3rd July 2018
I would like to thank everyone who came to support the Chesterfield Canal Trust by attending our Festival at Staveley over last weekend and helped make it such a great event.
Over the two days, thousands of people both local and from around the country turned out to see the latest instalment in the canal’s restoration – Hartington Harbour- a new stretch of canal restored since 2016 which takes the restoration from Staveley Town Basin under Ireland Close and Eckington Road round to the mineral railway line to the point where the HS2 depot supply line will cross the canal restoration. That’s as far as we can go without high level agreements that HS2 will make allowances to enable the canal restoration work to continue.
We have been blighted by indecision since 2013 by this railway plan – far longer than it took to plan and build the 1838 North Midland or the 1892 MS&L ‘Derbyshire Lines’.
Route changes since 2013 have greatly reduced the interference with restoration created by HS2, but we are still blighted for funding because we need cast iron assurances from Government that restoration will be able to continue and that the canal will be there for the public to enjoy in 25 years time. Without those undertakings no major grant making body will look at us.
I would like to thank Chesterfield Champions, Derbyshire and Chesterfield Councils, partner organisations, stall holders, performers and all of the members of the public who turned out and made the event so enjoyable. Great weather, great atmosphere and fantastic support for what the Trust is seeking to achieve.
However, I have to reserve my greatest thanks for our volunteers – the Work Party, who have turned out in all weathers to carry on building, the members who organised the Festival and the scores of volunteers who turned up and worked like stink to make the event so enjoyable. The commitment and professionalism is astounding.
Thanks to everyone – on with the restoration!!
Chair, Chesterfield Canal Trust.
For a report on the Festival, click here.
Robin Stonebridge addresses the Festival Launch Event. (Photo © John Lower)