20th December 2017
In June, the Chesterfield Canal Trust was selected as a recipient for The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2017. This is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK.
On December 16th, the award was presented formally to the Trust by the Duke of Devonshire, who was acting for the Queen in his role at the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire.
The brief ceremony was held at the Trust’s headquarters at Hollingwood Hub before an audience of some of its volunteers. There were other dignitaries in attendance, including the High Sheriff of Derbyshire, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire and the Mayor of Chesterfield.
Robin Stonebridge, Chair of the Chesterfield Canal Trust, welcomed the Duke and the other guests, saying how proud he was that this honour had been awarded and also how proud he was of the volunteers who had given more than 40,000 hours of their time last year. He explained that 12 miles of canal had already been restored along with 37 locks, 11 major road bridges and 2 marinas. However, nearly nine miles still await restoration. To loud applause, he said that the Trust was campaigning for the completion of this restoration by 2027, the 250th anniversary of the canal’s opening in 1777.
The Duke spoke about his admiration for the Trust and the work it does to get the Chesterfield Canal restored. He wished all the volunteers the very best of luck in the future. He then presented a certificate, signed by Her Majesty The Queen, to David Fox and a domed English Crystal with the QAVS logo insignia to Richard Allsopp. Both David and Richard were original members dating back to 1976.
The award was created by The Queen in 2002 to mark the occasion of her Golden Jubilee, recognising excellence in voluntary activities carried out by groups in the community. It is the MBE for volunteer groups.
Besides the awards mentioned above the Trust has permission to use the official QAVS logo and Kath Auton (Membership Secretary) and Richard Allsopp represented the Trust at a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in June.
After the formalities, all the dignitaries stayed to talk to the volunteers.
Robin Stonebridge begins the proceedings.
The Duke of Devonshire speaks of his pleasure in presenting the award.
David Fox receives the certificate from the Duke of Devonshire. (Photo © John Lower)
Richard Allsopp receives the domed glass crystal from the Duke of Devonshire.
The formal party – John Baylis (Inland Waterways Association), Peter Moore (Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire), Mrs Liz Archer (Mayoress of Chesterfield), Cllr Maureen Davenport (Mayor of Chesterfield), the Duke of Devonshire, Robin Stonebridge, David Fox, Mrs Annie Hall (High Sheriff of Derbyshire), Cllr Linda Chilton (Chair Derbyshire County Council), Richard Allsopp.
David Fox, the Duke of Devonshire and Richard Allsopp.