Registered Charity No. 702429

NEWS 2004


Congratulations to all the lucky winners in our Grand Prize Draw for 2004 whose tickets were pulled out of the bag at our Barn Dance in Whittington on 6th November. We were very pleased that Nina Dawes, Chief Executive of Lichfield District Council, was present to draw the winners, assisted by Alan Parkes for his sponsored prize.

Nina Dawes, Chief Executive of Lichfield District Council, draws the winners, assisted by Alan Parkes for his sponsored prize.
(photos by Sue Williams)

With the more popular 1 ticket and generously donated prizes, sales went very well last year, many members taking the opportunity to sell some to family, friends or fellow-workers, adding nearly 3,600 to the Trust's funds.

The winners were:-

1. A 500 4-day narrowboat holiday donated by Alvechurch Boat CentresNo.012496Mr J. R. Cox, Wylde Green, Sutton Coldfield
2. 100.00 cash donated by Alan Parkes Design Ltd, LichfieldNo.003179Mrs K. Knight, Market Drayton, Shropshire
3. Large limited edition print by Polyanna PickeringNo.002297Mr L. Hewitt, Brownhills, Walsall
4. 12 months magazine subscription donated by Waterways WorldNo.013145Mr A. Myatt, Sawley Marina, Nottinghamshire
5. National Trust gift worth 20 donated by David Wheeler, DevonNo.014141Mr C. Dean, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire
6. Framed cross-stitch picture of Hazelhurst Junction by Abacus DesignsNo.012591Mr A. D. Brookes, Solihull, West Midlands
7. Choice of video from Laurence Hogg ProductionsNo.002662Mrs E. Harris, Stechford, Birmingham
8. Limited edition L & H historic "Darnford Nut" paperweightNo.006528Mr & Mrs C. Crane, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
9. Selection of L & H promotional productsNo.005687Mrs M. O'Riley, Cheadle, Staffordshire

As ever, we are very grateful to everyone who took part. A new Prize Draw will start in February 2005 with another selection of valuable prizes to be won, helping the Trust with the continuing demand for fund-raising. Tickets will be on sale at the annual National Boat, Caravan & Outdoor Show at the N.E.C., Birmingham. Come and visit our Stand No.5536 in the centre of Hall 5.


At noon on Saturday 2nd October, Michael Fabricant unveiled the new canal fingerpost at Huddlesford Junction near Lichfield. Amidst tooting of narrow boat horns in celebration, Michael said "This fingerpost points to Fradley and to Coventry. But the most important direction is to Ogley Junction: 6 miles, 7 furlongs and 30 locks away. At present the post has another sign bolted on it: 'No Access'. But I hope it will not be too long before I am asked to unscrew that sign when the Lichfield and Hatherton canals are finally reopened".

Speaking later, Michael added: "Canals bring visitors from all over the world. I have recently met tourists from America, Australia, Israel, and South Africa on the canal system near Lichfield. The completion of the Lichfield and Hatherton canals will bring thousands of tourists to the heart of Lichfield with all the economic benefits to our City." Michael is a regular narrow-boater.

NEWS RELEASE 2nd October 2004

The photograph shows, left to right, L&H Chairman Brian Kingshott, Coventry Canal Engineer James Brindley, (played by Rob Davies),
L&H President Eric Wood, and Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant.

Click here for more about the Huddlesford Gathering.


The Bottom Blacking Prize Draw was made at the National Waterways Festival, Burton-on-Trent
on Monday, 30th August 2004 at 4pm.

The first prize, a free bottom blacking and stern painting, goes to
Mr James Stafferton of Winslow, Buckinghamshire and his boat Eager Beaver

This year we also had a 2nd Prize, a free engine service, and this goes to
Alan and Val Veness of Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands and their boat Yaffle

These prizes were generously donated by
where the work will be done.

Our thanks to Mr Hugh Potter, Editor of Waterways World, for pulling the winning names out of the bag.


On August 10th 2004, after several days of heavy rain, the Darnford Brook at Lichfield flooded, causing a breach in the embankment along the canal. The normally dry canal channel quickly filled with water from the brook, giving us a preview of what will one day be the Lichfield Canal.

Volunteers from the Trust managed to plug the breach with 60 tonnes of clay and the water quickly drained away. Here are a few photos to show you how it looked.


Congratulations to Dave Simkins, Peter Freakley and Peter Magee on successful completion of the LANTRA chainsaw training course.


