St James’ Church open to the Public

Poster St James 2014_html_m4fce4dfc

Once again the members of the Society are opening St. James’ Church as part of the National Heritage Weekend – look forward to seeing you there!

 

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The Aqueduct – light at the end of the tunnel?

Those of you who’ve visited our historic aqueduct over the last several years will have noticed the lack of progress with its restoration. Damage to the structure caused by water leaking through from the old canal channel can only be properly repaired once the channel has been made watertight. Unfortunately, Western Power (who own the high voltage cables running through the channel) were insisting on being paid £250,000 to move the cables to allow work to take place, although this has now been reduced to £150,000 – still a massive sum.
The good news is that a committee made up of local parish and borough councillors, members of the local history society and borough council officers has been meeting to try and find a way of getting this historic structure properly restored to ensure its long-term survival.

Action so far:
*       Meeting  to discuss the situation with reference to the Sandstone
Aqueduct in the  older part of Aqueduct to look at a potential funding
strategy over the  next two to three years with T&WBC (April); second
meeting planned to  start and firm up a work programme (May).
*       Western  Power, have agreed to reduced their costs to 150k (plus
VAT) for the  cabling across the structure; but a campaign and lobby
needs to be built to  get the company to fund all the costs.
*       The  annual inspection of the structure is due in June this year,
the ducking  which Western Powers cables run through will be inspected
to see if they  are a contributing factor to the water leakage and
deterioration to the  structure so that it can be establish the extent
of their responsibility/liability  as a company to argue for the
above.
*       Work  is underway to potentially lobby English Heritage and
Ironbridge Gorge  Museum about the status of the Grade II listed
structure and the  importance of its survival to industrial/canal
heritage in the UK.
*       Officer  time has been agreed with T&WBC to undertake a potential
Veolia  landfill tax outline on line bid (subject to an eligibility
check).
*       A  consultation brief will need to be agreed in terms of a
Heritage Lottery  bid (the Council have registered an interest on line
already); agreements  have yet to be made of how best to engage the
local community and by whom;  a role clearly could be developed with
the history society to strength the  bid with consultation over the
summer of 2014 links back to the first  point on a funding strategy.
*       Meeting  has already been convened to explore options within the
framework of the  Military Covenant and the potential links through
143 Brigade to Engineers  for example and local regiments established
around the same time as the  structure was built to see what can be
achieved/secured, additional follow  up in the pipeline.
*       50k  (over 2 years) has been secured by Cllrs Fran Bould and Jane
Pinter to invest in the project from the Council; they already hold
and additional  50k from the HCA (Homes & Communities Agency); several
other avenues  of funding are also being explored/investigated.
*       Agreement  to help with the bidding for resources (saving 20k from
the amounts above)  through a Community Interest Community Pisces WM;
if successful potential  of some programme management funding to be
allocated.

Areas for further discussions:
*       Draft leaflet to update the neighborhood.
*       Launch of a petition re lobbying for resources.
*       Press release about need and community action.

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Local History Walk

On Sunday 22nd September The Britannia Local History Society will be holding one of their regular local history walks, visiting the recently-renovated Stirchley Furnaces site and including some insights into the geology of the Blue Pool area of the Town Park by geologist David Smith.

All are welcome and there is no charge for taking part – we will be setting off from the Britannia Inn, Aqueduct, at 10.00am.

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St James’ Church 2013 Open Weekend

St James' Church 2013 Open Days

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Aqueduct Facebook Page

Britannia Local History Society Chairman Pete Walker has created a new Facebook page where you can say what you think about the way the historic aqueduct is being allowed to fall into decay.

Have your say here:

https://www.facebook.com/AqueductBridgeCirca1792Preservation

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Aqueduct Remembers

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More St James’ photos

A big thank you to Rosemary from the Old Rectory guesthouse, who brought these flowers to brighten up the church for the open weekend:

Does anyone recognise the ghostly apparition in this photo?

(Click on photos for larger view, then click back button in your browser to return to post)

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