Dear Members,

Thanks to all those that came to a really thought provoking talk by the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway last month. Some of the ideas are already being investigated by the Trust to move us forward. This month we go back to canals restoration and will be entertained by Steve Wood who will tell us about the Uttoxeter Canal, whose restoration is undertaken in conjunction with the Caldon Canal group. It’s an area with great beauty and a few pointers for us as well.

The Uttoxeter Canal was closed to navigation in 1849, shortly after it was acquired by the North Staffordshire Railway. The Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust aim to protect and eventually restore this hidden gem, which has stood largely untouched for over 160 years.

Recent volunteer-led activity has seen the site of a former lock revealed and work begun restoring the last standing bridge on the canal. In this illustrated presentation Steve Wood, Chairman of the Uttoxeter Canal Restoration Committee, explains how the development of new partnerships with organisations in the Churnet Valley and beyond is helping the Trust work towards their objectives.

However for those who just can’t wait until Tuesday we have a day at Swarkestone Lock raising funds with a lock through on bank holiday Monday (25th). So if you fancy an outing in the sun feel free to join us at any time from 10am until 4pm at Swarkestone Lock. To find it take the Swarkestone exit from the Chellaston roundabout off the A50 and take the first turning right down Pingle Lane. Bring your windlass if you have one. It’s a great form of workout and no smelly bonfires! If we have sufficient numbers we might spread our group to a stall at the nearby garden centre.

We will also be attending the Chaddesden Carnival on Sunday 7th and any help with volunteers during the day would be most welcome as always and feel free to come to the stand even if you just want to catch up with progress.

See you soon.

Chris Madge