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Nearly 100 people turned up at Boley Park Community Hall to take up the challenge of our annual Quiz Night.

16 teams of up to 7 competitors shifted their brains up a gear to work up an appetite for the Fish ’n Chip supper supplied by The Chippy up at Arewas.

Ace question master Bob Williams presented some interesting and thought provoking questions such as

Q. What english word has the most variety of dictionary definitions?  Answer below.

Peter Buck did a short presentation on the Feet of Clay Appeal which aims to raise the £40,000 needed to line Pound 27 ready for rewatering.  Nearly £200 was collected in Peter’s muddy old boot.

The winning team   “The Spare Parts” led by Brian Kingshott won the £50 prize with a score of 121 points. The Booby prize of a packet of Kit-Kats went to “Nelsons Column”, mentioning no names, but even so they scored a respectable 94 points.

Many thanks to all who took part and especially to those who helped to organise the event.

At January 1st 2014 over £400 has been raised so far for virtually no effort!

“Feet of Clay” Appeal Launched

Our latest appeal has been launched and is called “Feet of Clay”.    Lichfield Canal Pound 27 by Tamworth Road is ready for progressive watering, with puddled clay. Sometimes traditional methods are the best!  10 square feet of clay laid to the required depth cost £15.00 so our target of 27,000 square feet will cost over £40,000.

Click here for more details of the appeal and how to donate

The winning team “The Spare Parts”.

Right - scoreboard ably operated by Stefan Szulc

February 22nd.

A. The word “up” has (arguably) more meanings when used as preposition, adverb, adjective, noun, and verb than any other word in the English language.

Bower Queen opens the Heritage Trail Towpath Trail

Lichfield Bower Queen Savannah Bennett and Deputy Bower Queen Charlotte Aspley officially opened the disabled-friendly section of the Lichfield Canal Heritage Towpath Trail on Sunday.

Created entirely by volunteers, the disabled-friendly section alongside the A51 Tamworth Road is part of a projected seven-mile trail on the towpath of the Lichfield Canal, which is being restored by Lichfield Canal Restoration Trust.

Savannah and Charlotte were watched by a crowd of around 70 people as they cut the ribbon to mark the official opening of the trail then walked the section, accompanied by Councillor Terry Finn, leader of Lichfield City Council, and Darren Jones and Simon Chilton, of Tempest Ford of Lichfield, who are partners with the Trust in the Love Lichfield initiative.

Special guest Paul Woolley, an advisor to spinal injury units at Oswestry and Sheffield, was the first to prove the Trail’s suitability for wheelchair users.

Trust chairman Brian Kingshott said: “The official opening of the Heritage Towpath Trail represents a major step forward for the Trust. We can now welcome all sections of the community to walk along the restored section of the Lichfield Canal and so see for themselves what a reopened canal would bring to the City and District.”

Among the spectators was Heather Bacon, with her dog Jem, who is walking from Leeds to Cornwall to raise funds for Save the Children. Heather was taking advantage of the Heart of England Way, which coincides with the Heritage Towpath Trail at this point, when she came across the opening ceremony.

For more information on the Heritage Towpath Trail including an interactive guide see The Heritage Trail page on our website.


Lichfield Bower Queen Savannah Bennett and Deputy Bower Queen Charlotte Aspley cut the ribbon to officially open the disabled-friendly section of the Lichfield Canal Heritage Towpath Trail, watched by (left to right), Paul Woolley, Councillor Terry Finn, Lichfield Canal Trust engineering director Peter Buck, chairman Brian Kingshott, project planning director Mike Battison, and president Eric Wood.

Top left:

Heather Bacon, who is walking from Leeds to Cornwall to raise funds for Save the Children, with her dog Jem.


Cheers as disability advisor Paul Woolley prepares to test the Trail section suitability for wheelchair users.

Sunday April 13th.

Saturday April 19th.

A special thanks to  Eric and Doreen for hosting this event yet again and to all those who put so much into making it a success. Around £800 was raised from the BBQ, cakes, bric-a-brac, book sale and refreshments. Eric said ”Never has so much tea and coffee with cream scones been produced and consumed with such enthusiasm”.   Entertainment was provided by The Hotpots -  Trust member Lynn Evans and friend Audrey.

