The British Polio Fellowship
Worthing & Sussex Branch
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Chichester canal July 8th 2008 

The canal is maintained by The Chichester Ship Canal Trust, whose aims are the preservation, maintenance and improvement of canals, navigable rivers, and inland waterways for the public benefit, in particular the navigation between Chichester and the harbour, the Chichester Ship Canal, and the Portsmouth and Arundel Canal.



 Barbara made a super picnic for us all

  yum yum

  what, no marmite
   Peter and Cora
Robin and Clare halfway down to Hunston
Robin and Karen on tow path
All aboard
   Waiting to board
  Camera's at the ready
Aisha, Peter and Cora
   Carole, Barbara and Gillian
   Karen and Ilene
Lee, June and Robin
  Hunston bridge
  Mary in the other boat
   Roger up front
Terry and Gaynor
   Another story from Wendy
   One more slice for Bob
 Captain Pugwash
  Pam and Ann
Karen had a turn on the tiller.


What is known today as the Chichester Canal is in fact part of the former Portsmouth & Arundel Canal . This was opened in 1823 and consisted of a 12-mile canal from Ford on the River Arun to Salterns and a shorter cut from Langstone Harbour to Portsmouth Harbour, connected together by a 13-mile dredged ‘bargeway’ through the natural harbours and channels between them. Intended as a key link in a through route to London via the River Arun Navigation, Wey & Arun Junction Canal , River Wey and River Thames, it was not a success. By the time it was built, there was no real need for an inland route as larger and better ships, coupled with an end to hostilities with France , meant that the coastal route was an easier and cheaper option. One of the few regular through cargoes carried was gold bullion from Portsmouth to the Bank of England, with armed guards on the barges.


A 1.5 mile branch led from Hunston on the main line of the canal to a basin in Chichester . This and the short connecting length of the main line from Salterns to Hunston were built to a larger gauge and equipped with iron swingbridges to enable coastal ships of over 100 tons to reach Chichester. This was the only part of the canal that enjoyed even a modest success, bringing in building materials and coal, and taking away manure. It carried trade until 1906, while the rest of the canal had been unused since the 1840s and fallen derelict soon after.


Transferred to the City Council in 1892 (who in turn sold it to West Sussex County Council in 1957), the surviving four miles were abandoned in 1928. The entrance lock and a short length at Salterns were retained as yacht moorings prior to the building of Chichester Marina alongside; the lock is still capable of operation and a number of houseboats are moored on this length. The remainder of the route to Chichester was leased to the local angling club and gradually silted up over the following half-century. Two main road bridges were replaced by unnavigable culverts.