As part of the Pride in our Promenades project, works to Canalside Park around Athol Village Hall (Vauxhall) started on the 16th Feb'09 and will run until 8th June 2009. The works are to improve and rationalise the basic infrastructure, improve pedestrian circulation especially to the canal, improve access points and replace damaged or dead trees. This work will enhance the appearance of the canal as it reaches the Stanley Locks.
In 2009 there will be a great many canal boat owners (and users) who will be able to travel through the locks into the Stanley Dock and then onto the Albert Dock by means of the new £20 million canal link that crosses the Pier Head in front of the three graces.
ITCHY-FEET is a Liverpool based arts organisation established in 1997. They specialise in mosaic artwork for community participation and private commissions. All their mosaics use hand cut ceramic tiles, which can be suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Itchy-Feet have recently completed work on five mosaics depicting scenes on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, working with a mixed age group of residents in the North Liverpool area. Wendy and Nez have kindly provided photos of these mosaics.
If you would like to view more examples of Itchy-Feet mosaic artwork see http://itchy-feet.org.uk
The sun rises over the Leeds-Liverpool Canal in Vauxhall opened in 1770, as a Merseyrail train passes in front of the old Tobacco Warehouse (built 1901) and Canada Geese in formation glide past the top lock of the 1847 built Stanley Lock complex.
Canal Rangers News Letter - Issue 1 Summer Edition 2007
Narrowboats from across the country made their way to Liverpool on Thursday 7th June 2007 for two special events planned to tie in with the Mersey River Festival. These were an International Canal Conference and a Commemorative Rally to celebrate the city's 800th Birthday. They also celebrated the 200th Anniversary of Coal and Cotton. Attending the rally was a boat named Maria, which is the world's oldest surviving wooden narrowboat. The narrowboats, many of which have not travelled on the Leeds - Liverpool Canal before are pictured at the Eldonian Basin in Vauxhall and travelling through the Stanley Locks.
When the Leeds - Liverpool Canal is linked into the Albert Dock, and as such attracts many thousands of canal narrowboats, more and more people will visit the Vauxhall and Kirkdale area. It is to be expected that there will be lots of questions asked about the history of the buildings that still line the banks of the canal. In an effort to help find answers to these questions we welcome hearing from readers who may know what the building (pictured right hand side) on the photograph above was originally used for. The building is located almost at the head of the Stanley Lock system and in recent years was used as a Car Repair Workshop. From the looks of things it would seem to have been originally served at one time by canal barges, hence the canopy-cover extending from the building.
We would also welcome receiving information about what the building on the left hand side of the photo (above left) was used for and the warehouse building (pictured above right). Both buildings are located by the 'Bankhall Lane Bridge' that crosses the canal.
The aims and intentions of the Canal Bird Life Project ((since starting in 2000) has always been to seek better promotion of and protection for the bird life current making their home on the stretch of the Leeds - Liverpool Canal in the Vauxhall and Kirkdale areas of Liverpool. There are increasing numbers of birds that are permanent residents and all encouragement should be given to these birds to feel safe and secure. Encouragement should also be given to present the canal in the Vauxhall and Kirkdale areas as an attractive area for new arrivals wishing to remain on a permanent basis or for the passing 'stranger'. We picture such a bird early morning on Wednesday 21st March. We will monitor (his/her) stay on the canal along with other birds that have not been seen before. We welcome photos taken by readers of birds on the Vauxhall and Kirkdale stretches of the Leeds - Liverpool Canal. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
£200,000 of European money has been secured by Liverpool City Council. The money will go to the Liverpool Atlantic Canal Rangers Project, which aims to develop the area around the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. The Vauxhall based Eldonian Group believes the waterway can become a major leisure attraction and help regenerate the community nearby. The Eldonian Group of Companies
Work (by British Waterways) is now taking place to replace the gates at Stanley Locks as part of the construction work to link this section of the Leeds - Liverpool Canal into the Albert Dock. Our photo (taken Wed 28th Feb 2007) shows a drained lock that with the others enables canal narrowboats to access Stanley Dock. These locks were designed by Jesse Hartley and built between 1846 and 1848 at a cost of almost £133,000 pounds. They consist of four flights of lock gates, the water level dropping 33 feet in a quarter of a mile. When in full operation it could take as little as 25 minutes to navigate all four flights. 80,000 gallons of water are moved every time a boat passes through. The new lock gates will make such access easier and quicker. It is estimated that up to 4,000 canal narrowboats will pass through these locks each year when the full construction work is completed. The Stanley Dock is the only inland dock in Liverpool and connects the Leeds & Liverpool canal to the River Mersey by joining the Liverpool (Vauxhall) end of the canal to the Collingwood Dock.