City Centre Shop To Close

7th May

The shop in the City Centre Arcade which the Trust has been occupying since December last year is to close on 23rd May.

Although the unit was rent free there is a large sum of money to be paid in Non-Domestic Rates, even after the mandatory 80% rebate allowed to any charity. After utility bills are settled as well the Trust will have made a very small loss.

However, the venture has been judged a big success. The hard work by the dedicated team of Trust volunteers has resulted in a huge local publicity boost in the City and raised the awareness of the Lichfield Canal amongst of the population. 42 new members were added bringing the total membership to almost 1900.

Thanks to all those who gave up their time to man the shop.

Trust Attends DMS Opening

8th May

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall officially opened the Defence Medical Services (DMS) at Whittington on My 8th.

The Trust was among local organisations invited to exhibit at the official opening, which was dedicated as Families Day and celebrated the integration of DMS Whittington into the community.

Read more in the Tamworth Herald

Eric Wood, Bob Williams and Mike Battisson shelter from heavy rain.

Photo by Beverley Marshall

Trevor Morris

13th May

We are very sad to announce that our long-standing member, Trevor Morris, has died after a short illness, at the age of 89.  Trevor was one of the earliest members of Trust Council and played a very full part in our discussions until very recently.  For many years he has been Membership Secretary and was about to stand down at our AGM in June. He maintained comprehensive records and was in the process of handing over to Pat and Mervyn Ainge who now operate a computerised system.

Trevor was, until quite recently an active member of our restoration team and worked on both the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals. His quiet dedication to L&H will be sorely missed.

Trevor's funeral was on 28th May at Sutton Coldfield Crematorium. It was well-attended and many L&H members paid their respects.      

Brian Kingshott


The new Easyfundraising Find & Remind toolbar reminds you to login in to Easyfundraising whenever you start to shop, making sure LHCRT never misses out on a donation, no matter where you are on the web!

Plus, there's a 50p donation for each supporter that installs it! Get Find & Remind now!

“Feet of Clay” Appeal - an update

30th May

Our latest appeal is called “Feet of Clay”.    Lichfield Canal Pound 27 by Tamworth Road is almost ready for progressive watering, with puddled clay. Sometimes traditional methods are the best!  10 square feet of clay laid to the required depth cost £15.00 so our target of 27,000 square feet will cost over £40,000. Work is progressing well on the preparatory work - see the Working Party Blog.

Click here for more details of the appeal and how to donate

Total so far as at May 30th - £37,000

24th Annual General Meeting

6th June

The 24th AGM of the Trust was held at the Park View Centre in Brownhills. Only around 30 people attended including the seven officers, though there were several apologies.

Peter Buck described the considerable progress made this year mainly at Tamworth Road and outlined future plans including more work on the Heritage Towpath Trail. Bob Williams presented the accounts and went over the balance sheet, which can be found in CBW 79.

John Bryan, recently appointed Commercial Director said that while there are exciting times ahead it was imperative that more volunteers are found to assist in all areas of the Trusts activities and suggested introducing a new role of Volunteer Coordinator, together with a review of our volunteer strategy, and a clear business case with achievable targets.

Chairman Brian Kingshott paid tribute to the work of many people including the unnamed supporters behind the scenes.  In particular to the recently departed Trevor Morris who maintained meticulous membership records. Last year these were passed over to Mervyn and Pat Ainge who have worked hard to build a computerised system. It is now sad to report that Mervyn has to step down due to a serious illness. This leaves the Trust with a big hole to fill and urgently requires someone to become Membership Secretary.

The cost of membership was discussed and it was decided that the Board would review the options including possible discounts for direct debits.

After refreshments a short video “How Water Adds Value” produced by the Canal & Rivers Trust was shown. Watch the video on YouTube here  

Then a very interesting talk on the Shrewsbury and Newport Canals Trust was presented by Brian Nelson, Vice Chairman (and also a member of LHCRT). It was apparent that while the circumstances may be different many of the problems faced by both Trusts are the same and much can be learned by an exchange of views.  Visit www.sncanal.org.uk for more information.

The meeting closed at 9:50.

