Work­ing to­gether to re­store canal bridge

Vol­un­teers spent four days on project to ben­e­fit the whole com­mu­nity

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Mort Smith mort.smith@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

VOL­UN­TEERS from Hare­field have be­come one of the first groups to take part in a canal project, Build­ing Bridges.

Mem­bers of Black Jack’s Lock Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion spent four days re­fur­bish­ing bridge num­ber 178 on the Grand Union Canal near the vil­lage.

The vol­un­teers also gave the lock gates and lock fur­ni­ture a makeover, by re­paint­ing ev­ery­thing. They will re­turn later this year to re­paint the white bridge – fi­nally restor­ing it to its for­mer glory.

The scheme is or­gan­ised by Wa­ter­ways Re­cov­ery Group ( WRG) and the Canal and River Trust (CRT).

Miles Hend­ley, chair­man of the res­i­dents’ as­so­ci­a­tion, said: “We’ve been con­cerned at the state of the bridge and lock for some time but didn’t know how to go about restor­ing it.

“I then read about WRG vol­un­teers restor­ing Lady Capel’s Bridge on the Grand Union Canal, near Wat­ford, and thought it was some­thing the res­i­dents of Black Jacks could get in­volved in.

“Our res­i­dents’ as­so­ci­a­tion is ini­ti­at­ing a num­ber of projects to en­hance the Black Jack’s and Cop­per Mill con­ser­va­tion area for the ben­e­fit of the lo­cal com­mu­nity and many canal users.

“I very much hope that the ex­am­ple of our com­bined ef­forts will prompt oth­ers to do the same. I can’t wait un­til we all get to­gether again to re­paint the bridge and com­plete the makeover.”

The Build­ing Bridges Project aims to en­able vol­un­teers to carry out mi­nor, and even some more ma­jor, re­pairs to canal bridges in des­per­ate need of restora­tion, giv­ing lo­cal peo­ple and com­mu­ni­ties the chance to come to­gether and look after a struc­ture on their sec­tion of canal or water­way.

For more de­tails, con­tact WRG’s vol­un­teers co­or­di­na­tor, Jenny Black by phone at 01494 783 453 ext 604 or email jenny.black@wa­ter­ways.org.uk.

By Ve­topho­tog­ra­phy

n CLEAN­ING UP: (From front to back) Gemma Bolton, Am­ber Jenk­ins and Miles Hend­ley from the Black Jack’s Lock Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion Photo

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