Commemorative canal bench installed at Ryeford

Stroud News and Journal: Pat Harper by the new bench at Ryeford Wharf Pat Harper by the new bench at Ryeford Wharf

A COMMEMORATIVE bench for two much loved family members has been installed opposite a former inn on the canal at Ryeford.


Pat Harper watched as the bench dedicated to her mother Marie Harper and auntie Irene Pearce was positioned at Ryeford Wharf on Tuesday.


"My sister Julie and I wanted to commemorate my auntie and my mother, both of whom were born in the Anchor Inn," said Pat who lives in Middle Street, Stroud.


"We had the bench placed at this spot on the canal because it overlooks what used to be the Anchor."


Marie and Irene's family ran the inn for 100 years.


The Cotswold Canals Trust bench scheme was thought up by vice chairman and engineering director Jim White.


"There was a surplus of timber from a previous project we had completed on the canal, so I thought we could make some money out of this and at the same time give people the chance to leave their own legacy on the canal," said Mr White.
 

The bench weighs 150kg and is made out of reclaimed timber. It costs £650 to have a bench dedicated and so far 20 have been installed alongside the canal by volunteer teams.


In another development this week, the Cotswold Canals Trust announced the name of its eight tonne, 30ft long narrow boat to be used for canal trips.


Endeavour was named after a boat built in Wallbridge at the end of the 18th Century to deliver canal construction materials.
 

It is expected to start passenger services from Ebley in early May.


Clive Field, Cotswold Canals Trust website manager, said all that is left to do is some minor paint work and a little cleaning before the boat is ready for passenger services.
 

"What we really need now is volunteers who can help us crew the boat and meet and greet the public Ð and some younger blood would be quite nice," he said.


Full training will be given - anyone interested in helping should go to www.cotswoldcanals.com and click on the link 'Information for Volunteers'.

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