Nostalgic Memories

Fond memories of the canal from a by-gone age.

(Visitors are welcome to forward their nostalgic memories to the webmaster for inclusion in  the

   “Friends” Montgomery Canal Web-pages .)


The Way it Was.

  I have fished the canal from Llanymynech to Abermule since I was 15 years old, which is over fifty years ago.

 From the Wirral we came on a coach every Sunday, stopping at the café at Llanymynech for a breakfast. We would fish different sections of the canal, mostly, in the winter, for pike, as the canal was choked with weeds in summer. It still is in parts that have not been dredged. If not the canal, we would fish the river Rhiew or the Severn at Berriew.

The fishing club I belonged to, and still do after fifty years, is the Darlach Angling Association, which rents the river Severn and Rhiew at Cookson’s Farm, Dulas Farm and Glan Severn. Coach trips stopped many years ago as everybody now has cars these days including myself.

   I still fish the canal, but my mobility is not very good, following a stroke, but I am a member of the Montgomery Angling Association and fish at Belan Locks as its not too far to walk.

My best two pike off the canal were 13lbs at Carreghofa, in front of the first lock and 151/2 lbs at Four Crosses with quite a few between 7 and 10lbs.

  My father and I had fishing holidays in the 1950s and early 1960s, stopping at the Powis Arms at Poole Quay. We took the train to Poole Quay Station. Who remembers the station? It seemed to be in the middle of the road. Closed by Dr Beeching!

And who remembers May and Joe at the Powis Arms and the two Jack Russells called Penny and Ding Dong, called because he was always wagging what little tail he had.

While on holiday all those years ago, I got to know a local lad who lives in Poole Quay and we used to go fishing together. I think his name was Owen Ralph, or the other way round, Ralph Owen.

  I have caught trout at the bottom end of Luggy Brook many years ago on Tudor Cookson’s farm. The G W Buck Aqueduct at Bridge 126 is hollow under the tow path and if one is quiet you could drop a sprat as bait and a pike would come out from its hiding place. I have had several like that over the years, but no monsters, best about five pounds.

  Does anyone remember the otter hounds by the canal at Bridge 125, behind the Horseshoes at Brithdir? When otter hunting was stopped many years ago the farmer kept hens in the kennels. Nothing left now of the kennels it is now just grass.

  In 2006 I put a few entries in the Berwyn Show and won the Longest Runner Bean class at 23” long, a new record at the time. I have also shown vegetables and pot plants at Guilsfield Show winning a few prizes.

  Happy times!

  David C Brown. Wirral.


I was also a member of the Darlach.

Those were the days. I was a member from the age of 15 to about 30. Except time away for National service. Used to catch coach from Birkenhead Park every other week. I lived in Moreton the time so it was first bus to BP.
There was a fair group of lads same ages. Yes we used to stop for bacon butter on the way down and a drink on the way back. Used to sometimes get off the coach earlier for the canal or a lake near by our morning stop. I joined the club at the right age as there was so much help to get me through float fishing, spinning then fly. I loved fishing the River from the village main road bridge down to the Severn. Then it was left downstream through the shingles passing Uncle Toms Cabin the water ended soon after that.
Club names I can remember. Bill Donson, Tex, Ricky the Sec had a wooden leg. We built a fire under it once while he was asleep fishing. I should remember more. I still have a badge and I think a rule book. The fishing I can remember as if it was yesterday. There was never a wet day and always fish!

Also remember the cottage with its garden near final drop off point. It was on the canal. They served Sunday lunch and did b&b he was carpenter. Stayed there a few weekends.
O there is so much to tell. I gave up fishing when I was about 31 due to marriage and change of interests. But surprise, surprise took it up again two years ago. Fly only at 77. Every time I am out its those Darlach days I remember. Those days wandering down the river fishing. The changing flo of the Severn after each flood. Wish but can't turn the clock back.
    Mike Bexley


Brilliant site ! I remember a lot of this area as my childhood playground , I left Oswestry in 1963 and returned in 1996 to discover a new playground for me and the dogs !

Colin at Welsh Frankton locks has always made us feel welcome when we have passed on the tow path and his knowledge of the canal and wild life is most interesting . I must say it would be a sad day if BW thought they could provide the same service without him .

Well done all you canal restoration volunteers , and any one who has'nt had coffee in the Post office at Maesbury yet, try it . This canal is a thread of nature winding its way across North Shropshire . I haven’t got a boat but it pleases me everytime I walk along it .

  Robert Walley


 Fascinating web site, I used to fish the canal and river 50 yrs ago, and remember it well as it was, in a state of disrepair. I am surprised however, I find no mention of the Council Gypsy caravan site on the bank between Williams bridge and the Carreghofa loch, at least memory tells me it was there, it was a small site for 2 or 4 vans and when I used to visit, still had the painted wooden vans on it. The Romanys would arrive in the early spring, The same families came for years, plant their little gardens, the children went to local schools, and grew up during summer with local kids,and played with local kids, I well remember the travellers having Shetland ponies and giving rides to their local friends. Autumn would come and the people would go, I don’t know where to, but it was my first hint of the winter. Such great memories.


I was very interested in your web-site. I was born in Dolafon Terrace, Newtown and at the age of about 8 my family moved into Canal House. We spent many memorable years in the house, which my father renamed "Glendale". I have a photo of the house which If my memory serves me correctly was taken in the 60’s. Unfortunately I do not have a photo of the house where you could see the stables attached at the side for the ponies. My only regret is that at the side of the house we had quite a large piece of land with trees, my favourite tree was a walnut tree and when we first moved in I started digging by the tree and we came across hundreds of very

small horseshoes. I didn't realise until I was older how small these shoes were and I wish I had kept some.



My most fond memory of fishing on the Montgomery canal when myself and a very good friend camped there for a week in the famous summer of 1976,What a scorcher.
We used to visit the canal on a regular basis with the Cammell Laird AC.
On this occasion we packed are tent and set off on the old flying Cammell coach to Abermule.
Lots of Perch comes to mind but nothing huge, we also got plenty of Dace and Grayling on the River Severn which was only a good cast away from the Canal.
I remember having to go and get our drinking water from a local house who happily filled our old whites Lemonade bottles with cold water.
It was also the first time I ever seen a Buzzard and a grass snake.
great memories only wish I could go back in time just for an hour to when I was 16 as on that trip.

Mark Bentley

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