Dream moves a step closer

“IT’S another stage in realising the dream – of finishing those last nine miles of canal”.

The jubilant words of Rod Auton after it was revealed work can begin on building a new lock at Staveley thanks to generous donations now topping £10,000 – £12,000 with outstanding gift aid.

Big-hearted supporters have helped by giving cash – from £5 to £1,000, many as gifts – while a Donate A Brick appeal also handed another boost to Chesterfield Canal Trust’s project as part of its renovation of the Chesterfield Canal.

Mr Auton, publicity officer, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to all the people that have given money, no matter how much.

“Now we can properly get started, it’s another stage in realising the dream – of finishing the last nine miles of the canal.”

More than 11 miles of canal have been restored by the trust since 1989, with the nine remaining ending at what will be the £310 million Waterside development in Chesterfield. Work on the lock, designed by the trust and Derbyshire County Council, will begin in the summer.

The trust’s volunteer work party will build the lock, aided by the Waterway Recovery Group, at the under construction Staveley Town Basin when it is finished.

But the overall challenge is far from over.

“A pair of lock gates costs about £40,000, we do need more fundraising although we can get started on the lock now,” said Mr Auton.

Phoenix Brick Company in Barrow Hill has also offered the trust bricks needed for the lock.

To donate a brick (£5), a hodful (£50) or a barrowload (£100) email publicity@chesterfield-canal-trust.org.uk or write to The Treasurer, Chesterfield Canal Trust, 43 Whitecotes Park, Walton, Chesterfield, S40 3RT.