As part of an exciting project to restore the Burslem Branch Canal in Stoke-on-Trent, residents are being invited to come and share their canal memories at Middleport Pottery this Saturday.
We want to hear from people who remember the canal when it was a working waterway supporting the area’s bustling pottery industry. The memories will be collected and then used to create a heritage trail.
The Burslem Port Trust is recruiting volunteers to help with the project, from cataloguing photographs and writing the trail literature, to promoting the project and assisting with events.
People who have lived or worked in the area in the past can stop by at Middleport Pottery, Port Street, Stoke-on-Trent (ST6 3PE) on Saturday 28 March between 11-3pm and share their memories and help bring the history of the canal back to life during the event organised by The Prince’s Regeneration Trust.
Throughout the day there will also be an auction of plates by Maureen Shaw, traditional ‘Roses & Castles’ painting demonstrations with Dave Moore, Morris dancing by Domesday Morris, rag-rug making and canal themed children’s crafts.
Kate Langley, restoration assistant for the Canal & River Trust said: “Sadly there are still too many miles of precious canal in need of restoration but the lesson from the canal restoration movement of the last 50 years shows just what can be achieved if enough people get behind an idea. We need to recapture that same spirit within our communities to support today’s volunteers in bringing more of these once proud waterways back to life. By sharing the stories of the canal’s importance to local people and industry, we hope to encourage more people to get involved and help us restore it.”
Monthly work parties to clear the canal take place on the fourth Tuesday of each month and are open to enthusiastic people who want to make a difference to their local community.
Steve Wood from the Burslem Port Trust said: “We’d love for more residents in the local area to join us and bring the canal back to its former glory. Imagine what a legacy that would be. Our waterways are a terrific resource to have on our doorstep so it’s important to give them some care and attention. If people are interested they can join us and have a bit of fun at the same time.”
In July last year, together with the Inland Waterways Association we launched a campaign with the support of TV presenter and historian Sir Tony Robinson calling on people to rediscover, and bring back to life, thousands of miles of derelict historic canals.