Following consultations in the autumn regarding canal improvements we now have a consultants (2020) report examining the options for improvements. A web link to an electronic copy of the 2020 report will be sent out to you as soon as we have set it up To help take forward a programme of improvements works to the Leeds Liverpool canal the Mersey Waterfront have funded a 3 month post to help us define a more detailed programme of priority works and a delivery plan. Certain works are moving forward independently but what we aim to do is to get to an agreed programme of works, timetable and delivery agents by the end of March, though with enough information to go to the Area Committee in February. The basic proposals remain as we last discussed that is: Towpath improvements, Access improvements, Canal side park improvements, Short term pilot ranger scheme, Water based employment feasibility study. email@example.com
The Scottie Press constantly highlights that efforts must continue in keeping a level of continuality in the regeneration the Leeds - Liverpool Canal in the Vauxhall and Kirkdale areas. More and more magazines read by people that live on or work on canal narrowboats are featuring articles on what is a rapidly increasing upsurge on canal use and travel. A new generation of holidaymakers (including Hollywood superstars) has been attracted by the colourful narrowboats and slow pace of life on waterways. Boat builders have seen business soar. As well as recreational use more and more people are buying boats to live on. For the people who have lived and or worked on the canals for many years (or for all their lives) this rebirth of canal life is welcomed. More often than not the waterway magazines picture canal scenes located in Cheshire, Shropshire, Wales etc. The photographs in more industrial areas often concentrate on how regeneration has transformed such stretches of canal into more attractive environments and destinations. There is no reason why this cannot be achieved in the Vauxhall and Kirkdale areas of Liverpool. In 2007 the monthly issues of the Scottie Press will feature articles and photographs aimed at showing why promoting sustainable water use is more important than ever and in particular the use of waterways in the urban and inner city areas of Liverpool. It makes no sense to treat town and country canals as two separate cases. For whilst there may be clear differences at the two extremes, for most part the two landscapes should function as an interconnected whole.
Some heartening and very welcome news comes in the sightings of more birds coming back to the Vauxhall stretch of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. Let's hope that the efforts made over the past four years to promote and project the birds making their home on the canal will see a greater level of support from those organisations charged with overseeing a continuality of regeneration programmes in the Vauxhall area of Liverpool. Regular readers of the Scottie Press will have noted the calls made by the community newspaper on behalf of the Canal Bird Life Project for much better use to be made of the former Athol Village Hall, which could become the centre piece of a mini Martin Mere in Vauxhall. Ever more numbers of birds are attracted to Martin Mere (at Burscough, West Lancashire) with more that 800 Swans migrating from Iceland to the Wetland Centre this winter (2006). Visitors to Martin Mere have also risen as more am more people (young and old) become interested in having close contact with nature. The Athol Village Hall (pictured below) is situated on the grassed land alongside a stretch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and this hall would offer up an ideal base for the Canal Bird Life Project.
Readers will also be aware that the Scottie Press has highlighted the problems the bird life on the canal have faced with the drink and drug dens, dangerous dogs and mini-motorbikes being ridden on the grassed land alongside Vauxhall Road. Mindful of the increasing numbers of birds returning to the canal, the Scottie Press would very much like to hear from readers who may be able to help with providing a better mix of food for the birds on the canal. This food could be sold in local shops.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org If you are interested in visiting Martin Mere Wetland Centre log onto http://www.wwt.org.uk/visit/martinmere
On Wednesday 26th July another canal clean up took place on the Vauxhall stretch of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal between Sandhills Bridge and Stanley Locks. The clean up coincided with the arrival of a number of canal boats to moor at the Eldonian Basin. Great praise was given by the canal boat users to all involved in the clean up. As our photographs show, PC Les Harvey and CSO Colin Prendergast (Stanley Road Police Station) along with Tony Forshaw (Community Justice Centre) and Steve Higham (British Waterways) put in a considerable amount of effort. In just under over 4 hours they removed a massive amount of items from the canal including bikes, shopping trolley's, iron poles, carpets, glass patio doors, traffic cones, lawn mowers and a 40ft length of roofing.
Praise for their efforts was also given by local Athol Village residents who expressed great concern at the level of rubbish being dumped in the canal on very regular occasions. It was also of great concern to discover that a length of thick rope had been tied across the canal and weighted down to a sufficient length to trap a boat in mid channel. Obviously there was a criminal motive in mind with this action as the boat could have been stranded and at the prey of possible canal piracy. Louise Ellman MP contacted the Scottie Press to express her concerns regarding the high level of items dumped in the canal on what seems a very regular basis. Louise Ellman also voiced her concerns about any form of anti-social behaviour on the canal that may stop the canal becoming a much more active feature of the Vauxhall area and as such bring great benefits to the area up to and beyond 2008. Louise is also contacting Liverpool City Council about these matters. Sue McCready, Community Justice Centre Manager has galvanised the team to look into the issue. Sue told the Scottie Press said; "My team and I fully support all the efforts being made locally to bring life back to the canal and make it a pleasant place for residents and boat owners alike. This incident is one that must be taken seriously and we will work alongside our partners in Merseyside Police and British Waterways to support the community in their efforts to make the canal and the surrounding area a safer place."
