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NEWS 2009

LICHFIELD CANAL FEASIBILITY STUDY LAUNCH

The Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust staged a very successful launch of its Feasibility Study for the Lichfield Canal in the Guildhall, Lichfield, on Friday 17th July 2009. It was attended by an audience of 90 invited guests who included the Mayor of Lichfield and the Chairman of Lichfield District Council.

The Study was commissioned from engineering consultants, W.S. Atkins, and sets out a definitive and wholly achievable route for the Lichfield Canal from Ogley Junction, Brownhills to Huddlesford Junction, Whittington. The whole scheme is now fully costed and all the engineering issues have been tackled. This will enable the Trust to make an early start on restoring the canal from one end to the other. It will also be possible to seek funding for each of the various stages.


(l to r) LHCRT finance director Bob Williams, British Waterways Midlands Regeneration Manager Tony Harvey,
Atkinsí Project Leader Jim Tinnion, Waterway Recovery Group chairman Mike Palmer, LHCRT chairman Brian Kingshott,
IWA national chairman Clive Henderson, LHCRT president Eric Wood.
(Photo by Harry Arnold, Waterway Images)

The launch was introduced by Chairman, Brian Kingshott, supported by a team of specialist speakers. Clive Henderson gave the supportive views of the Inland Waterways Association, followed by Mike Palmer who explained how experienced volunteers can progress the work. Bob Williams, Trust Finance Director, gave an illustrated presentation setting out the history of the canal and what has been achieved so far. Jim Tinnion, consultant from Atkins, gave the main presentation which set out the parameters of the Study. Tony Harvey, a senior executive from British Waterways, spoke in support of the restoration. The meeting ended with a vote of thanks from Trust President and Founder Eric Wood.


LHCRT chairman Brian Kingshott
 
British Waterways Midlands Regeneration Manager Tony Harvey,

IWA national chairman Clive Henderson
 
Waterway Recovery Group chairman Mike Palmer

Atkinsí Project Leader Jim Tinnion
 
Brian Kingshott addresses a packed Guildhall

(Photos by Paul Marshall)

The details of the Study can be seen in an exhibition at Lichfield Library during August and the Trust intends to take this display to other venues around the district. It is also available on this website.

The Launch of the Feasibility Study is a major landmark for the Canal Trust which is now confident that work can soon start in earnest to connect to the national waterways network.

For the full Lichfield Canal Feasibility Report by Atkins Limited  


TRUST JCB STOLEN FROM TAMWORTH ROAD

Sometime between Wednesday 17th and Saturday 20th June the JCB 804 belonging to the Trust was stolen from our Tamworth Road site.

Tracks indicate that the machine was taken along the site and up through the trees by the A38, probably to load onto a lorry in the bus stop lay-by near the traffic lights on the junction of the Tamworth Road and Gorse Lane (near the A38 flyover).

The Police have been informed and are investigating.

Anyone who saw suspicious activity in the area should contact the Trust on 01543 671427 or by e-mail to Bob Williams. Alternatively the Police can be contacted on 0300 123 4455 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


WAITROSE COMMUNITY MATTERS

Good news! The Trust has been chosen by the Waitrose store in Lichfield as one of three good causes to be featured in their ďCommunity MattersĒ scheme for June 2009.

Each month the store donates £1,000 between three local good causes. At the checkout customers are given a token to place in the box of their choice. The more tokens a cause gets the bigger the donation they receive.

So if you happen to shop at Waitrose in Lichfield this month donít forget to put your little green token in the L&H box.

Thanks for helping.


ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The 19th AGM held on Friday, 5th June 2009 at Park View Centre, Brownhills was attended by nearly 50 members and supporters including Trust Patron Chris Coburn and the Mayor of Lichfield, Councillor Terry Thomas.

David Dixon, a new Director co-opted in October was formally elected, three Directors retiring by rotation were duly re-elected as also were Dains as main auditors.

Chairman Brian Kingshott sounded a note of optimism in spite of the current economic downturn, promising a time of consolidation and forward planning preparing for the good times that will surely return, and promsing constant vigilance in safeguarding the interests of the Trust. He said "It is in the darkest hours that we are tested and our duty as a Trust is to ensure that we survive with our aims and ambitions intact. Let us always stress that our work is designed to bring public benefit to our local communities and to the public at large."