Crowds enjoying the fun and excitement of the Bower Queen's procession in Lichfield on Spring Bank Holiday Monday might have been surprised to see a narrowboat making its way through the streets. For the first time L&H had entered a float in the annual competition, expertly constructed by Trust Director Peter Magee and his wife Pat. They were delighted to receive the 2nd prize of a silver cup and 150 cash (which they generously donated to Trust funds). Many congratulations Peter and Pat.

Is this the first narrowboat in Lichfield?
Photos by Mike Brown
The boatmans cabin was a work of art! The silver prizewinner's cup was well deserved
Photos by Jan Horton


Work at Tamworth Road has now progressed to the next stage and excavations have been started to dig out the channel between Locks 25 and 24. The weekend of 5th/6th June saw two Waterway Recovery Groups, London WRG and Essex WRG, joining forces to dig out the channel and also make more improvements to Locks 25 and 26.

It's amazing what you find when you start digging!
Here we see coping stones ripped out and tossed into the lock when it was all filled in in the 1960's.
More stonework uncovered, and a bit of a problem with tree roots!
Is this the remains of one tree or three? Waterway Recovery Group wrestle with a knotty problem!
and the Hard Hat Cafe (disguised as the new sales trailer) makes its first appearance
(Photos by Bob & Sue Williams)


At the Historic Boat Gathering in Birmingham in July 2003, the Trust were approached by Mike and Cath Turpin off n.b. Gifford from the Boat Museum Society. They had seen our Brick Appeal and wondered whether we could use some bricks as they had a few going spare! At that time they were loaded on Mike and Cath's pair of working boats, Motorboat Radiant and Butty Regulus moored at The Boat Museum, Ellesmere Port. ('Radiant' & 'Regulus': First Middle Northwich pair, November 1935)

7,600 bricks (approx 18 tons) had been loaded by hand into the Boat Museum Society's Thomas Clayton horseboat 'Gifford' at Tardebigge in early September 1997, for the filming of 'Towpath Encounter', a video on Horseboating on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal by the Sight Seen Partnership.

When the filming had finished the bricks were transferred to Mike and Cath's butty, 'Regulus' at the Black Country Living Museum, at the Working Boat Gathering, late September 1997. From there the loaded pair attended working boat gatherings at Braunston, Nottingham and also visited Leicester (twice) Langley Mill, Middlewich, Norton Priory, Runcorn etc. The bricks have been on board Regulus ever since.

The bricks on their travels - captured on camera by Brenda Ward 16th May 2004

Were we interested in acquiring them?. Our Brick Appeal requires an estimated eleven million bricks to complete the restoration of towpath walls and locks. We jumped at the offer!

Regulus' had been booked in for a repaint by Phil Speight at Dadford's Wharf on the Stourbridge Canal this spring. Mike and Cath used the opportunity, whilst they were in the Midlands, to deliver the bricks to Streethay Wharf, where Ray Bowern very kindly agreed to allow Radiant and Regulus moorings for a couple of weeks until the Trust could get the bricks unloaded. This ensured a constructive use for the bricks, plus all the publicity associated with them being delivered by canal.

On Saturday 15th May Mike and Cath left Dadford Wharf and reached Streethay Wharf on Wednesday 19th May where Trust members were waiting to welcome them. We are very grateful to Cath and Mike for thinking of us and for all their efforts.

Arrival at Streethay Wharf: Ray Bowern and Mike Brown wait on the wharf as Mike and Cath Turpin,
accompanied by Chris Daniels from Waterways World magazine, approach on board Regulus. (Photos by Sue Williams)

Cath very kindly sent me details of the journey they took to reach us.

March 20th left Ellesmere Port. Moored at Beeston
March 21st moored at top Audlem
March 22nd moored Norbury
March 23rd arrived Dimmingsdale
April 5th left Dimmingsdale. Moored at Stourton junction
April 6th arrived Dadford's Wharf, Stourbridge Canal
Regulus repainted by Phil Speight in colour/lettering scheme that it had in 1938
May 15th left Dadford's Wharf. Moored at Wombourne
May 16th moored at Gailey
May 17th moored at Great Haywood
May 18th moored at Fradley
May 19th arrived Streethay Wharf, Coventry Canal.
An enjoyable trip, with only a very few minor problems, as to be expected.
Other boaters very helpful and understanding. Many positive comments
from them and from people on the towpath.