Les Bellman (Business Development Manager - Eldonian Group Ltd) told the Scottie Press; "The Eldonians firmly believe the canal is one of the main assets in the north of Liverpool and a developing asset at that. We are aware that any of the areas facilities will always be subject to abuse from a small contingent of the community, and to this end we will use whatever powers we can under the Anti Social Behaviour Orders to ensure the safety and well being of any residents and visitors to our community. The Eldonians fully endorse any initiatives to develop the safe use and enjoyment of the canal for all".
The Scottie Press has made approaches to the Local Police, City Council, British Waterways and the Community Justice Centre regarding a reduction in the numbers of bird life on the Vauxhall stretch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. Ever since the Scottie Press highlighted the wonderful mix of birds making their home on the canal these birds have faced many problems and tried their best to make best of what at times has been a bad situation. It was this situation that drove the community newspaper to establish what has become known at the Canal Bird Life Project. But perhaps the bird life has decided that enough is enough and has flown to more favourable locations. In June of this year the Scottie Press contacted the Police, City Council and British Waterways about our fears that the numbers of dogs left to run freely on the canal side area may have encourage the birds to move. Mindful of the bird life on the canal and canal side area we asked if there could be signs set up to ask people to keep their dogs on a lead? We feel sure that most responsible dog owners would appreciate such a request and adhere to it.
In more recent weeks the Liverpool Echo has published a number of articles about dangerous dogs that have attacked people and pets. The articles claimed that a more dangerous breed of dog was fast becoming some kind of status symbol to threaten others. This would tend to bear out the fears that the Scottie Press had that dangerous dogs down on the canal side area have struck sufficient fear into the bird life as to drastically decrease their quality of life in the Vauxhall area.
Can we ask all who value and care for the canal bird life who own dogs to consider the bid life on the canal and canal side areas and when walking your dog along the grassed areas and canal towpath to please keep your dog on a lead.
Thousands of people come to Liverpool to take a short boat trip. That sentence immediately suggests the famous ferries across the River Mersey. But imagine tourists taking trip along another famous stretch of water in the city, the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. Our photo shows a canal barge cruising past the former British American Tobacco Factory (Commercial Road), which backs onto a stretch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in the Kirkdale area. To ensure that the community canal barge can be a viable and sustainable feature of the future use for the canal in the Vauxhall, Kirkdale and Bootle areas the project will take advice from a number of organisations that already operate successful barge trips on other sections of the waterway. We also welcome hearing from readers who may have views, comments and suggestions.
Louise Ellman MP is photographed at the Liverpool Boat Company premises in Townsend Street whereat Louise voiced her support for efforts to operate a restored community canal barge on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. If this can be achieved the community canal barge will be able to provide shopping sight seeing trips up to the Bootle Strand and in time trips into the Sandon Dock and Collingwood Dock complex.
The Liverpool Boat Company has been established since 1978 and are recognised as the largest canal boat builder in the UK. They built more than 300 boats in 2005 with over 30 boats in production at anyone time.
You can contact them on 0151 707 0722 or visit www.liverpoolboatco.co.uk
Plans related to the Canal Bird Life Project are also progressing and this project has received great help and encouragement from Stephen Higham (British Waterways). The Civic Trust has also expressed a desire to work with waterway organisations and groups to mark the dual 800th Anniversary (2007) of the cities Liverpool and Leeds, which are of course joined together by the 127mile long Leeds & Liverpool Canal.
World Environment Day is commemorated each year on 5th June and is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action. The day’s agenda is to give a human face to environmental issues; empower people to become active agents of sustainable and equitable development; promote and understanding that communities are pivotal to changing attitudes towards environmental issues; and advocate partnership which will ensure all nations and people enjoy a safer and more prosperous future. World Environment Day is very much a people’s event with many and varied colourful activities. We picture one such activity on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in the Vauxhall area, which saw a large number of bikes, shopping trolleys and other discarded (often bulky) items pulled from the canal (5th – 9th June) by Police Officers and CSOs from Stanley Road Police Station together with members from the Youth Offending Team and Greater Merseyside Connexions. Environmental maintenance work on the canal side areas was also achieved (5th – 9th June) by staff from the City Council’s Parks and Environment.
