Blooming canal volunteers impress judges

Lichfield  and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust director Peter Buck, kitted out as a Victorian engineer, and his wife Jeanne, in traditional boatwomen’s dress, with Rose Willow, a floral recreation of a 70ft narrowboat, waiting for the judges to arrive. Image supplied by the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust.

Tom Reid from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust has been in touch to let us know about the efforts their volunteers have made for Lichfield’s entry in the annual Britain in Bloom competition, with a Garden of Memory and other wonderful features at Gallows Wharf where the canal under restoration passes Lichfield.

If you’re unaware of the local canal restoration that’s steadily progressing this excellent blog post by Christine Howles explains more about it. The trust run regular work parties and all are very much welcome, whether you’ve a specialist skill or not!

At the moment, the volunteers are not only beavering away on the route of the lost line between Barracks Lane, Ogley Hay and The Boat restaurant, on the Lichfield Road at Summerhill, but also at several sites, including this one between Wall and Lichfield, Borrowcop on the A51 at Lichfield, and other places along the route of the lost line.

To find out more, please pop along to the Lichfield and Hateherton Canal Restoration Trust website here.

Tom Reid wrote:

How the Heart of England in Bloom judges saw Gallows Wharf. Image supplied by the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust.

Gallows Wharf In Full Bloom For Judges

Lichfield’s canal restoration trust unveiled its stunning contribution to Blooming Lichfield when judging for Heart of England in Bloom took place on Thursday, July 25th 2018.

Despite suffering weeks of blistering heat and bouts of brainless vandalism, Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust’s historic Gallows Wharf site looked a picture on a glorious summer day.

The Trust has created a Garden of Reflection at Gallows Wharf, close to the site of the city’s gallows, originally erected in 1532, where on June 1, 1810, the last three men to be hanged in Lichfield met their fate, for uttering forged banknotes.

It was also at Gallows Wharf, near the junction of London Road and Tamworth Road, that stained glass windows rescued from a dissolved abbey in Herkenrode, Belgium, were unloaded from canal boats on their way to Lichfield Cathedral in 1803.

The Gallows Wharf doors, Herkenrode Glass crate and the A-frame boards, beautifully painted by signwriter Steve Cooper, enhanced the impressive planting.

The judges also cast their expert eyes over Rose Willow, a recreation of a 70ft narrowboat, which has been taking shape over the summer next to Tamworth Road, thanks to the efforts of pupils from Queen’s Croft High School and the Foresters Scout Group.

Queen’s Croft children were also involved in the painting of Rose Queen, which walkers along the canal can see on the wall of the London Road bridge, while National Citizen Service students learned the art of signwriting from Phil Ball to complete Rose Queen’s artwork.

The results of the Heart of England in Bloom competition will be announced in September and Lichfield will be hoping to repeat last year’s success when the city was awarded a gold medal.

LHCRT engineering director Peter Buck said: “Whatever the result of the judging, we’re winners anyway.

‘We achieved our objective of recreating Gallows Wharf and creating a Garden of Reflection, and we’ve been overwhelmed by the generous response from the community.

‘We’d like to thank our incredible volunteers, everyone who helped with this project and provided the plants.’

.. Gallows Wharf at the start of the project earlier in the year. Image supplied by the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust.


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