During the next couple of weeks (20th May - 6th June) groups of Trust volunteers will be working weekday evenings to unload the bricks onto pallets for use on the Lichfield Canal. Anyone willing to lend a hand please contact Mike Brown on 01543 450541 or email


The May Day Bank Holiday had to be a great opportunity to try out the new sales caravan, now named the S.M.A.R.T. van (Shows, Marketing And Retail Trading), at the local Open Day at Chasewater Country Park.

The Chasewater Railway were delighted to welcome us into the car park at their Brownhills West Station, where we benefited from considerable interest from all the visitors to the railway and met up with a number of old friends.

(Photos by Bob Williams)

The next outing for the caravan will be at the Ashby Canal Festival on the weekend of 15/16 May. Come and see us if you're in the area.

AGM 2004

The 2004 Annual General Meeting took place at Whittington Village Hall on April 17th 2004.
Click here for the Chairman's Report, Directors' Report and the 2003 Accounts summary


Once again Eric & Doreen Wood hosted another Easter "Coffee Morning" at Whittington Wharf. I think this was the third successive year they have held this event and it proved to be as popular as ever! The weather was not brilliant, but the Coffee Morning, Cake Stall and Bring & Buy sale were all kept busy with L & H supporters, passing boaters and local people. The BBQ was a great success as always.

On Saturday night Chris and Sue Pattisson and friends organised a feast of musical entertainment which was much appreciated. They may have to do it again!

Yours truly was away in France so I missed all the fun, but I am grateful to Brenda Ward for the photographs below. As you can see, a good time was had by all.

(Photos by Brenda Ward)

An incredible 1305 was raised for our funds. Thank you to everyone who helped to make it another great event, and of course special thanks to Doreen and Eric for their hospitality.


The Huddersfield Canal Society sales van in action

The Huddersfield Canal Society have been seen at many shows over recent years with their distinctive specially fitted-out sales van. Now that their restoration is completed they have generously donated this wonderful caravan to the Lichfield and Hatherton to help the Marketing Group in their work. The official hand-over took place at a meeting of the Northern Canals Association at Burntwood in Staffordshire on Sunday 28th March 2004 (see photo).

Keith Gibson of the Huddersfield Canal Society hands over the caravan keys to Mike Brown and Brian Kingshott


The Lichfield & Hatherton feature. Part of "The Lichfield Story" Exhibition
(photo by Terry Fullwood)

St. Mary's Heritage Centre in Market Square, Lichfield proudly presents "The Lichfield Story", an Exhibition which covers 2000 years of the city's fascinating history through Exhibits, Graphics, Displays and AV Presentations.

Part of this exhibition is a feature on the Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust, expertly put together by Janette Horton, Chris Haslewood and Terry Fullwood. Two model working boats have been used to create a canal scene, placed against a backdrop painted by Paul Clark, plus a number of artefacts on loan from the Boat Museum at Ellesmere Port, all displayed in two glass fronted cabinets.

Chris and Terry have also compiled a short video which repeats every 18 minutes.

The display will run until September 2004. It's well worth a visit if you are in the area.

The Heritage Centre is also running a children's quiz alongside the current displays and prizes will include a number of L&H products e.g. badges, pens and key rings.
For more information about the Heritage Centre visit the website


n.b. Hatherton, one of the Ownerships fleet, spotted at Braunston Marina at the Ownerships Annual Show in February 2004
Her maiden voyage is scheduled for March 12th 2004. Let us know if you see her on her travels!


The Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust starts 2004 with excellent news. The Trust's Council is delighted that three of our most prominent supporters have accepted our invitation to become Patrons. This is a way in which we can record our gratitude to them for their invaluable help in recent years.

Chris Coburn did sterling work in raising the profile of the Trust when the threat from the M6Toll motorway first emerged. He is best remembered for taking his narrowboat "Progress" to Caernarfon to publicise our cause, and across the Channel and on to Brussels where he lobbied EU officials on behalf of the Trust.
Dr. David Fletcher CBE, as the then Chief Executive of British Waterways, gave us help and advice of immeasurable value in securing the motorway culverts for the Hatherton Canal. Although now retired he continues to be a strong supporter of the Trust and of waterway restoration projects.
Sir John Smith CH CBE, through The Manifold Trust, has made generous grants to the Trust, especially the 250,000 which made possible the completion of the Lichfield Canal Aqueduct over the M6Toll.

We are honoured that these three Patrons will now join our Vice-President, David Suchet OBE in public recognition of all their vital contributions to the restoration of the Lichfield and Hatherton canals.

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