Read the full Chairman’s Report for 2013 here

Travellers site near the aqueduct - the judgement

20th. June

The Inspector’s verdict on the planning application from the travellers who have purchased a portion of land east of Barracks Lane and adjacent to the aqueduct over the M6 Toll on the Ogley Flight has been published, together with the decision by the Secretary of State to dismiss the appeal and reject the application.

Read the full judgment and inspectors report here.

Mervyn Ainge

12th. July

We are very sad to announce that our long-standing member Mervyn Ainge has died after a long battle with cancer. Mervyn  took over as our Membership Secretary last year although he had been a supporter of the Trust since obtaining a narrowboat ten years ago. He will be sorely missed.

The funeral will be on Thursday 17th July at 2pm at St. John Baptist Parish Church, Armitage WS15 4BA. Pat requests “Please wear something light blue as this was his favourite colour to celebrate his life.”

At Mervyn's personal request, no flowers please.  Any donations to  St Giles Hospice who looked after Mervyn so well during his stay at Whittington, or to the Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust.

Please send donations to:

Waits Funeral Directors, 25 Bird Street, Lichfield, Staffs WS13 6PW
requesting which charity you would like to support.

At the Huddlesford Gathering in 2013

New Membership Secretary

Godfrey Eland has been formally appointed as our new Membership Secretary. He will receive new
applications and becomes the reference point for members, passing on enquires to other officers if necessary.

Godfrey can be contacted by email via the Trust - Members@lhcrt.org.uk

Trust Wins IWA Award

Sept 28th.

The Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Trust has been awarded the Christopher Power Prize by the Inland Waterways Association in recognition of the Trust's work on this important cross country route.

The award is made annually “For a person, society or trust who has made the most significant contribution to the restoration of an inland waterway.”

The award was made at the IWA Annual General Meeting in Leek on Saturday 27th September. Chairman Brian Kingshott was presented with a figurine of a beaver nibbling a fish, and a cheque for £1000.

Brian said  “We are delighted and honoured to be awarded the Christopher Power Prize. We have always enjoyed the support and encouragement of IWA and this award further confirms our close relationship.  The Prize also encourages all our volunteers and supporters who work so hard for the L&H”.

For more on the Christopher Power prize see the IWA website.

HS2 to be tunnelled under the A38

Oct 1st.

The route of HS2 has been amended to pass under the A38, the West Coast Main Line and the South Staffordshire line rather than run over them on viaducts. The alignment will also be amended to remove two crossings over the Trent and Mersey Canal.

Read the official press release from HS2 Ltd here and a full report in the Lichfield Mercury here.  

Trust Chairman Brian Kingshott has released this statement on behalf of the Trust:

HS2 Route Variation  L&HCRT Response

Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust notes with considerable concern the proposed variations to the route of HS2 at Capper’s Lane which have just been made public. The original route proposed by HS2 would have represented a comparatively minor inconvenience to the restoration of the Lichfield Canal with the channel unchanged and adequate headroom guaranteed. We have maintained a close dialogue with HS2 engineers, joined with others to campaign and have petitioned parliament to ensure that this is clearly understood.

The variation now proposed by HS2 while greatly improving the impact of the new railway on the local canal network as a whole represents a most unwelcome challenge to L&HCRT. The original channel from Huddlesford to above Lock 30 will be eliminated and the bridge at Capper’s Lane, reconstructed quite recently with European funding, will be demolished. Our engineers have identified a quite tortuous route to rebuild the canal on a new alignment but this will be costly and difficult.  It is essential that HS2 Ltd makes good its promises to ensure that the Lichfield Canal can be restored and meet the additional costs.

L&H has been working for over a quarter of a century to restore the Lichfield Canal and has invested upwards of a million pounds in cash and voluntary labour to make great progress towards completion. It has been recognised as one of the major restoration projects anywhere in the country and we owe it to our thousands of supporters, local people and the whole waterways community to ensure that this new high speed railway does not wipe out all that has been done so far. We will maintain pressure wherever it is required to protect our project. Only when the full details have been made available and the plans published can we make a definitive statement.

Brian Kingshott, Chairman.

photo by Harry Arnold, Waterway Images

Trust reaches agreement with HS2

Oct 27th.

The Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Trust is pleased to announce that it has concluded an agreement with HS2 Ltd to safeguard the restoration of the Canal at Huddlesford under the current plans contained in the Hybrid Bill for construction of the railway. This will place no financial burden on the Trust.

The Trust is delighted that its long-term project to restore the 7 miles of the Lichfield Canal should no longer be under threat from HS2. The Trust has been able to work with HS2 Ltd to achieve this outcome, and expects to be consulted on the design for the lower alignment near Huddlesford announced on 1st.  October, which will require an Amendment to the Bill.

Trust Chairman Brian Kingshott paid tribute to the valuable advice and support received on HS2 in recent months from the Canal & River Trust and from the Inland Waterways Association.

David Dixon

Lloyds Community Fund - The result

Nov 18th.

Lloyds Bank Community Fund has awarded grants to four local good causes, with the public asked to vote for their favourite – and Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust’s bid was the second most popular.

The Trust will receive an award of £2000 after gaining 23.8% of the vote.

Trust chairman Brian Kingshott said: “We are most encouraged to receive this grant from Lloyds Bank. This award focuses on benefits to the local community and the Canal Trust will continue its work, with the aid of this grant, which will enhance the community benefits it has already provided.”

The grant will be used for further improvements to the Heritage Towpath Trail.

Click here to go to the Lloyds Community Website

The November Show and Grand Prize Draw

Around 120 people gathered at Whittington Village Hall  for a meal and show, and the drawing of the annual LHCRT Grand Prize Draw. Organised  by John Bryant the evening began with a Ploughmans meal followed by fruit pie and cream, prepared by Bradshaws of Burntwood.

Then it was on to the entertainment presented by ‘Just Us’. This troupe of singers dancers and mirth makers perform free of charge to raise money for good causes. They performed a wide variety of music and comedy sketches from the glittering opening of the full choir through to the Abba tribute in the finale. All very colourful and great fun.

During the interval the annual Grand Prize Draw was presented by Eric Wood and Bob Williams, with the 1st Prize of £500 cash. Full results below.

 Producer and compere Ann told a tongue twisting tale about a snake who liked to hiss in a pit.

Such variety -

A Song from Calendar Girls.

The Sheik of Araby complete with camel, or is an emu?

A balcony scene that Noel Coward didn’t write.

A beautiful duet version of “Bring Him Home” from Les Miserables.

Bob and Eric with a bag full of raffle tickets

Resounding Grand Finale - ‘Waterloo’

The response to our Grand Prize Draw this year was again very encouraging with 4,794 tickets sold. As we have done before, the Draw was made by various members of the large audience at our Social Evening at Whittington Village Hall on Saturday, 22nd November 2014.

The lucky winners were:-

  1. 00723   £500 cheque   -  Mr. Robert Taylor, Coven, Wolverhampton.
  2. 09447   £150 cheque “towards your holiday”  - Mr. Neil Wright, Liverpool.
  3. 05639   £50 Marks & Spencer voucher sponsored by a Trust member  
               -  Mr. H J Y Pringle, Southampton.
  4. 13452   New “Scrabble” set  -  MS. Becky Moult, Hereford.
  5. 11526   New Spherical Jig-Saw Puzzle  -  MS. Diane Riley, Essington, Wolverhampton.
  6. 07887   Quality decorated plate  -  Mr. Jeremy Moses, Saffron Walden, Essex.
  7. 12609   1,000 Recipes Cook Book  -  Mr. Ian Prentice, Lichfield.
  8. 10528   Wildlife Trust Birdwatching Book  -  Mrs. Penny Smith, Lichfield.
  9. 00153   Decorative tea set  -  Mrs. Hughes, Lichfield.

Gross proceeds from ticket sales £4,794.00 + donations £490.25 = £5,284.25 - £815.00 costs = net proceeds £4,469.25 towards restoration funds.

We thank all our members and the public who supported this fund-raising activity, also our willing volunteers who sold the tickets, and those who donated some interesting prizes.

Grand Prize Draw – 2015

We invite sponsors to support this valuable annual fund-raising activity with cash or prizes in time for tickets to go on sale by March. Please email offers to bob.williams@lhcrt.org.uk or phone 01543 671427.

Bob Williams

Just what I always wanted - a Birdwatching book

Nov 22nd.

News and Events Review Archive 2014