Stephen Higham (Economic & Social Development Officer – British Waterways) contacted the Scottie Press to say “‘On behalf of British Waterways I would like to thank all of those involved in the ‘Vauxhall Canal Clean-up Week’ to mark World Environment Day on 5th June. I would particularly like to highlight the contributions made by Les Harvey of Merseyside Police and Tony Forshaw of the Youth Offending Team for all of their efforts in arranging the event, plus Ron Formby of the VNC for the all the publicity and awareness he has raised.
In 2002, British Waterways made it their aim to double its visitor numbers to the canal by 2012, and it is events such as these that will make this vision a reality as a cleaner waterway will make the canalside a more inviting recreational facility for all to enjoy. The efforts by those involved were deemed to be such a success that we would like to continue to work as a partnership with those involved in order to achieve even more sustainable enhancements of the canal and it’s adjacent areas in time for the opening of the Liverpool Canal Link in 2008’.
Photographed on Friday 9th June is Louise Ellman MP with PC Les Harvey (Stanley Road Police Station), Tony Forshaw (Youth Offending Team) and Chris Carus (Parks and Environment - LCC). Tony Forshaw told Louise that this particular project tackles the environmental problems associated with the canal and will improve the area for local people. Louise expressed her praise and appreciation to Les, Tony and Chris for all the hard work they and colleagues had done to clean up the canal. Louise also shared with them their hopes that the canal will become a much more meaningful amenity in, and for, the local community.
The Canal Clean Up work achieved (5th – 9th June) is being enhanced with a wider initiative carried out by Merseyside Probation Service. This will see the clearing of eyesores by removing rubbish, clearing overgrown and neglected land and painting railings where needed.
Residents of the Vauxhall and Kirkdale areas have expressed great pleasure is seeing wild flowers (as pictured) bloom on the canal side areas alongside the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. These flowers were planted as seeds by pupils from three local schools in October of 2005. (Featured in the November issue of Scottie Press).
Chris Carus (Parks and Environmentt – Liverpool City Council) has told the Scottie Press that there will be more flowers in bloom in future years when the seeds planted have germinated, as some take longer than others. At present there is a beautiful display with a number of different species on site including: Mayweed, Poppy, Dandelion, Hedge mustard, Ribwort Plantain, Red Fescue Grass, Borage, Creeping Buttercup, Daisy and Veitch all adding to encouraging different insects including some colourful butterflies.
Mersey Waterfront is preparing an Interpretive Plan for the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Corridor stretching from the Pier Head in Liverpool to Lydiate. As part of the plan, the Scottie Press was contacted by a Consultancy Firm about what development and interpretation the paper viewed as being appropriate. The community newspaper was also asked to provide any insights and aspirations it may have about the canal stretch especially with regards to the involvement the Scottie Press has with the Canal Bird Life Project.
Mindful of the Scottie Press being a community newspaper it is only right that the community should be able to have their say in this Interpretive Plan and we list below a number of questions asked of the Scottie Press by the Consultancy Firm. We welcome hearing from readers who may wish to answer some or all of these questions. Your answers will be forwarded to the Consultancy Firm acting on behalf of Mersey Waterfront.
Please email your answers email@example.com
GRAFFITI CLEAN UP
In the March issue of Scottie Press we advised readers that efforts were being made to have the graffiti cleaned off the walls and bridges alongside and over the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in the Vauxhall area. On Tuesday 4th April a demonstration of how this work will be achieved was given. (see photograph above)
Pictured below are the before and after results of a clean up on stonework near to Athol Village Hall and Leigh Bridge.
Prior to the clean up demonstration Pat Donoghue from National Probation service, unpaid work scheme, spoke to representatives of the North Liverpool Community Justice Centre, Riverside Housing, LCC Parks & Environment, British Waterways, Eldonians, North Liverpool Youth Offending Team and other organisations and Community Groups.
He explained that the main idea behind the project is to use local offenders to put something back into the community, by helping to reduce anti social behaviour. The first step being the graffiti removal scheme, which would be followed by litter removal and general tidy up in the area. The idea of the demonstration was to encourage the local community organisations to provide support in some form to get this project off the ground.
If you would like more information about the Graffiti Clean Up or might wish to help please contact Pat.Donoghue@merseyside.probation.gsi.gov.uk
You can also voice your thoughts and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
SNOWY CANAL SCENES
The attraction of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal is powerfully pictured in these snowy canal scenes, which show the Stanley Locks (circa 1848) leading to the Stanley Dock (circa 1848) alongside which is the gargantuan Tobacco Warehouse (circa 1901). This warehouse absorbed 27 million bricks in its construction. The Canal Bird Life Project aims to highlight the history of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in the Vauxhall area. It is recorded that the original work on the 127 miles long canal was started in the Vauxhall area in 1770.
