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CCT Volunteers Conference

Volunteers’ Conference Report

The Cotswold Canals Trust Volunteers’ Conference at Cadbury Hall, Frampton on Severn on Saturday 1st April was a well-attended convention of current and potential volunteers.

Val Kirby — Vice Chair, welcomed the group and outlined a series of presentations covering a range of CCT matters and activities.

The Presentations
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Construction & Communication

John Newton — Vice Chair & Operations Director, the first presenter described the Trust’s new reporting structure and the responsibilities of Trust Council members. 

Previous matters

Pat Swift (Trustee) summarised the actions achieved in relation to a number of matters raised at the February 2016 Volunteers’ Conference in an effective ‘You said’ —‘We did’ format.

Next Funding Bid

Val Kirby summarised the progress on the preparation of the renewed Heritage Lottery Fund Bid for Restoration of Stonehouse to Saul Junction (Phase 1B).

Historic facts & photos

Jane Bethell gave a fascinating description of the Stroudwater Navigation Archives. The inclusion of copies of two-hundred year old documents held in the archive provided added interest.

Publishing progress

Whilst David Jowett was unable to attend, he sent in a film clip explaining how technology and publishing The Trow Magazine has developed and grown since he first became involved in 1985!

Talking about the Trust

Charles Denny gave an amusing address entitled ‘Talking about the Cotswold Canals Trust’ Charles described the wide variety of external organisations and characters that the CCT Presentation & Promotion Teams visit in order to increase awareness of the restoration as well as membership numbers and funds!

A boat at South Cerney

John Maxted showed some excellent ‘Before & After’ photos to illustrate the achievements of volunteers working east of Sapperton Tunnel. He also ‘floated’ the idea of an additional trip boat operation based on the canal at South Cerney. 

Summing up summit activities

Karen Shaw outlined the work carried out by the Summit Team. Karen’s group of volunteers keep the available sections of canal in a state that can be walked, enjoyed and made ready for restoration in the future.

The biggest book shop in Brimscombe

Prior to the coffee break Anna Watts spoke of the success of the Brimscombe Port Used Book Shop.
A team of volunteers, led by Anna and husband Alan, have received, sorted and sold hundreds of second-hand books since the shop opened its doors a year ago.
Anna also announced the presence of the Used Book Team at the Tall Ships Event in Gloucester Docks on 26th – 29th May. Extra volunteers will be required at the event.

Interest & innovation discussed

The discussion groups were lively and productive. Many interesting and innovative suggestions on a variety of topics were received and noted.

Thanks

The conference closed at 1pm. Brenda Oakey and Jackie Bostock were thanked for their assistance in organising the conference as were Barbara Wyatt and Anna Watts for helping with the catering and general organising.The efforts of the presenters and group facilitators were also shown appreciation for their interesting and entertaining contributions.

Conclusions

The clear message from this conference was that whilst we are doing more and doing it better… if we are to achieve our ambitions, we need more volunteers; especially in the ‘non-construction’ activities.

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