8th November 2014
The Waterway Recovery Group held its 40th Anniversary Big Bonfire Bash Reunion on our canal this weekend.
We hosted over 100 volunteers from all over the country.
Some worked at Staveley, but the bulk of them did major scrub clearance and tree felling at Norbriggs, Renishaw and Spinkhill.
The weather was foul. These guys are sheltering under Barlborough Road Bridge.
At Spinkhill, we see our first bonfire …..
….. and our first bit of equipment – this WRGie is wielding some loppers.
Note that Maureen is carrying a bow saw.
Our first chainsaw in action …..
….. and the second.
Now it’s on to Renishaw for another bonfire. Note John wringing out his gloves.
This is a Tirfor, used to uproot tree stumps.
Chainsaw number 3 …..
….. a brushcutter …..
….. and another bonfire.
Another chainsaw and a pruning saw.
Incidentally this is the section of canal that will be directly under HS2 for 800 metres unless their plans change.
Click here for maps.
You can see that a lot of stuff has come down …..
….. including some fairly sturdy timber.
All WRGies are happy in their work.
By the way, the canal is over to the left, behind the line of trees. This track is the Trans-Pennine Trail – the line of the old Great Central Railway.
This photo shows almost the same spot in the 1950s.
Now it’s on to Norbriggs to see another brushcutter …..
…. and another bonfire.
It was lunchtime, but you can see how much had been cleared already.
Lunchtime in a field at Norbriggs – it doesn’t come much more glamorous that this.
In 10 years time, a 1.7 km viaduct for HS2 will be about 100 m to the left.
Finally, on to Staveley Town Lock. Floods are not uncommon here …..
….. but it looks as if we’re developing a minor landslip this time.
The snap cabin at Staveley Basin.
(Unfortunately the camera was beginning to rebel against the mixture of rain and steam.)
Later that same day, here are the WRgies settling for their dinner.
This is where they are sleeping – the main sports hall at Killamarsh Leisure Centre.
This is the official T-shirt.
One of the great things about these sort of gatherings is the desire for different groups to support each other. Here, Tim Lewis of the London Canal Museum and a WRGie, presents Kath Auton of our Trust with four boxes of canal books that we will either keep in our archives or sell.
In addition, John Foley of WRG North West, was selling books and presented us with £67.
Thank you very much indeed to both.
Sunday, 9th November 2014
Some things were the same, e.g. more chainsaws …..
….. and more bonfires.
Others were new, e.g. this chipper …..
….. and we had our publicity trailer in attendance.
The biggest change however was the sunny weather.
At the end, all that was left were some smouldering bonfires …..
….. and, most importantly, a cleared towpath and canal bed.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH TO EACH AND EVERY WRGIE.