New Exhibition to Celebrate 200th Anniversary of The Regent's Canal

Share Article

The London Canal Museum launched a new exhibition on the 16th August celebrating the birth of The Regent’s Canal, 200 years ago. At Camden Town, on 12th August, the Deputy Mayor of Camden cut a celebration cake to mark the 200th anniversary.

Deputy Mayor cuts cake  with original crest on it

Councillor Richard Cotton, Deputy Mayor, cuts the bicentenary cake

Our researchers have been uncovering the fascinating history of the lost Cumberland Arm for our new exhibition which we are launching on the 200th anniversary of the Regent’s Canal.

The London Canal Museum launched new exhibition on the 16th August: Turning 200 – Celebrating the Birth of the Regent’s Canal. Two hundred years ago this month, the first section of the Regent’s Canal opened from Paddington to Camden Town. This included a celebration on the Cumberland Arm which was a half mile branch of the Regent’s Canal which led to a canal basin near Euston Station.

“Our researchers have been uncovering the fascinating history of the lost Cumberland Arm for our new exhibition which we are launching on the 200th anniversary of the Regent’s Canal” says Martin Sach, Chair of the Trust for the London Canal Museum. “The exhibition tells some enthralling stories of lost industries; the rise and fall of the canal arm and its renewal as part of today’s London”.

The Cumberland Arm and Basin were just a stone’s throw from the new West End of London - both planned by John Nash. Although planned to supply the surrounding aristocratic neighbourhood, the Cumberland Arm never fulfilled its potential. The Arm was not used by the railways when they arrived at nearby Euston, where this new transport technology was announced by the triumphal Euston Arch.

Charlie Forman, Project Manager for the Exhibition says “We’ve been engrossed in the life cycle of this canal. The Prince Regent gave his name – but not his money – to the venture. While the company struggled to raise the cash, he spent a quarter of the sum they needed on the tableware for his accession banquet. Then as the canal’s fortunes declined and the neighbourhood became poorer, social reformers and artists arrived.”

“Our exhibition highlights some amazing facts including how the basin was filled in with rubble from the blitz, and how a club for local working class girls became the epicentre of the revival in English folk dancing. Remarkably the land created was turned over to allotments which thrive to this day – probably the most central plots in London. Perhaps their continuing success is down to the legend that the topsoil came from Windsor Castle”.

The exhibition is open during museum opening hours and will also allow visitors to see how to trace the route of the lost Cumberland Arm today.

To mark the occasion of the 200th anniversary, a group of representatives of canal organisations gathered at Camden Town to watch a specially-baked celebration cake be cut by Councillor Richard Cotton, Deputy Mayor of Camden, on the roof of the former lock-keeper's cottage. The cake-cutting took place exactly 200 years after a much more lavish ceremony marking the opening in 1820.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Martin Sach

Wendy Davidson
@canalmuseum
Follow >
London Canal Museum
Like >
Visit website