THE HISTORY OF THE CHESTERFIELD CANAL was the subject of the talk at our January meeting by JOHN LOWER who has been a volunteer with the Chesterfield Canal Trust since 1981. The Trust owns 32 miles of the canal from the Trent at West Stockwith to Kiveton
The Canal was designed by James Brindley and work started in 1771, completed in 1777, carrying mainly coal but also stone, corn, lime, lead, timber and iron. The stone that was used to rebuild the Houses of Parliament after the 1834 fire was quarried at North Anston and taken by canal from West Stockwith to the Trent and from there to the Humber down the east coast to the Thames.
Our members were amazed at the work the Trust has done since the Chesterfield Canal Society was formed to promote restoration in 1976. In 1989 20 miles of canal from Worksop to Chesterfield were derelict and since then 12 miles have been restored along with 37 locks, 11 major road bridges and 2 marinas, one at Shireoaks. A new terminal basin is under construction at the Chesterfield Waterside complex. Other future restoration work is threatened by the proposed route of HS2 so that promised funding is withheld until that is determined.
Members were amazed to learn about all the work hat has been done by enthusiastic volunteers and see the before and after photographs. It was an excellent power point presentation by John Lower which was very much enjoyed by members and visitors.
The next meeting is on Wednesday 13th February when Michael Harrison will speak about the History of Coal Mining in Nottinghamshire. As usual the venue is the Lower Hall of Farnsfield Village Centre, New Hill at 7.30. Visitors always welcome £3.
Our A.G.M. will be on the 13th March when new members will be welcome to join. After the A.G.M. Graham Hayes’ talk will be on the Lost Houses of Nottinghamshire
We have books “A History of Farnsfield” (5.00) and Memories of Farnsfield (3.00) as well as our Chairman Philip Marsh’s book on Farnsfield’s own pioneer and explorer Augustus Gregory whose family emigrated to Australia in the nineteenth century. “Farnsfield to Rainworth – Journey of a Lifetime” (7.00) It is selling very well and can be obtained from Farnsfield library, the Bookcase in Lowdham and Five Leaves bookshop off Long Row, Nottingham. We also have copies of all these and also Philip Marsh’s book on the Farnsfield Wesleyan Methodist Chapel. (Please see separate heading and photographs.)
Many thanks to those who have let us have photographs in response to our appeal. We now have plenty of photographs of pram races. There must be photographs of events organised by village Societies and clubs over the years. If you can let us have any then please contact us through the website or telephone. We hope to be able to add pictures from the Horticultural Shows before long, thanks to photographs lent to us by Alf Hall.
For more information telephone David and Judith Milnes on 01623 882454