The Waterways Alive Awards are over for another year
Two weeks ago we celebrated the Waterways Alive Awards in the Lift View Marquee at the Anderton Boat Lift. It was the culmination of a lot of hard work by many colleagues. Those celebrating had reached the finals by working very hard on the projects that took them there – and had excelled. The range and diversity of talents, the intra-departmental co-operation and willingness to make things better was amazing.
In April, the judging panel of 21 colleagues had whittled the 45 entries down to a short list of nine. But that didn’t make it any easier for chief executive Richard Parry to choose winners for the Small, Medium and Large categories – and having visited all the finalists with him, I didn’t envy his task. Cracking projects, every one of them.
Equally amazing was the beavering away behind the scenes in the weeks running up to the presentation night by the team at Anderton to make it very special – and they got it just right. Their attention to detail was brilliant – so it’s really good news that they’ve just been granted a wedding licence for the venue. Very exciting for them!
Richard didn’t want the news of the winners leaking out before the big Oscar-style ‘…and the winner is…’ so I was hiding things in envelopes and cupboards, protecting everything else with a password. Very James Bond. The day afterwards, I wasn’t only relieved that everything had gone well – we had stunning evening sunshine – but that I hadn’t accidentally let any secrets slip out and spoil the surprise.
I drove home with a warm and fuzzy feeling. Over the next few days I had a lot of emails, phone calls and face to face comments about how much everyone enjoyed themselves. More warm and fuzzies. Now as half the country leaves for their holidays, there’ll be just a couple of months of silly season before I turn my attention to the 2016 awards.
Liz Waddington is editor of The Source, the Canal & River Trust’s monthly staff newspaper. She has been in love with canals and their industrial heritage since her first holiday on the Grand Union Canal when she was 10 years old. Liz likes nothing more than getting out and meeting her colleagues on the cut.See more blogs from Liz Waddington