The First Cut and a musical history…

Folk band the Light Side, who will be performing at Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust’s Autumn Show. Image from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust

Just a quick note to point out that the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust have a couple of great fund-raising projects coming up – there’s a great new comic novel on sale in support of the Trust, and also a wonderful show – a musical history of the Birmingham Canal Navigation – coming up in November.

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.

The Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust wrote:


A musical history of the Birmingham Canal Navigations will be the highlight of Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust’s Autumn Show.

The Birmingham Lads tells the story of the beginnings of the BCN, its rise to prosperity and its effect on Birmingham and the wider area.

In a similar vein, folk-based band The Light Side’s repertoire puts the emphasis on canal and other watery songs.

The Autumn Show will be held at Whittington Village Hall on Friday, November 16, with doors opening at 6.30pm.

The bar will be open from 6.30pm with supper served at 7pm and the show starting at 8pm. A grand prize draw will be held in the interval.
Tickets cost £15.50 inclusive of show and supper.

To apply for tickets, contact Sue Williams, Norfolk House, 29 Hall Lane, Hammerwich, Burntwood, Staffordshire WS7 0JP, telephone 01543 671427 or 07968 168728, or email
 Tickets can also be obtained securely online with PayPal at

Now available on Amazon – and all proceeds to the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust!


Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust has found a novel way of raising money – proceeds from all sales of author Simon J Stephens’ new comic tale of cruising on Britain’s waterways are being donated to the Trust.

The First Cut tells the story of three families hoping for a relaxing holiday on a hire boat cruising the Four Counties Ring.
But little do they suspect how events will unfold in this very English farce.

Simon J Stephens spent most of his working life in retail before selling his house and moving onto a narrowboat, now moored in Penkridge, in 2012.

Cruising the waterways of the Midlands and particularly Staffordshire, he spends his time reading and writing and walking his dogs.
His previous work includes two crime thrillers, Righteous Correction?and Redeeming Choices?

All proceeds from the sale of The First Cut on Kindle Direct, priced at £1.99 (ASIN: B07HN267CL) will be donated to the Trust (Clcik here to see it on Amazon).

The paperback version, also available on Amazon, costs £7.99, and the royalties of £1 per copy will go to the Trust (Clcik here to see it on Amazon).

Simon J Stephens said: “Whilst there are numerous groups of hardworking , unpaid volunteers working to restore the lost waterways of this nation, a brief glance at any map will show you that restoring both the Lichfield and the Hatherton Canals will create a priceless link between the Staffs and Worcester and the Coventry canals, taking in the wonderful Pelsall village and making new cruising rings possible.

“The sooner the canals are restored, the sooner we can all enjoy the benefits. 

“This is no vanity project – this area needs these links for sound commercial reasons and to revitalise these places of such natural beauty.
“I dream of the day that I make it as a novelist and help LHCRT complete the work with some of the royalties received!”

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