A POPULAR canal enthusiast, whose 50 year campaign helped re-open Droitwich Spa’s waterway, has been shortlisted for a prestigious English Heritage award.

Max Sinclair first began campaigning in 1959 and was responsible for founding the Droitwich Canals Trust in 1973. Together with partner organisations, his work mobilised thousands of volunteers and raised millions of pounds worth of funding to restore the canals, culminating in the reopening of the full navigation in 2011.

The Droitwich Canals formed part of a navigable 27-mile ring passing through Worcester and Droitwich and were used throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth century to facilitate the salt trade, before becoming abandoned in the 1930s.

People who worked on the project over the decades and those who currently use the canal are now being urged to vote for Mr Sinclair at english-heritage.org.uk Jason Leach, of the Canal & River Trust, which looks after the waterways and who worked on the restoration alongside Mr Sinclair, said: “Max is undoubtedly worthy of this award. His passion and determination to restore this significant stretch of canal is inspiring.

“The Droitwich Canals are enjoyed by thousands of people every year and have become home to an array of boats and a diverse range of wildlife.

“I would encourage anyone who knows Max, visits or lives on the canals or was one of the many who worked on the restoration projects, to visit the English Heritage website and vote for him.”

The voting is open until September 16. The winner will be announced on October 22.