Carols by the canal – and memories of great friends

Christmas on the cut – what could be nicer? Image from the Inland Waterways Association.

Just a quick note to point out that the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust are holding a carol evening at their Fosseway Nature Reserve site, just off Falkland Road, Lichfield on Saturday 16 December 2017 from 7-9pm and all are welcome.

Also, the Trust have unveiled a memorial bench at Tamworth Road, in recognition of a sadly missed local couple who were neighbours of the project and were unrelenting in their support for the Lichfield and Hatherton.

The Trust are working to restore the entire lost canal between Brownhills and Huddlesford, which I’ve documented here previously – you can find out more about that at this post here, or find out how you can volunteer to help in this post here.

Carols by the Canal is being held here at the Fosseway Nature Reserve. Here’s an artist’s impression by Mark Smith of the restored canal as it passes Fosseway Heath and approaches old Lock 19 at the ‘railway turn’. Image courtesy of Central Unmanned Aerial Services, Image supplied by Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust.

The Fosseway Nature Reserve is a great idea in a beautiful bit of countryside, and it’s a project that I wholly support.

The Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust wrote:


Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust is holding an outdoor festive sing-song round the fire at its Fosseway site.

Mince pies and mulled wine will be provided at the evening of Christmas carols on Saturday December 16 from 7-9pm at Fosseway Nature Reserve and Wetlands off Falkland Road.

TSB’s Lichfield branch, the Trust’s Local Charity Partner, has sponsored the mince pies. All are welcome.

The bench plaque dedicated to the memory of Rona and Clifford Chalmers.


A bench has been installed on Lichfield Canal’s towpath in memory of a couple who spent over 35 years in the city.

Rona and Clifford Chalmers moved to a bungalow on Tamworth Road in 1980, returning to the area after leaving in the mid-1950s.

Rona and Clifford Chalmers, long time residents of Tamworth Road.

Rona was treasurer and later secretary of the Conservative Tea Club, while Clifford, a retired engineer, helped with repairs at the George Hotel and Maple Hayes School.

Briony and Colin Hunter on the bench dedicated to the memory of Rona’s parents

He was also secretary of Whittington Golf Club for a time.

The couple enjoyed gardening and always looked forward to their annual walk into the city for the Bower festivities.

As they had started life in the Burntwood area they had a wealth of local knowledge and only last year Clifford gave a talk to Lichfield Cathedral pupils about his school days at the Cathedral in the early 1930s.

In 2015 ill health meant the couple moved to Darwin Court Care Home where Rona died in October 2016 and Clifford in September 2017.

Christine Bull, chairperson of Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust, with Briony and Colin Hunter on the bench dedicated to the memory of Briony’s parents.

The bench, with a plaque inscribed ‘In memory of Rona and Clifford Chalmers long time residents of Tamworth Road’, was donated by the couple’s daughters Briony Hunter, who lives in Bedfordshire, and Hazel John, who has lived in Brisbane, Australia, since 1977 but returns to England every year.

It was made by Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust volunteer Tony Cadwallader and installed on the towpath directly opposite the Cliffords’ old home on Tamworth Road.

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