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Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust Limited


As the first walkers began to gather so did the first spots of rain, but it failed to dampen our enthusiasm and quickly gave up. The sky began to brighten and finally the sun came out and shone down on us for the rest of the day.

Promptly at 10am M.P. Michael Fabricant was the first walker to set off at a brisk pace along the side of Lock 18 at Fosseway Lane towards Sandfields Pumping Station, in company with the first of many groups of walkers.

As well as plenty of seasoned ramblers, there was also a good number of families just out for a nice walk on a sunny Sunday. Some people had travelled a long way especially to join us, in particular a group from the Macclesfield Canal Society. Thank you for taking part, and thank you for your kind comments.

There were also lots of accompanied children taking part in a sponsored walk, getting their sponsor forms stamped at eight check points along the way. Well done to all of them. Every completed sponsor form sent in to Jan Horton by 15th May 2002 will receive a certificate personally signed by David Suchet.

We estimate about 2,000 people turned out to "walk the line of the Lichfield Canal". Many of them were keen supporters of the canal restoration, many others were local people taking the opportunity to walk a route that is not normally open to the public. We are grateful to a number of private landowners who kindly gave permission to the Trust to cross their land on this one day only.

M.P. Michael Fabricant, flanked by Chairman Brian Kingshott and Vice-Chairman Phil Sharpe, prepares to "walk the line"
(photos by Bob Williams)
The first of many hundreds of people gather at the top of Lock 18 to collect a guide sheet and start the walk
(photos by Bob Williams)

Visitors from Germany enjoy the chance to see the pumping station
(photo by Bob Williams)

A temporary footbridge built by Bob (the Builder) Mullarkey
(photo by Bob Williams)

The footbridge enables walkers to cross Lock 25
(photo by Bob Williams)

Tudor Signs of Walsall donated this plan of the Lichfield Canal
(photo by Bob Williams)

Walkers check their position before crossing over the footbridge
(photo by Bob Williams)

The halfway point and a welcome cup of tea!
(photo by Bob Williams)

Walkers make their way between Locks 18 and 19
(photo by Tim Boddington, Macclesfield Canal Society)

A chance to see work in progress on Lock 26
(photo by Tim Boddington, Macclesfield Canal Society)

At the invitation of the Lichfield City Council's Twinning Officer, the walk was timed to coincide with the visit to Lichfield by representatives from the twinned towns of Limburg and St. Foye, who were very keen to walk the line of the canal. A Civic Reception was held at Millenium Lock 25 to greet the mayors, councillors and dignitaries from both towns.

Those present included:-

Mayor of Lichfield - Janet Eagland
Mayor of Limburg - Herr Martin Richard, with Frau Richard
Representing the Mayor of Sainte Foy - Cllr Henri Brenders.
(Mayor unable to come because of French Elections)
Cllr Tony Thompson, Deputy Leader
Peter Young, Lichfield Town Clerk
Cllr Terry Finn
Julie Dewhurst, Twinning Officer

Others were:-
From Limburg:
Cllr Kurt van der burg, Council Leader & Chairman of Twinning Assoc; Cllr Rolf Dettmann, Chairman of CDU Party; Cllr Peter Romph Vice-Chaiman of SPD Party; Cllr Birgit Rosner-hannappel FWG Party; Frau Margaret Wolf, Twinning Officer

From St. Foye:
Cllr Bernard Runtz; Mmme Noelle Pangos; Mme Nicole Zeizig, Twinning Committee; Mme Christine Jaudoin, Twinning Officer

and of course L & H Chairman Brian Kingshott was also there to welcome them.

(photos by Chris Haslewood, courtesy of Fullwood Productions)
These and many more photographs are available on a Photo CD costing 5. See our Sales Page

The Trust would like to thank:-

Mr & Mrs Attwood
Mr & Mrs G Burton
St. John's Ambulance
South Staffordshire Water
Lichfield & District Council
Lichfield City Council
Lichfield Cruising Club for their hospitality
Mrs Marie Hill and Mrs Patricia Ogborn for German & French translations of the Walk Guide
Olive and Denis Hordern for demonstrating their model remote control boats on
Darnford Water - especially for the traditional coal carrying boat.
Peter Magee for demonstrating his classic fire engine
Steve, the coach driver from Eastbond Travel for his patience and co-operation.
The Lichfield Bower Committee for the loan of sealed donation containers
Terry Fullwood and Chris Haslewood for making a video of the event
Jan and David Foster for designing the posters, hand outs, and children`s walk sheets and certificates.
WRG and Trust volunteers, without whom none of it would have been possible

We would also like to thank Waterway Recovery Group for all their hard work preparing the various sites, for non-stop mini-bus ferrying of walkers to and from the several car parks and for their cheerful enthusiasm all year round.

(photos by Chris Haslewood, courtesy of Fullwood Productions)
For more great pictures from Fullwood Productions get the Photo CD costing 5. See our Sales Page

We are indebted to John and Jan Horton and also to co-organisers David and Dendra Hoskison, who have worked so hard and given so much of their time to make this event both safe and successful.

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