Hidden Waterways Ceramic Trail

Hidden Waterways is an intergenerational community project delivered by The Hive. Funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund and Shropshire Council, it explores the heritage and tales behind Shropshire’s hidden canals and waterways. Through engagement with creative workshops, the project focuses on storytelling to improve mental and emotional wellbeing, whilst encouraging community cohesion and pride in the local area.

Our aim was to create a lasting legacy celebrating the Hidden Waterways around Upton Magna, Berwick Wharf and Uffington. Through ceramic workshops, we involved children and local families in the creation of this trail, to encourage the community to explore and support the restoration of the Shrewsbury Canal. In these workshops, we presented sketches, ideas, photos, found objects and our vision to the multi-generational participants who joined us. We also shared historical information such as how canal workers and bargees were paid in tokens resembling coins. Many who took part created their own circular tokens in clay inspired by the canal’s architecture, rich history and the wildlife that now calls the canal home.

Hours of careful glazing, adding oxides and firing the tiles to ‘stoneware’ in a kiln, followed these creative community workshops. The fired tiles are now presented on panels and set into old oak posts that line the towpath. These posts contain joints and carpenters’ marks and reflect wood used in a working canal. Interspersed along the trail are extracts from memories and poems, photographs and opportunities to listen to those who worked on and lived near the canal.

Ceramic Trail Site One

Upton Magna Village Store and Café

Find out more
Ceramic Trail Site Two

Widow’s Bridge & South Portal of Berwick Tunnel

Find out more
Ceramic Trail Site Three

North Portal of Berwick Tunnel & Donkey Shed

Find out more

Please be aware these sites are situated along a canal which is in the process of being regenerated by Shrewsbury and Newport Canal Trust volunteers. As such, we advise you to stay on the towpath and wear suitable outdoor footwear. You enter at your own risk and under your own supervision. Children must be supervised at all times.

SNCT – Working to restore the Shrewsbury and Newport Canals for the benefit of the Community and the Environment. We are always looking for volunteers, if you are interested please get in touch: http://www.sncanal.org.uk/ or call 01743 761447 for membership enquiries.

Find us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ShrewsburyAndNewportCanalTrust

Thanks to: We have received an enormous amount of support from Shrewsbury and Newport Canal Trust and their volunteers (Margaret Cann, Chas Warren, Stuart Dady and Andrew Dady), along with Paul Hutchinson from Drone Rangers, Ben Crane’s groundwork and Fil Poli at Condover Forge. Thanks also to Mel Board from Upton Magna Village Store and Café for providing a site for the first panel.

Ceramic Trail created by: Mike Griffiths, Huw Powell Roberts and Stephanie Kelly with Mythstories Home Education Group, St Giles C of E Primary School and families who participated in a ceramic workshop at Upton Magna Memorial Hall on May 1st 2023. It also incorporates Oral History recordings from SNCT archives, and poems created during a workshop led by Jean Atkin. Map: Ceramic Transfer Map by M Griffiths based on a map drawn by Lilian Hayward in 1950. Photos: Photos courtesy of Shrewsbury and Newport Canal Trust and Paul Shooter.

How to use a QR Code: On your mobile phone or tablet, click on to the camera app. Point the camera at the QR code and tap the website link that appears on your phone or tablet. This will take you to more information about the Hidden Waterways Ceramic Trail.