An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct, (FoBV) will take place on Monday, February 25th 2019 at The Gate Inn, Awsworth at 7:00 pm. The FoBV want to convert the group into a registered charity (Charitable Incorporated Organisation CIO) and will require the formal consent of the membership. Securing CIO status has many advantages both for the group and the project and these will be discussed at the meeting. In essence, we are updating and creating a robust, accountable, sustainable and democratic structure to take the project forwards. The membership will need to formally agree to the adoption of a new constitution which will meet the requirements of the Charity Commission.
Members of the FoBV will be eligible to vote on the motions and proposals which will be forwarded to the membership by the end of January 2019. However, whether you are a member or not, you will be welcome at the meeting.
As promised, Friends of Bennerley Viaduct Volunteer Workdays are being resumed. Our next work party will take place on Saturday, January 26th 2019 between 10:00 am and 3:00pm. We will be working at the Awsworth end of the viaduct under spans 12 to 16. These spans are heavily overgrown with hawthorn, bramble, bracken and other scrub species. We need to prepare these spans so the new footpath under the viaduct can be extended on to the Nottingham Canal.
The scrub clearing tasks will include:
- Hawthorn removal,
- Scrub removal,
- Tree pruning and cutting back.
- The creation of some habitat piles.
- Removing roots.
- Cutting back bracken.
We will bring protective gloves but if you have your own, please bring them.
If you arrive during the morning or afternoon, we will be working under the far spans so you will have to find us. for as long or as short as you can manage, it will be good to see you. The difference that the volunteers made in 2016 and 2017 was phenomenal and we express our thanks and appreciation to all those who helped make such a difference.
The barrier on Newtons Lane will be open from 9:30 onwards so you can bring your car up to the viaduct. See Map Come for an hour, a morning or the day. It will be brilliant to see you all again.
The workday after that will take place on: Saturday March 2nd
The Friends of Bennerley Viaduct plan to reinstate Saturday work parties to enable the brilliant work which has been put in by friends and volunteers to continue. We hope this will be operational by the end of the year. In the meantime, Sustrans Greener Greenways team will be carrying out some workdays though these take place on weekdays. Details of the workdays are attached. If you want further details of the workdays, please contact the greener greenways team. Bennerley Schedule of works Summer Autumn 2018
Following a presentation at Nottingham University, the Association for Industrial Archaeology made a visit to Bennerley Viaduct as part of their National Conference. A coachload of delegates enjoyed a ploughmans lunch in the Bridge Inn followed by a tour around, under and on the viaduct. The association played a key role in saving the viaduct back in the 1980s when British Rail wanted to demolish the structure. The members were really appreciative of all the work which has been done by the Friends and Volunteers to bring the structure back into use.
In addition, a heritage holiday company also visited the viaduct on the same day. They were given a guided tour of the viaduct. It is satisfying to see the viaduct becoming a destination for those interested in our industrial heritage.
The next open meeting will take place at the Gate Inn, Awsworth on Monday October 15th at 7:00pm. The Friends of Bennerley Viaduct are intent on taking forwards an ambitious project for the viaduct. The meeting will update everyone on progress with the Railway Paths plan to carry out critical repairs. The meeting will also need to determine the breadth of the the project which we want to take forwards and the mechanisms we will use to bring in the investment. The committee have been busy determining whether a Community Interest Company be formed or whether the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation. If you missed the previous meeting, unverified minutes of the meeting of August 13th are attached. FoBV Meeting Minutes 20 Aug 2018 amended (These minutes will be verified at the Oct 15th meeting) We look forwards to your contributions at the next meeting. Members and Non members welcome.
Railway Paths Ltd, the sister charity to Sustrans are the owners of the viaduct. In July 2018, the board of RPL have agreed to fund the cost of critical repairs to the structure and create access on to the deck of the viaduct. RPL are in the process of raising the necessary funds to enable the repairs to take place and for a deck to be installed. Access to the deck will be via a ramp on the Erewash Canal end and via steps at the Awsworth end. The work should be put out to contract in Spring 2019. The work will cost somewhere in the region of £0.5m. The Friends of Bennerley Viaduct welcome this development. The image above shows repairs being made to pier base three using traditional lime mortar.
A volunteer workday will be taking place on Saturday June 2nd under the first four spans of the viaduct and on the approach road. The day will take place in two distinct halves.
10:00 – 12:00 The first part of the day will be an onsite workshop led by Sustrans Greener Greenways ecologist David Watson. We are keen to ensure that the viaduct surroundings are looked after and the area as ecologically rich as we can make it. People visiting the viaduct will spending time in this area. How best do we make the area welcoming? How do we add interest? Be creative. Your thoughts and ideas are wanted. These ideas can be incorporated into a management plan for the first four spans. (If you do not want to take part in the workshop, then you can work on the actual tasks.
12:00 – 3:30pm The second part of the day will be planting a wildflower mix under spans 1 and 2 and on the approach road. Following the removal of flytipped rubble by AMCO, the ground is bare so it is an ideal time to plant the wildflower mix before the invading species dominate. . We are most grateful to AMCO and to Harworth Estates for supplying the wild flower seed mix.
The work will involve the following tasks:
Some lopping of bramble.
Some removal of larger pieces of rubble
Breaking up the topsoil / ground surface which may be compacted in places
Raking the topsoil / ground surface
Planting wild flower mix.
Tools will be provided but if you have loppers, spades, rakes or a wheelbarrow, bring them along. The barrier will be open from 9:30pm onwards. We look forward to seeing you. The image below shows the seedmix which will be used. It contains 26 native wildflower species designed to attract bees and butterflies. The seed is being kindly provided by AMCO and Harworth Estates.