Could the Derby Canal work again? John Holmes took a walk along this once-thriving waterway
The Derby Canal was once a thriving transport corridor running 14 miles from the Trent and Mersey at Swarkestone to Derby and Little Eaton, and to the Erewash Canal at Sandiacre.
Dating back to 1796, the canal's main cargo was coal. The fuel was carried from the coal villages in mid Derbyshire by a tram road - the wagons were pulled by horses and then lifted from their wheels onto barges - perhaps the world's first example of containerisation.
But the canal was finally closed in 1964, after competition from the railways and roads made it no longer viable as a means of transporting freight.
Much of the waterway fell into disrepair - large swathes of it were built on, particularly in Derby where much of the canal is now lost beneath the ring road.