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Cromford & WRG stalwart appointed Chesterfield Canal development manager

The Chesterfield Canal Trust has appointed George Rogers, a well-known figure in canal restoration circles, as its new development manager, the first paid employee in its 40-year history.

CCT has set itself an optimistic target of having the restoration completed by 2027, the 250th anniversary of its completion, and the appointment is a step towards that goal.

The wider Chesterfield Canal Partnership, which also includes Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire county councils, appointed a development manager, Geraint Coles, in 2004, and he was instrumental in getting several miles back in water. But Coles resigned in 2014 after continued uncertainty over the HS2 project put a cloud over future fundraising.

The HS2 threat is now hopefully resolved, but the councils say they are unable to fund a new development manager, so CCT has stepped in. The trust says George's first task will be to create a sequence of costed projects which will form the basis of a series of major funding bids.

An engineering graduate of Cambridge University, George has previously been a chartered civil engineer specialising in civil infrastructure for National Grid substations. But he has wide experience within the voluntary canal restoration sector. A trustee of the Friends of Cromford Canal and a volunteer leader of its strategic restoration committee, he remains a director of the Waterway Recovery Group and is a familiar figure on its volunteer canal camps around the country, where his unrelenting good humour has acquired him the sobriquet 'Gorgeous George'.

 

Chesterfield also honours a retiring engineer

The Chesterfield Canal Trust has also honoured a retiring figure in the restoration. Selwyn Jones, a senior project engineer at Derbyshire County Council, received a Lifetime Achievement award at the trust's annual meeting in March.

Selwyn designed many of the restored features on the canal, including Constitution Hill Bridge at Staveley, Renishaw Foundry Bridge, Staveley Town Lock and Staveley Spill Weir.

He was first involved in the canal in 1989 when advising on Tapton Lock, the first on the route to be restored. He has surveyed the entire restoration route in Derbyshire and designed all the new locks.

 

Selwyn Jones (r) receives his lifetime achievement award from Robin Stonebridge of CCT.

  

George Rogers as a WRG volunteer on the Chesterfield's Constitution Hill footbridge in 2012.

Tuesday 21 May  | Andrew Denny  | 2.55pm, Tuesday 21 May 2019

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