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

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.

Steam to roll over Bennerley Viaduct this Sunday

Despite the fact that trains last went over the viaduct in 1968, you can witness the unusual spectacle this weekend  of steam travelling over Bennerley taking iron ore to Stanton! You can see this spectacle in Trowell Parish Hall this Sunday where the Ilkeston Woodside Model Railway Club will he holding their 15th annual show. A scale model of  a section of Bennerley Viaduct has been incorporated into a layout so trains will once again be going over Bennerley. The scale model of the viaduct was made by Paul Topliss and the set was created by members of the model railway club.

There will be lots of other sets on display and the event is hugely popular. If you want a good day out, get to Trowell this Sunday 26th February.

Exhibition on Tour

In 2016, over 16,000 people visited the Bennerley Viaduct Exhibition at the Erewash Museum in Ilkeston. Since then, it has been on permanent tour in schools, colleges, education centres, churches and other venues. It has just been displayed in all of the campuses of Derby College and it has now returned to Ilkeston being on display at the Canteloupe Centre. In April it will be spending the month at the Visitors Centre at Shipley Country Park. The centrepiece of the exhibition is a  large scale model of the viaduct showing all the connections to the areas walking and cycling trails. Along with eight themed information boards, the exhibition contains a wealth of information about the fascinating history of Bennerley Viaduct.

Forthcoming Work / Volunteer days

Over the past two years, volunteers have given hundreds of hour of time undertaking tasks and this work has been invaluable in moving the project forwards. The two key themes of our volunteer work are around protecting the magnificent structure of the viaduct and enriching wildlife habitats both on and underneath the viaduct.  Workdays start at 10:00 am and usually go on until 3:30 – 4:00 pm but if you are only available for a part of that time, you would be more than welcome. All tools are provided and training in how to use the tools will be given. If you want further details about any workday, please contact kieran.lee@sustrans.org.uk

Saturday March 4th 2017  Pond Digging and removing scrub vegetation. (Environmental enhancement. Meet 10:00am under the viaduct.

Access to the viaduct available by foot, bike or car on the track from Newtons Lane.

Saturday April 1st 2017.  Digging out Pier bases.  Earth and soil has covered some of the cast iron baseplates which support the viaduct and this will lead to their corrosion. The key task of the day is removing the earth from the baseplates.

Upcoming Friends Meeting

Monday October 30th: The Gate Inn, Awsworth, 7:00 pm

Help us plan for the future of the viaduct over a pint in an award winning local pub. The group draws from a wide cross section of the community. Come along to find out what is happening and possibly become more involved in the project. You will be most welcome to join the group. We welcome your ideas and support in developing this project which will bring such benefits for the wider community.