Youngsters from the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service Prince’s Trust Blackburn team have worked with the Trust to install new canal mile posts as part of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal bicentenary celebrations.
The Trust, which cares for the canal, is marking its 200th birthday with a special EveryMileCounts campaign to restore or replace missing mile posts along the waterway’s 127 mile route. The project is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and has been helped by dozens of volunteers who have repaired or painted new mile posts and then installed them along the canal.
At an event at Eanam Wharf, Blackburn, 12 volunteers explained how they had worked with the Trust’s Brightwork project to develop new skills in teamwork, organisation, decision-making and time management.
Emma Fielding, Brightwork project officer, explained: "The youngsters have done a fantastic job supporting the Trust’s campaign to restore mile posts all along the canal. They have been a pleasure to work with and have made a lasting contribution to the Leeds & Liverpool Canal."
The mile marker project is backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund, whose grant of £36,600 has supported the appointment of a project officer, the fabrication of new mile posts and a programme of activities, heritage events and art workshops for local residents.
Although the canal is 200 years old, the original cast iron mile markers date back to the 1890s. They were installed as a response to legislation introduced to regulate canal freight tolls - the Railway and Canal Rates, Tolls and Charges Order of 1893. This prompted the whole of the canal to be re-surveyed and new mileposts, along with half and quarter mileposts, installed along the towpaths.