This year marks the 10th anniversary of the granting of World Heritage status to that length of the nearby Llangollen canal that stretches from the picturesque Horseshoe Falls to Gledrid Bridge, Rhosweill, near Chirk Bank. However, without doubt, the big attraction in the 11-mile pound (as canal users call lock-free stretches) is Thomas Telford's mighty Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, followed by its smaller, but no less unique brother, Chirk Aqueduct.

There have been many events this year to commemorate the anniversary of the site achieving the wonderful accolade of a World Heritage site, so putting it on a par with the Taj Mahal in India and the Great Wall of China. Another such event will take place at Ty Pawb, Wrexham next Thursday (Nov 14), of which I will expand later. Let us, in the meantime reflect on and, in my case, remember some personal moments that have brought me as close to this towering working monument as most people can be. That closeness was brought about by the number of times we were able to cross the aqueduct in the years when we owned our own narrow boat that was moored at Chirk Marina. It was not unusual, of a weekend to pop over from our Wrexham home and take her for a cruise to Llangollen for a couple of days. Standing in our way, every time of course, was the magnificent structure that strode across the valley floor like a colossus. I never ceased to wonder at its seemingly impossibly thin piers and its ridiculously narrow cast iron trough upon which we were expected to traverse over 1,000 feet to the other side.

We had crossed in all weathers and all seasons, from summers sunniest early mornings, when the aqueduct cast its long spider-like shadows across the fields, to the depths of winter with frost on the roof and a fierce wind blowing us against the few inches of trough, the only thing that stood between us and a 126-foot drop to eternity. We even crossed blindly a couple of times in a cloying November mist that prevented us seeing the other side, keeping fingers crossed that no other waterborne traveller had the same idea on the Trefor bank. Enveloped in our shrouded, silent world (apart from our metal sides banging against that trough of course) we reached the other side and, every time, breathed a sigh of relief.

The stats are impressive and worth repeating. It was designed by Thomas Telford and William Jessop and arguably remains the former's finest achievement. The foundation stone was laid on July 25, 1795, by Richard Myddleton of Chirk Castle and, for a further 10 years and four months, local (and not so local) people and dignitaries came and gazed in awe and wonder as the piers rose and the cast iron, from the nearby Plas Kynaston Iron Foundry, Cefn Mawr, built specially for the project by William Hazeldine, were carried along the canal and put into position and the trough crept out across the valley. Such was his reputation, in the production of the metal, that his nickname was 'Merlin', the wizard of Iron and the fact it still stands proud today would seem to confirm that 18th century prophesy. In a world long before health and safety, hard hats, harnesses and scaffolding the care and attention to his project by Telford meant that he lost only one man, a remarkable record for such an undertaking. In the end, at its opening to music, cannon fire and much pomp on November 26, 1805 (the year Nelson won his finest 'victory' at Trafalgar), it stood 126 feet above the valley floor and, carried on 18 hollow stone piers, measured over 1,000 feet long. Its 11-foot width at the top was made up of a 5ft 3in deep cast iron trough that was just wide enough to let a 6ft 10in narrow boat pass through, with a narrow towpath on one side lined by thin cast iron railings. The other side there was a sheer drop down to the fields below. Anyone who has ever crossed it by boat can readily understand why it was called Telford's 'Stream in the Sky'.

I still feel extremely lucky to have been able to have crossed this iconic structure so many times and, on every crossing, I regarded it as a privilege. In fact, I almost felt that I owned a part of it or, maybe, it owned a part of me, and always will do. What I do know is that I will never forget, and will always be grateful for, those years when we travelled back in time on Telford's 'Stream in the Sky'.

Now, back to that concert at Ty Pawb next Thursday. It will be the world premiere of a production that is celebrating 'The History and Life of the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct'. The concert will consist of four pieces of music specially written by David Subacchi and performed by four local musicians, Owen Chamberlain, Bruce Davis, Jago Parkyn and Honor Parkinson with local poet Aled Lewis Evans. The concert will take place from 1pm-2pm and admission is free. Please go along and celebrate, and listen, learn and, above all, appreciate what we are so lucky to have in our little corner of North East Wales, a living piece of history that is the envy of the world.

Elsewhere this week the gig scene includes Mishra at the Lock Keeper, Canalside, Frodsham Street, Chester this Friday (Nov 8) at 7.30pm. This is a Soundbox promotion and tickets are available from the usual website or on the door. Also, this Friday (Nov 8), over the hills and fat away, in Gwaenysgor Village Hall, Trelawnyd, near Rhyl, the Record Journal Live, present Luke Jackson in concert at 8pm with tickets from the website and on the night.

On Saturday (Nov 9) another worthwhile cause gets a welcome boost when a charity concert in aid of the Alzheimer's Society takes place at Rhosesmor Village Hall, Pentre Halkyn, Holywell from 7.30pm-10pm. Two of the best young artistes in North Wales, Ben Robertson & Kate McCullough, will be in concert and, if you have not already seen them, you have a treat in store. Tickets, at just £8, include light refreshments and you can either email or call 07563372440 to reserve/buy them. Moving into next week, and the Dragon's Breath Folk Club, Treuddyn Village Hall near Mold will be holding their regular night on Tuesday (Nov 12) at 8pm. The Wirral band, Fiddlestone will be the guests for the evening and admission is payable on the door.

As usual, whatever you do and wherever you go, enjoy your music.

By D.C.M.