Following the close of formal business Patrick Moss gave a most interesting presentation about the Somersetshire Coal Canal Society, formed in 1992 to preserve the remaining structures of the derelict canal, but now looking into the possibility of restoration.


Click here for the Chairman's Report
Click here for the Directors' Report
Click here for the Finance Directors' Report
Click here for Accounts for 2008

The Historic Walk from Lichfield to London
to launch Samuel Johnsonís Tercentenary

Anyone who happened to be walking around Lichfield on the morning of Monday 2nd March may have been surprised to be passed by two gents in Georgian garb. The marvellous spectacle was all in honour of the official launch of a year of celebrations for Dr Samuel Johnsonís 300th Birthday, and to raise money for the National Literacy Trust.

Dr Nicholas Cambridge, Chairman of the Johnson Society of London, and Professor Peter Martin, author of a recent Johnson biography, walked a 165 route from Lichfield to London along the canal network.

The journey echoes that taken in 1737 by Johnson and David Garrick to find their fortunes in the capital. Our modern day Johnson and Garrick set out from the Birthplace Museum on the Market Square in Lichfield after joining a breakfast reception with the Mayor of Lichfield and other civic dignitaries. Following an announcement from the town crier, crowds gathered to watch the official farewells from the Mayor and Bishop of Oxford, who appeared the previous afternoon at evensong at Lichfield Cathedral with a special blessing for the intrepid pair.

Just after 9.00am Johnson, Garrick and a band of followers headed out of Lichfield. Once out of the city centre, the walk turned off the main roads and onto the route of the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Trust Restoration works. The party passed by restored Locks 25 and 26, through Darnford Park and over a rebuilt bridge on Capperís Lane. With the kind assistance of the Lichfield Cruising Club, the group reached the Coventry Canal at Huddlesford Junction. Here the crowd said their farewells to Dr Cambridge and Professor Martin before heading back to Lichfield for a well-earned cup of coffee at the Lichfield Garrick.

 
"Dr Samuel Johnson" & "David Garrick" walking through Borrowcop Locks Canal Park - photos by Jan Horton

On Darnford Lift Bridge - photo by Bob Williams

That evening, the walkers met the Mayor of Birmingham in a reception at the Central Library and after 11 days on the canals, they ended with a grand Guildhall reception with the Lord Mayor of London.

Click here for more photographs

Joanne Wilson
Museums and Heritage Officer
Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum
Breadmarket Street, Lichfield
Staffordshire WS13 6LG
Tel: 01543 264972
Fax: 01543 258441
Email: sjmuseum@lichfield.gov.uk


Exciting Lichfield Canal Discovery

Contractors working for Staffordshire Highways have started work on the bridge which carries the Muckley Corner to Lichfield main road over an in-filled section of the Lichfield Canal. This is on the corner of Moat Bank Lane. In so doing they have unearthed part of Lock 11 which has been buried since the canal was disused in the 1960s. The bridge, built in the mid 1930s needs investigation and probably strengthening to carry the anticipated heavier goods vehicles.


Part of Lichfield Canal, Lock 11 by Walsall Road
 
  Highways Engineer John Dixon explains plan to Brian Kingshott
Photos taken by Bob Williams 6th February 2009

The Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust is very excited to see this work in progress and to discover that the brick and stonework is in remarkably good condition. With the co-operation of Staffordshire Highways, directors of the Trust have visited the site and are certain that lock can be returned to operational condition in the quite near future. Trust Chairman, Brian Kingshott, said ďthis is a wonderful step forward and presents us with the first opportunity to make progress on this section. We are a strong and vibrant organisation.

It is the kind of project which is well within the capacities of the Trustís own work force and other waterways volunteer teams. This will meet one of the Trustís objectives which is to restore as many of the historic features of the canal as possible. This has already been done at Lock 18 on Fosseway Lane and at Locks 25 and 26 on Tamworth Road.

The Trust is very optimistic that it can continue its work through the current national economic downturn. It has commissioned a feasibility study for the whole length of the Lichfield Canal from Ogley Junction to Huddlesford which should be delivered in early April.


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