A TEAM of volunteers have transformed a landmark gateway to Barnton.

A total of 22 volunteers mucked in to renovate and tidy the canal basin by Barnton Tunnel.

Barnton Community Group organised the clean-up while the Canal and River Trust provided materials and supervised work, which included clearing overgrown areas and painting bank side metalwork.

Lynn Gibbon, chairman of Barnton Community Group, said the group was so enthusiastic that work was completed within a day and a half.

She said said: “The closure of the soda ash plant and the loss of 220 jobs locally highlights the need for us to preserve what we have, to encourage alternative industry.

“Tourism is one alternative and our local waterways heritage is precious to us.

“We have taken a step this weekend to both improve the appearance of the village and enhance its tourist potential.

“It was also most impressive that our volunteers ranged from 10 to 70 years old.”

Barnton resident John Tackley, chairman of the River Weaver Navigation Society, said: “Barnton was a vibrant waterside village in the 18th century, and throughout the heyday of inland water transport.

“It provided supplies for both the boats and boat families, and this basin was a home to suppliers of clogs, horse feed, general provisions and a smithy, together with the obligatory pub, and with rope being made just up the hill at Ropery Farm.

“Barnton needs to regenerate more boating business as several thousand boats pass through the village without even pausing, yet the village still offers much to the passing boater.”