Local canal restoration volunteers celebrate 30 years of progress

Guests at Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust’s 30thanniversary celebration barbecue watch on as chairperson Christine Bull introduces the three remaining Trust founders, Phil Sharpe, Eric Wood and Dennis Cooper

Tom Reid from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust has been in touch to let us know about the celebrations the canal restoration group have staged to mark their 30 years since creation.

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 the nature reserve around the canal 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:

CANAL TRUST CELEBRATES 30thANNIVERSARY

Lichfield’s canal restoration trust has celebrated the 30thanniversary of its foundation.

Guests at Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust’s 30thanniversary celebration barbecue watch on as chairperson Christine Bull introduces the three remaining Trust founders, Phil Sharpe, Eric Wood and Dennis Cooper

Over 100 people attended Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust’s anniversary barbecue at Gallows Wharf, including local residents, volunteers, Trust members, representatives from county, district and city councils and organisations who have helped the Trust over the years.

Among those present were the three remaining founder members of the Trust, Eric Wood, Dennis Cooper and Phil Sharpe, who, in 1988, shared a vision of restoring two sections of the canal network that had been abandoned in the 1950s.

The closure of the canals cut the link between the underused northern sections of the Birmingham Canal Navigations and the Coventry Canal to the east and the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal to the west.

The Trust’s founder members saw that restoring those links would revive an important part of South Staffordshire’s heritage, regenerate neglected urban and rural areas and provide a wildlife corridor with benefits for the community through leisure activities like boating, walking and cycling.

The event also coincided with the Lichfield 10k, from which many of the Trust’s volunteers had hot-footed after providing a water station for participants in the run.

Trust chairperson Christine Bull, who asked Eric Wood, the current president, to cut a specially created cake, said the occasion was primarily to thank LHCRT’s 150 volunteers, including the many younger people who have helped in recent years.

James Millington cools off during the Lichfield 10k. James was one of the team of runners raising money for Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust

Among the runners were a team of Trust supporters who raised £900 in sponsorship which will go towards the £1million Tunnel Vision Appeal, set up to provide a canal tunnel under the Cross-City railway line.

It is hoped to install the tunnel at the same time as a railway bridge is built to accommodate a proposed Lichfield Southern Bypass extension beyond Birmingham Road.

For more details of ways of donating to the appeal, please visit http://www.lhcrt.org.uk/tunnel-vision.html.

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One Response to Local canal restoration volunteers celebrate 30 years of progress

  1. It may be a long wait for boaters to float past, but several sections of the route are already passable for walkers and cyclists

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