Hidden Waterways

Have you ever wanted to explore the tales behind Shropshire’s hidden canals? Hidden Waterways is a project focusing on uncovering people’s memories and the community history linked to the Shrewsbury canal and using creativity to share their stories. On this page you will find creative content, activities, and information on upcoming workshops.

Thank you to National Lottery players for making this project possible.

Colouring In

We’ve worked with two fantastic local artists Matt Sewell and Saffron Russell to create colouring in sheets that are downloadable and printable. Remember to share your colouring in with us on social media using the hashtag #HiddenWaterways and tagging us @HiveShrewsbury

Interview with Mal Edwards MBE

Mal Edwards MBE was born near the canal in Shrewsbury, by the gasworks and, since the age of 15, has spent his whole life living and working on the canal. He was the last lengthsman to work the Newport and Shrewsbury canals in the 1960s. He is now retired and in his spare time makes ropes and fenders for boats and writes songs about the ‘cut’ which he has recorded. In this video: Mal talks about how he first got a job working on the canal and what being a lengthsman involves.

Mal Edwards' Song

Mal Edwards sings a song called “Harry the Tar” about Shrewsbury Gas Works, which reminds him of working on the canals.

Mal Edwards on fender making

In this video, Mal Edwards talks through and shows us how to make a fender for a canal boat, as well as explaining what makes a good one.

Plastic Pixel Art with Sara Mai

Artist, Sara Mai guides us through a workshop on using discarded plastic bottle tops to create magic artwork on a window.

Walk: Explore: Create, Collage Map Making

Shropshire based artist, Zoe Needle, shows us how to make a creative map of canals and waterways using collage techniques.