CANAL BIRD LIFE PROJECT
With the month of March on the horizon and with lighter nights, thoughts turn to Spring time and as such there is an increased activity of bird life on the Vauxhall and Kirkdale stretches of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. On Thursday 23rd February the Scottie Press met with Louise Ellman MP to discuss concerns raised in the January issue of the community newspaper regarding mini motorbike and quad bike damage to grassed areas in Vauxhall and in particular the grassed canal side areas. Also attending this meeting (and photographed) at Stanley Road Police Station were; Police & Community Liaison Officer, Les Harvey, Geoff Naylor from Liverpool City Council, Marie McGiveron from the Vauxhall Neighbourhood Council. Joan Porter from the Community Justice Centre, Pat Donoghue from National Probation Service, Suzanne Quinney, Chris Taylor and Pat McCormack from Riverside Housing.
Also photographed is Community Safety Officer, Colin Prendergast. Colin was able to highlight the problems created by unlawful use of mini motorbikes on the grassed areas and in particular those areas on which wildflower seeds where sewn by pupils of three local schools (article featured in the November issue of Scottie Press Community Newspaper). This meeting along with that of the 23rd February will result in a number of plans aimed at eradicating the mini motorbike vandalism and in making this area a much more welcoming environment for local residents and for visitors. Please contact Ron at Scottie Press - email email@example.com.
A line of thanks is given to PC John Hughes from Walton Lane Police Station and to Police & Community Liaison Officer Les Harvey and Community Support Officer Colin Prendergast from Stanley Road Police Station for their help, support and encouragement in getting started what will hopefully become a local fishing club. John, Les and Colin organised a trial run of the fishing club on Tuesday 25th October All involved had a really good time and although the number of fish caught was few everyone expressed a keen desire to return. John asked for a line of gratitude to be given to the many residents living near to the canal who said what a wonderful idea the club was and wished him every success. John is hoping to hear from more people who would like to support this venture and hopefully become involved. He hopes that in time a number of competitions can be arranged with prizes awarded. If you would like to contact PC John Hughes phone 777 4670 to contact PC Les Harvey phone 777 8657.
Liverpool Canal Boats (known to many as Liverpool Boats) have been established since 1978. Approximately 400 boats will be built in 2005 – with over 30 boats in production at anyone time.
Photographed above are two boats awaiting delivery, and perhaps they will be seen in operation cruising on the Vauxhall and Kirkdale stretches of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in future years. Pictured below is a canal boat, which recently visited the Vauxhall area of Liverpool to join others moored at the Eldonian basin.
WILDFLOWER SEED PLANTING
A big thank you goes to Chris Carus (Assistant Parks Estate Manager – Liverpool City Council) and to pupils from 3 local junior schools – Kirkdale St Lawrence, St Johns and the Trinity who took part in planting wildflower seeds on land alongside Commercial Road and Vauxhall Road nearby the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.
CANAL CLEAN UP
The Scottie Press wishes to add its praise to all offered to Police & Community Officer Les Harvey (Stanley Road Police Station) who organised a clean up on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal (Wednesday 17th and Friday 19th August). We picture scenes down on the canal which show the level of effort that was put in to remove a very large number of bikes, shopping trolley’s, scrap iron, fridges’, wheely bins, wheelchairs, and even a station platform luggage trolly.
Les Harvey told the Scottie Press that this clean up was part of the Merseyfeast week (15th – 19th August) and that he had been planning it for over 9 months. It is hoped that the efforts of Les can be followed up with other clean ups of the canal to ensure that it can be continually improved. Les would like to thank British Waterways, Merseyfeast Volunteers, Police Inspector Nick Mills and Police Community Support Officer Colin Prendergast, Pastor Martin (Garden of Hope Church).
It is quite amazing how nature can convert what was at one time a busy canal into a scene of tranquil beauty. The photographs (above & below) show a stretch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in the Kirkdale area of Liverpool 5, not far from Sandhills Lane Bridge. We ask readers to consider that this area should be made much more wildlife and people friendly and as such be a wonderful resource that would allow people to have close contact with nature. It is this message that is at the heart of the campaign to improve the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in the Vauxhall and Kirkdale areas. If you are interested in supporting this campaign please contact firstname.lastname@example.org -
Canals are rich in wildlife and they play a very important role in nature conservation. As green pathways they support a huge variety of plants, animals and habitats which make an important contribution to visitors’ enjoyment of the waterways. On canals you get real pleasure from observing the natural environment and the animals that make it their home. You may catch glimpses of kingfishers, rabbits, foxes, bats, badgers, moorhens, coots and ducks as well as protected species like the loveable water vole and elegant swans. Amphibians, reptiles and many beautiful invertebrates also make their home on or near to the water’s edge and the water is teeming with fish and aquatic life. The Leeds & Liverpool Canal is rich in wildlife. The Liverpool end of the canal still supports the endangered water vole and is designated a Site of Nature Conservation Value.
