Celebration Day for Restoration Volunteers
The Canal Restoration Volunteers Celebration was held in The Square at Ebley Wharf on Friday 20th October. Two hundred volunteers, (past & present) enjoyed an afternoon of reunion, reminiscence and ample refreshment. Ebley Mill’s own catering team, led by Nigel Foster, presented an impressive lunch of hot-dogs, tea, coffee, quality cakes and local ale.
Stroud District Council Chief Executive David Hagg addressed the gathering and praised the volunteers and their efforts.
Mr Hagg made special mention of, and a presentation to, recently retired SDC Volunteer Coordinator Paul Weller.
Importance of a green corridor
SDC Councillor Simon Pickering spoke on the importance and effectiveness of the green corridor created by the canal restoration.
Music & conversation
Volunteers mixed with representatives of partner bodies, companies and other groups that have supported the project.
Some gentle flute and guitar music from the ‘Stroudwater Strummers’ added to the relaxed atmosphere.
Steam, diesel and paddle powered boats
Many people present enjoyed short trips on board CCT Trip Boat Perseverance. Other vessels at the wharf included two steam launches,
The Cotswold Boatmobility Katacanu and the charity group’s recent acquisition, Wheely-boat Zephyrus.
All photos for this article by Chelsea Hopkins
Valuing the volunteers
Dave Marshall, Stroud District Council’s Canal Project Manager commented…
“The event was a small thank you to volunteers, without whom there would not be a canal project. Voluntary effort and teamwork, allied to the generous support and cooperation provided by local businesses and the Ebley community allowed the event infrastructure to be installed, enjoyed and disassembled all in one day.
“The occasion, and its success, characterised the continuing spirit of the restoration project. Whilst the Stonehouse to Bowbridge channel had yet to be completed and accepted by the HLF proving cruise, we felt it was sensible to go ahead with the event before the clocks went back and the weather made things difficult.”