Registered Charity No. 702429

NEWS 2002


Enthusiasts may recall Chris Coburn's "Progress Cruise" in 2000 which took L&H research into European funding all the way by narrowboat to Brussels! Inspiration was found in many examples of huge capital-intensive schemes on inland waterways in north France and Belgium, captured in the popular Laurence Hogg Productions video "Reach For The Stars", available on our mail-order list and website.

At about that time, a new six-year round of European funding was being formulated with very specific 'priorities' and 'measures' applicable in certain redefined "Objective Areas". Due to overwhelming bureaucracy, only recently, when almost half of the eligible period has elapsed have some grants become available! However, we are pleased to announce that we have emerged from two-years of preparation through innumerable local group meetings with an approval for a substantial European Regional Development Fund grant for the Hatherton Canal Regeneration Project.

Regular supporters will be well aware how much the BNRR (now M6 Toll) became a thorn in our flesh without including canal crossings. Thanks to extensive campaigning by the Trust, with exceptional help from people such as Chris Coburn, and more recently David Suchet, it became possible to sway the Government to change their policy to prevent future conflict between roads and canals. Mobilising the nation's supporters, David Suchet's Appeal broke the dead-lock by funding enlargement of one Hatherton culvert, inspiring the Government to demonstrate new policy on the second one. Let us again thank the many hundreds of donors all over the country who made this possible.

Jointly, these costs serve as match funding for a European grant of 267,250 for the eastern part of the Hatherton Canal which lies in the Cannock Objective 2 Area. This phase of the project covers three specific aims:-
- Professional Studies and Reports for engineering, water supply, environmental assessment, economic benefits, to be used for fund-raising.
- Additional construction for the canal around the motorway works.
- Acquiring key areas of land to secure the whole route.
The Trust is particularly grateful to Cannock Chase Council for driving forward the combined funding package for a whole range of projects in their Objective Area which has made our grant possible. It has been hard work getting this far, but the "real work" starts now!

David Suchet Appeals for the last 100,000 to build the Lichfield Aqueduct
David and Sheila Suchet re-visit the Lichfield & Hatherton
Click here for a report and photos

It is with deep sadness we have to announce the death of Ian Humphries,
a member of our Marketing Group, who died on 21st November 2002.
We offer our deepest sympathy to Trish and the family.

Our annual draw was made at the B.C.N.S. Bonfire Rally at Galton Valley, Smethwick on 2nd November where an audience watched their Chairman, Martin O'Keefe draw from 7,183 tickets the following lucky winners:-
1. A week on a four-berth narrowboat from
Jannel Cruisers, Burton-on-Trent
No.006780 Mr D. O. Birch
2. 100.00 in cash No. 000199 Mr A. Pritchard
3. "Gallon of Whisky", kindly returned as a donation to the
David Suchet Appeal and receiving an L&H oval brass plaque
No. 001882 Mr Spurgeon
Addlestone, Surrey
4. Waterways World subscription for 12 months No. 007246 Mr P. Chilvers
5. Laurence Hogg Productions video No. 001637 Mr A. Roberts
Burntwood, Staffs.
6. Miracle Leisure Products No. 004979 Mr T. M. Cook
Oadby, Leicester
7. L&H "NUT" paperweight No. 011919 Mr & Mrs J. Beale
8. L&H Membership for 1 year No. 001542 Mrs L. Lewis
East Hunsbury, Nottingham
9. L&H goods No. 002093 Mr Halsey
Cheddleton, Leek, Staffs.

Our thanks again to the businesses who kindly donated these valuable prizes, and to the thousands of people who bought tickets and made donations which has added over 2,000 to our restoration funds this year.

It is with deep sadness we have to announce the death of Nick Grazebrook, our Company Secretary,
who lost his life in a boating accident on 20th August 2002.

IWA Awards Kenneth Goodwin Trophy to L & H
The Inland Waterways Association has awarded the Ken Goodwin Trophy to the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust. The trophy, in the shape of a yellow digger, is presented annually to the restoration project that has made the most significant progress during the year.

Richard Drake, National Chairman of IWA, and Deputy Chairman Liz Payne
presenting the Ken Goodwin Trophy to Brian Kingshott at the Crick Boat Show on 1st June 2002
(Photo by Bob Williams)

Hundreds turn out to walk the line of the Lichfield Canal
1,500 - 2,000 people turned up for the walk on 21st April 2002
Click here for a report and photos

Easter Boat Gathering
(Photos by Derek S Beardsmore)

The Easter Boat Gathering was held at the home of Eric & Doreen Wood, at Whittington Wharf. What began as a Coffee Morning & Bring & Buy sale, snowballed into something resembling a full blown rally. Thirty boats attended, including boats from the Ash Tree, Greyhound and Stafford Boat Clubs. On Saturday the sun shone and the event was well attended. Easter Sunday morning was wet but didn't dampen the enthusiasm for the Easter Bonnet Parade. Eric presented the Golden Windlass Award to John Lynes, now retired from his job as Lock Keeper on the Trent and Mersey Canal at Wychnor.

Thumbs up for the IWAAC report!

(Photo by Janette Horton)

Trust Directors and officers celebrate the long-awaited second IWAAC report, published just before Christmas, although dated June 2001. Titled "A Second Waterway Age: Review of waterway restoration and development priorities" it is an updated version of the Waterway Restoration Priorities report of June 1998.
We were delighted to see that it has a picture of our Darnford Lift Bridge on the cover!
More importantly, the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal (jointly) have been upgraded from Regional to National significance "to reflect their potential contribution to the re-generation of the northern stretches of the BCN".
It is pleasing that this message, which did not come through in the first report, has now been recognised.
We join a select band of 21 projects accorded National status out of the 104 listed.

Boat, Caravan & Leisure Show at the NEC
2,500 visitors to our stand at the NEC Show
Click here for a report and photos

Cannock Forum - January 2002
David Suchet visits the BNRR site at Churchbridge and visits Walsall, Bradley and Cannock
Click here for a report and photos

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