HERITAGE & TRADITIONS
A century ago more than a thousand boats worked on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. Called short boats, they were unique to the canal and today only 35 survive. The colourful style of boat painting was called ‘Brightwork’ and was probably based on the decoration on the coastal sailing craft, from which they were descended. The boatmen often wore a dark blue knitted ‘gansey’ just like those worn by fishermen. The Leeds & Liverpool Canal is no longer used for commercial trade but many clues and legacies of its industrial past can still be found all over the system Very often old bridges and locks show rope marks and act as a reminder of the days when horses towed the working boats.
At its height in around 1840, Britain's inland waterway network stretched to more than 5,000 miles and touched almost every corner of the country. Competition from the railways in the 19th century and motorways in the 20th, however, coupled with the decline in traditional industries, led to many miles of waterways being abandoned or cut off. But in the last five years, after half a century of uncertainty and under-funding, the pace of canal regeneration has gained momentum. The same towns and cities that turned their backs on the waterways in years of decline have discovered historic canals, basins, locks, warehouses and wharves as focal points of vibrant renaissance. In simple terms, people want to live, work, socialise and relax by water.
Today waterways are an acknowledged regenerative catalyst, delivering tangible economic, social and environmental benefits to the lives of millions across the nation.
CANAL BIRD LIFE PROJECT
People working for regeneration agencies often use the word "holistic" without thinking about, or acting on, what the word means. The dictionary defines the word as "Emphasising the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts." In other words regeneration is not just about housing. It's not just about jobs. It's not just about the environment. Problems are linked together so solutions must be also. I am excited about the Scottie Press's idea of a Bird Life Sanctuary on the canal because it can improve the environment. It can promote better health. It can improve educational quality. It can help deal with problems of anti social behaviour. It can provide jobs and businesses for Vauxhall. In other words it can make Vauxhall a better place to live in. One of the major projects that will take place in Liverpool will be the extension of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal to the Pier Head. There is going to be a big increase in the number of canal boats coming through the Vauxhall area. Having somewhere to stop and spend their money would not only be good for the canal boat owners but good for Vauxhall. In the shorter term getting people to look at the possibility of a Bird Life Sanctuary ,makes people focus on the problems of the are in the present. The meeting we held recently with Louise Ellman MP, was also attended by the police and environmental officers from the City Council and British Waterways. People living along the canal have to put up with youths vandalising the canal, attacking the birds and riding the motorbikes. Before we can attract the kind of investment required for a Bird Sanctuary we have to make the area a safe and pleasant location for the people first of all.
The Scottie Press is pleased to announce that artist, Anthony Brown has kindly donated a signed and framed 18” x 12” fine art print on canvas, of the canal bird life on the Vauxhall stretch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal for the winners of a Scottie Press ‘Canal Bird Life Photo Competition’ which was open to amateur photographers aged
A selection of photographs received appeared in the February and March issues of the Scottie Press Community Newspaper and on this website.
Judges for the competition are, Louise Ellman MP, Judge David Fletcher (Community Justice Centre), Martin Clarke (British Waterways), Marie McGiveron (Vauxhall Neighbourhood Council), Inspector Jon Roy (Merseyside Police), Bob Hughes (Radio Merseyside), David Charters (Daily Post), Anthony Brown (Artist).
Our thanks go to Jonathon Neill (aged 16) for sending three photos (above) to be judged in the competition.
We thank Kevin Cain (Jnr) aged 15 for sending in his photograph (above) of a group of Swans on the canal to be judged in our competition. It is well worth a mention that Kevin has only just taken up photography as a serious hobby and we think his efforts deserve a praise worthy “well done”.
We thank Anthony Crawford for sending in 3 photographs (below) for the Canal Bird Life Photo Competition. Anthony tells us that he is down on the Canal every day to feed the ducks, geese etc; and he has given lots of the Swan's individual names.
CANAL BIRD LIFE PROJECT TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE WELSH HISTORY, HERITAGE AND CULTURE OF ‘OVER-THE-BRIDGE’
The Welsh builders who erected houses in the area of Vauxhall known as ‘Over The Bridge’ between the years 1830 – 1870, left evidence of their identity in the street names which survived them; Menai, Snowdon, Cemeas, Barmouth, Newport etc. Ged Fagan who recently had a book published entitled, Liverpool – In A City Living, has advised the Scottie Press that two of the Owen family of Welsh builders once resided in Barmouth Street. He also tells us that a firm of Welsh builders by the name of Owen and William Owen Elias built and laid out a number of streets off County Road Liverpool 4. These spelt out the name of the company.
