AN honours board recognising the work of canal volunteers was unveiled at the recent Stourbridge Open Weekend.
Handcrafted from scratch and lettered by local artist Meg Gregory, it will take pride of place on public display in the town’s Bonded Warehouse.
The board was officially unveiled by the Mayor of Dudley, Coun Andrea Goddard, and the chief executive of the Canal & River Trust, Richard Parry, at the 2023 event.
Volunteers have been at the heart of Stourbridge Navigation Trust since its inception and following more than a decade of restoration work the Bonded Warehouse was opened for community use in 1985. The present trust is the culmination of five decades of voluntary effort, continuing the ethos of volunteering and seeing this as the sustainable way forward.
Chairman of the trust, Ian Cowdale, said: “Without the efforts of many people, I believe the Bonded Warehouse would now be no more than a distant memory, suffering the same fate as other listed structures in the locality.
“The Stourbridge Town Canal Arm has only survived thanks to the volunteer activity at the warehouse. As visitors stand and admire the new honours board and use the facilities today they can, just for a moment, remember the hard work put in by a dedicated volunteer force.”
The trustees had agreed that the board should be displayed to recognise the efforts of the main stalwarts of the trust who gave their time, skills and energy freely to firstly restore and then manage, maintain and improve the facilities over the years both past, present and into the future.
Stourbridge Navigation Trust has a responsibility to maintain the standard of the area it controls along the town Arm and also maintain the Bonded Warehouse and associated buildings and structures.
It is always keen to recruit new volunteers who wish to get actively involved in fulfilling its aims and they are sure to receive a warm welcome.