Firstly, thanks to those who came to our rearranged work party last month. I don't like to change things at short notice but we had so much to do it made sense on this occasion and we achieved what we wanted to.
Athough we'd had a few days of poor weather beforehand our volunteers were able to build a bonfire and clear up the vegetation from the previous couple of months work parties. We also used our new optical level to help us understand where the ground will need to be built up in the pathlaying project. The good news is that there is no evidence of subsidence since it was first surveyed for us. This is what we were expecting, as the general view is that mining subsidence across the city stopped some years ago, but it is good to confirm it for ourselves.
Subsidence in the 1960s and 70s was such that in places the ground is now more than a metre lower than it was when the canal breached in 1961, meaning that reinstatement of the canal is more a matter of building up the sides than digging out the middle. The measurements that we took show that concrete edge that can be seen along much of the site could potentially form part of the bed of the restored canal.
The start of the main path-laying project has been a little delayed while we sort out the paperwork, but there is still plenty of preparatory work that we can get on with. This month we will be working near to the footbridge and wharf, clearing up where the path will go. I'm aware that some people are on holiday and the fine weather may mean that a number you are tempted to be elsewhere, but do please come along if you can. We have plenty of work to do, suitable for volunteers of all ages and fitness levels. We are sometimes joined by young people during the school holidays and volunteers under the age of 16 are always welcome, but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Meeting time and location will be the usual, Luke St, Middleport, Stoke on Trent, ST6 3LY at 10am on Tuesday, 23rd April. Work parties run from 10am to 3pm. Volunteers are welcome for a couple of hours or all day. All tools and equipment will be provided. Volunteers are advised to wear old clothes, stout shoes and to bring waterproofs in case of rain and a packed lunch if staying all day. For further information please contact me, Steve Wood, on 07976 805858 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a new attendee please let me know you are coming so that I can ensure we have appropriate equipment for everyone.
The date of next work party after this is subject to confirmation and discussion, as I will be away on the usual date, which would have been 28th May. Holding it a week earlier than usual, i.e. 21st May has been suggested as a starting point for discussions, so I'd appreciate any thoughts on this, especially if you usually join us but won't be attending this month.
My colleague John always asks me to remind people about Potto Lotto, which has proved to be a really good fund-raiser for the Trust. This provides you with a weekly chance to win up to £25,000 for £1.00 and provides funds to much needed good causes across the City of Stoke-on-Trent. Each ticket purchased through the Burslem Port Trust page and entered the draw provides us with much-needed financial support to carry on the work we are doing. 50% of each ticket sale comes directly to us with another 10% going to other good causes across the City.
Thanks to everyone who has signed up and if you haven't done already so then do please consider it as another easy way to support our ongoing work.
Steve (work party organiser)