O xton Street
A ndrew Street
W ilburn Street
O lney Street
E itons Street
They also laid out streets off nearby City Road, Liverpool 4, in the name of the eldest son E Alfred (Elias)
E spin Street
The Scottie Press recently paid a visit to this area of Liverpool to take some photos of these streets. It is hoped that as part of the Canal Bird Life Project some recognition can be given to the Welsh history, heritage and culture of the ‘Over The Bridge’ area. We welcome hearing from readers who may have a Welsh ancestry that can be traced back to this area and possibly back to North Wales etc. Further information about LLechwedd Slate Caverns click here
Water Witch Support For
Canal Bird Life Project
Our thanks go to Joe Caddick (Chairman and Managing Director) Liverpool Water Witch Marine & Engineering Co Ltd for his support for the Canal Bird Life Project.
Water Witch was founded in 1966 when Francis Caddick, father of current MD Joe Caddick, invented the vessel to provide an efficient system of moving unsightly and dangerous debris and flotsam from the Port of Liverpool. The Water Witch was an immediate success, with orders quickly arriving from the USA and even further afield.
The Company is now established as a world-leader in providing solutions to marine environmental clean-up projects. In addition to the original Water Witch design, which resembles a floating JCB, the Company has recently introduced a range of aluminium litter collection boats aimed at providing a low cost solution.
Joe Caddick commented “We’ve always had very strong links with the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, having been based on Lightbody Street for over 40 years.
RETURNING THE CANAL TO THE COMMUNITY
On Thursday 27th January, Martin Clarke (North West Restoration Manager, British Waterways) and Jason Leach (Ecologist, Canal Wildlife Projects, British Waterways) gave a presentation about the Liverpool Canal Link and its benefits for the Vauxhall and Kirkdale stretches of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. The presentation took place in the Vauxhall Millennium Resource Centre and all present praised Martin and Jason for the manner of their presentation and for their determined enthusiasm to secure for the Vauxhall and Kirkdale areas a stretch of the canal that all could feel proud of and enjoy.
Canals in cities have never had a good press. More often than not described as stagnant and litter strewn with banks perpetually lined with factories (derelict) and railway sidings (disused). Many readers will remember the Vauxhall and Kirkdale stretches of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal being such a place. But in recent years these stretches of the canal have changed drastically and have become scenic parts of the local landscape with an abundance of bird life. Martin and Jason were very keen to explain that much more could and should be done and to show what ideas they had. They were equally keen to say that they wanted to hear from people living and working in the Vauxhall and Kirkdale areas about what they thought could and should be done with the canal.
Subsequent to the presentation, Joe Caddick has contacted Martin Clarke to tell him that Joe's father's Company 'Bootle Barge' operated from Lightbody Street from 1968 to 1995. The Bootle Barge Company had barges on the canal from 1937 to 1995. With such a strong link and affection for the area, Joe's mother has asked if she could donate a Bench Seat for use by the local people, preferably on the side of the Lock flight. We feel sure that readers will appreciate this wonderful offer and will applaud Joe's mum for her community spirit. Joe is the Chairman & Managing Director of Liverpool Water Witch Marine & Engineering Co. Ltd. - www.waterwitch.com
On Friday 18th February Louise Ellman MP came along to a meeting held at the Vauxhall Millennium Resource Centre. Also present were representatives of British Waterways, Vauxhall Neighbourhood Council, Community Justice Centre, Merseyside Police, Merseyside Youth Offenders Team, Radio Merseyside, Bootle Barge and Emso Creative Arts & Design. Discussed were ideas relating to the benefits brought to the Vauxhall & Kirdale stretches of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal from the Liverpool Canal Link Project. And returning the canal to the community. An opportunity was taken for all at the meeting to take a short walk down to the canal to look at the scene now and to appreciate its potential. Another such meeting is planned for April 8th.
The Scottie Press would very much like to hear from readers and residents of the Vauxhall and Kirkdale areas who may wish to voice their thoughts about future use of the canal and how this use can fully appreciate the bird life etc. Please contact
DOING MORE FOR THE BIRD LIFE ON THE CANAL
Dear Scottie Press,
As many bird watchers in Vauxhall will know, Swans, Wild Ducks and Geese, Moor Hens not counting the odd sea birds that show up in the inner cities will stay in waters where food and shelter are available. With hopes for doing more for the bird life on the Vauxhall stretch of the Leeds & Liverpool canal, may I make some suggestions. This would require cutting recesses in the bank , filled with shallow water and the cultivation of plants including reeds, cress etc. This would supplement the diet and gives the birds a place to grub the bottom for worms, tadpoles, small fish etc.
These recesses don’t have to be big,(two or three metres wide and two yards long) and would be best cut into the less populated bank away from foot traffic etc. Once started, nature would do the rest. This would encourage nesting and provide an interesting sight when the young birds troop out behind their mothers. Very good for young children to appreciate.
