Join us at our First AGM. April 10th

The Friends of Bennerley Viaduct continue to play a pivotal  role in the quest to bring the iconic structure back into use as a walking and cycling trail. The Friends group are drawn from all walks of life and actively support the project from a wide range of different perspectives. Working in partnership with Sustrans, the award winning Friends group have done an immense amount to move the project forwards.

Inaugural AGM. On Monday April 10th 2017 at The Gate Inn, Awsworth at 7:00 pm, the group will be having its inaugural annual general meeting. At this meeting we will review the achievements of the previous year but more importantly, we will aim to reshape the group and refocus our work to match the new challenges that lie ahead as Sustrans puts in its bid for Heritage Lottery Funding.

Help us Shape the Group: In essence, the direction of the group will be shaped and determined by the group. You are invited to attend the meeting and propose motions which will be voted on by those who attend. If you wish to put forward a motion, please consider the four bullet points below and forward any motions to kieran.lee@sustrans.org.uk. by Friday March 31st. This will give us time to ensure all motions are sent out prior to the meeting.

  • Indicate what you would want to develop or what you would want changing.
  • Identify the pros and cons of such a development.
  • Consider whether there are any resource implications.
  • Consider what you could do to make it happen.

Membership and Roles within the Group.  At present, “membership” of the Friends group is an informal arrangement but the view has been expressed in recent meetings that the group is now at the stage in its development to be formalising membership. There is also a need  to develop certain roles within the group such as merchandising, fundraising, managing and organising workdays, developing fund raising opportunities and if individuals volunteer to take on roles, then they must be working within a structure where they are empowered to make decisions within their particular area of responsibility. We are not in the position to open up those roles at present until there has been agreement at the AGM on motions that will be put forward in these areas.

We look forward to your involvement in the future of the group.

 

Kieran Lee

Restoring the Wrought Iron Giant

Bennerley Viaduct, made largely from wrought iron, has withstood the test of time and is in remarkably good shape for a structure which has been exposed to the elements since 1877.  Bringing the viaduct back into use has focussed attention on how best we can make the necessary repairs and how we ensure that the structure remains sound as it is brought back into use as a walking and cycling trail.

A seminar involving  Derby College students, engineers, heritage related conservation officers and members from the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct all learnt a great deal from Geoff Wallis, a leading conservator and founder member of the National Heritage Ironwork Group (NHIG) .   The event was hosted at the historic Roundhouse in Derby which is a Derby College campus.

Geoff Wallis had visited the Bennerley Viaduct on the previous day, learning about the project and assessing the scale of decay which has taken place.  He pointed out to delegates  where the structure needed attention and he outlined non invasive restoration techniques. Following the event, Geoff said ” You have a wonderful structure at Bennerley and your plans for its future are excellent.”

Sustrans Network Development Project Officer Bill Tomson said “we feel more informed and inspired about cast iron and wrought iron. Such knowledge will greatly help in our efforts to restore, manage and maintain Bennerley Viaduct correctly

The seminar was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and hosted in a partnership with Derby College.

Support from Anna Soubry MP.

Support from Anna Soubry MP in her latest newsletter to residents.

Anna Soubry MP pictured with Sustrans director Matt Easter.
Anna Soubry MP pictured with Sustrans director Matt Easter.

‘Bennerley viaduct – a great project gets off the ground
I am delighted to support a project to reopen the Bennerley Viaduct near Awsworth.

The charity Sustrans will bid for £4 million of Heritage Lottery funds to reopen the Viaduct which is 400m long and one of only two wrought-iron viaducts left in the country.

Bennerley Viaduct supported rail lines to transport coal across the Erewash Valley.

The restoration works will combine routes for cyclists and pedestrians and will link walks along the old Nottingham canal with the Erewash canal and trail.

It’s simply a brilliant project!’

Workday Saturday 4th March

Having visited the site two days ago on on Wednesday 1st, the location where we were going to dig the pond is already under water so that habitat creation task will be left till later in the year when the conditions are drier. The tasks we will undertake on Saturday will Include:

  • Litter Pick around the viaduct to coincide with the Keep Britain Tidy Spring Clean.
  • Clearance of thorny scrub vegetation, Brambles and unwanted tree removal.
  • Removal of Bindweed
  • Removal of earth and soil from some cast iron pier bases.
  • Planning the route of the path under the viaduct.

Tools, Hi Viz vests, litter pickers will be provided. Guidance with tasks and tool usage will also be given. The tasks will start at ten and finish about 3;30pm. Come for as long or as short as you want. As well as protecting the structure, we are all enhancing the environment under the viaduct and your time given is an invaluable contribution to moving the project forwards.

Bring sensible clothing for the conditions. If you are staying for the day, bring a packed lunch. Tea and coffee will be provided throughout the day using the woodburning miniature  Kelly Stove.

NB. The bridge on Awsworth Road is still closed so to access the track leading to the viaduct, you will have to come from Shilo Way. Ignore the sign saying road closed. Go down Newtons Lane and just before you come to the new bridge, turn right on the track going up to the viaduct. The barrier will be open allowing vehicle access to the viaduct.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday.