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September update

Dear Burslem Port supporter

After the summer break we are now planning activities along the Burslem Branch Canal for the coming months.

Work parties

Our volunteers have the perfect opportunity to get back into the swing of twice-monthly work parties as we will be on site twice in the next week! Our pattern of meeting on the fourth Tuesday and first Saturday usually means we visit in two different weeks each month but does sometimes, as here, mean that they fall only a few days apart on Tuesday 27th September then Saturday 1st October. In addition we sometimes decide at short notice to run additional Saturday work parties, depending on the availability of a leader (and the weather forecast!) once or twice a month. Keep an eye on our Facebook page where we will post details of any extra events during the week before they take place.

Work parties run from 10am to 3pm. Volunteers are welcome for a couple of hours or all day. Meet at Luke St, Middleport, Stoke on Trent, ST6 3LY. 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 contact Steve Wood on 07976 805858 or by email Any changes are advertised via our Facebook and Twitter pages, as that is the quickest way to reach people. Please let Steve know if you are planning to attend and he will make sure that you are aware if any event has to be altered or postponed.

Recent progress

The Burslem Port project is not just about restoring the canal, it aims to make the area better for the whole community in Middleport. Our most recent work parties have concentrated on the footpath which links Middleport to Navigation Road, crossing the canal on the old footbridge which still stands. We cleared up all the rubbish and bits of old crates, carpet, plywood and the like which had been used to make a walkway across a muddy area then cleared the mud and dug out a new drainage gully. Thanks to our amazing volunteers and also to Ron at Potteries Waste who gave a helping hand with his excavator. Thanks also to various passers-by who kept us going with their supportive comments!

Path before clearing

Path after clearing

It is good to see that local people with bicycles, mobility scooters, or pushchairs are making use of this route between Middleport and Burslem. We want to continue to maintain and improve this path and our next few work parties will concentrate on this area, where there is more weeding and some painting to be done.

Other news

Over the summer we attended a number of events with our displays and information about the project. Thanks to Wojciech and Dave who manned the stand, to various event organisers who hosted us, and to everyone who turned up on the day. If you know of any events we should be attending, please get in touch. We also give illustrated talks about the project to community groups. No fee is charged but we do invite donations to be made to the Trust in lieu of this.

Local people will know that the owners of the old Co-op Bakery site beside the canal recently gained planning permission to clear the site. We were not successful in our attempt to have the bakery building saved and the majority of the site has now been demolished. Whilst it is sad to see this landmark building disappear we hope that clearance of the site will encourage someone to come forward with a new scheme which takes advantage of the potential waterside location.

Thank you for your support