A certain amount of isolation is best for nesting birds. The growth of weeds etc will break up the enormous amount of bread the birds are given making for a more varied diet. The main stream of this area could, in the future, become very busy; that is why these recesses are important.
Let’s hope the vandalism will become less, and people of all ages will be able to respect the bird life and wild life in the Vauxhall area.I wish you every success with your idea.
We would be very grateful to hear from readers who may share the wishes of the Scottie Press to secure for the bird life on the canal a better quality of life and by doing so secure for residents of all ages a wonderful opportunity to have this bird life as a very welcome addition to the Vauxhall community.
BIRD LIFE ON THE LEEDS & LIVERPOOL CANAL
We feel sure that many people would agree that any improvements to the land and towpath areas on the 'Leeds & Liverpool Canal' would really help to benefit what is a most wonderful feature of modern Vauxhall.
There is a lot of local history in which the Leeds & Liverpool Canal was a big part of. and we think that there should be a centre at this end of the canal which could show photographs etc so that residents of the area and visitors to the area could see how and why the canal was built and how important it was to the industrial revolution and to the industry of the Vauxhall area.
Local people often take time to feed the birds on the canal and as such have become familiar with the types of birds now living permanently on the section of the canal between Sandhills Bridge and Lightbody Street Bridge. Although the birds move up and down the canal, they more often than not gather together around the Leigh Bridge at Athol Street. Perhaps this is because of land on the Vauxhall side of the canal affords them a chance to stretch their legs. It's not an uncommon sight to see Swans, Ducks and Geese sharing this land - all getting on happily with one another.
Further along the canal there are the Lightbody Street locks which look really good when the birds swim to this stretch of the canal. Opposite the locks there is a piece of land that could be put to better use with regards to providing a vantage point to view the birds and or a place where the birds could gather together for feeding.
We would be interested in hearing the views of our readers.
Our thanks go to Bob Hughes (Bob the Birdman) from Radio Merseyside who has provided leaflet information on two stretches of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. Further information can be obtained by contacting British Waterways. We also thank Bob Hughes for contacting the Scottie Press after reading the article in the last issue of the paper which featured pupils from St Gerard's school who had successful nurtured two Butterflies through their life cycle from their cocoon stage to be released from the pupil's Butterfly House.
Bob wrote to the Scottie Press to tell us that he was delighted by the efforts of Miss Dickson and the pupils of Class 1 at St Gerard's and asked the paper to present the class with a book on Butterflies and Moths. We picture a group of Class 1 pupils with the book.
BOB THE BIRDMAN
We picture Bob Hughes (Bob the Birdman) from BBC Radio Merseyside together with members of his Nature Watch Group when they recently spent a Sunday morning along the stretch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal between Sandhills Lane and the Eldonian Village.
Bob has offered his help to the Scottie Press in regards to producing some form of leaflet brochure that could highlight the increasing numbers of bird-life on the canal.
Bob already produces a weekly newsletter which you can obtain copies of by writing to
BBC Radio Merseyside,
55 Paradise Street,
Liverpool L1 3BP
If you would like to help with this project please contact email@example.com
'PUPILS BUTTERFLY HOUSE'
We picture 20 pupils from Year 1 at St Gerard's School who had close contact with nature when they learnt about butterflies by having a 'Butterfly House' as a feature of their class lessons. They got the caterpillars in week 1 of the current term and looked into their 'Butterfly House' every day to see the changes. They also checked the movement of the caterpillars and if they had grown.
As the caterpillars got older they made their cocoons and in just under two weeks changed into beautiful butterflies.
The pupils learnt that - Butterflies can fly and walk
Butterflies like sugary liquid and flowers for food
Butterflies have a long black tongue to drink with
Butterflies have coloured wings that are symmetrical
When the butterflies were ready to fly away the children and their teacher Miss Dickson took the 'Butterfly House' into the school grounds and very carefully released them. The butterflies flew round and round to the delight of the children and then flew off into the surrounding flowers, shrubs and trees.
The 'Butterfly House' has been useful to the Year 1 pupils in learning the life cycle of the butterfly. Life cycles link to their science work and also their literacy work - non-fiction and caption writing.
We welcome featuring similar projects from other local schools.
Contact Ron at the Scottie Press,
Vauxhall Multiservices Centre,
Tel 298 1544
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Black Swan - interest and admiration
The arrival of a Black Swan on the stretch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in the Vauxhall area caused quite a stir of interest and admiration. The Sawn was first spotted over the weekend of the 28th and 29th September. Subsequent to its arrival the Swan has formed associations with the other birdlife already established and seems to be quite contented. Lots of local people have taken the Swan to their heart and are very keen to ensure it will consider making a permanent home here in Vauxhall.