes, Wiltshire

  • Barton Swing Aqueduct - carries the Bridgewater Canal over the Manchester Ship Canal near Manchester

  • Anderton Boat Lift - connects the River Weaver and Trent and Mersey Canal in Cheshire

  • Bingley Five Rise Locks on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal

  • Burnley Embankment on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal

  • Pontcysyllte Aqueduct - the highest aqueduct in Britain on the Llangollen Canal

  • See also:

    28 May 02 | England
    25 Apr 02 | Scotland
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