Footbridge ReplacedBetween the 13th and 29th July 1996 a group of volunteers from the Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) of the The Inland Waterways Association (IWA), under the leadership of their Chairman Mike Palmer, completed the first of a number of preliminary works on the project by replacing the old worn out footbridge which crosses the Savick Brook at the Lea and Ashton golf course. The original bridge, owned by Lancashire County Council, was in poor condition and when the Trust approached the Council they agreed to work together with WRG to replace the bridge and at the same time allow it to be raised to give full navigational clearance.
The bridge work was complete for the IWA's 50th anniversary celebrations which were celebrated on the Lancaster Canal over the weekend of 27th & 28th July. On Sunday the 28th a number of IWA members including the National Chairman, Mrs Audrey Smith, joined in a walk down the proposed line of the Link and viewed the new bridge.
The completed footbridge
Southern Section CompletedWork has now been completed on the southern section of the Ribble Link Navigation at Tarleton.
Between January and May of 1996 various groups have been at work to provide new mooring facilities at Tarleton, which is the terminus of the Rufford branch of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
From here you can leave the canal via the lock and enter the River Douglas. After cruising down this river for fours miles you arrive at the confluence with the River Ribble. By turning to starboard at this point and cruising a further three and a half miles you reach the entrance, on the port side, of Savick Brook which is the location of the entrance to the Ribble Link Navigation, but at this moment in time we must continue to cruise for a further one and a half miles up the Ribble to arrive at Preston Dock.
Over twelve months ago a partnership was formed, between The Ribble Link Trust and the IWA to try to provide a new walk way with facilities for the disabled along with new mooring facilities for boaters at Tarleton close to Harry Mayor's boat yard.
This partnership then gained the support of British Waterways, Lancashire County Council, Tarleton Parish Council, West Lancs District Council, WRG and the Mersey Basin Trust via a green link award, to assist in building the new facilities.
In January 1996 British Waterways staff started dredging and then sheet piling the banks of the canal. Following this members of the WRG spent the first of their two weekend camps back filling this area with hard core. The next stage saw members of the Ribble Link Trust, along with members of the IWA, install the timbers and steel tie rods to retain the concrete.
On the last week of April the WRG team headed by Spencer Collins held their second weekend camp and laid all the concrete. British waterways finished off a few remaining items and finally in May the IWA members installed the mooring bollards.
The completed moorings at Tarleton
Ted Ellis of the Trust along with Malcolm Bridge and Andrew Lawton (both of the IWA) have been the major force in organizing this project. Ted has also been responsible for raising most of the funds from the various different groups, including the Councils to pay for the project.
A special thank you must go to Spencer Collins and his team from WRG for their two weekends, but Ted and all the members of the Ribble Link committee wish to thank all those individuals who give up their time free of charge to make this project a great success.
Replacement of Farm Access BridgeUnfortunately, the next part of the preliminary works on the project, the WRG work camp which had been arranged for July 1997, had to be cancelled as the plans were still with Lancashire County Council. The camp was to begin the replacement of the old farm access bridge which crosses the Savick Brook between locks 2 and 2a with a new structure giving full navigational clearance.
The Ribble Link CentreA group of volunteers from the Navvies Anonymous section of the IWA's Waterway Recovery Group (WRG), held a working weekend on the 25th/26th October 1997 to erect a purpose built headquarters for the Trust and accommodation for themselves whilst involved with work on the Ribble Link.
The building, which originally housed offices, was donated by Urenco (part of British Nuclear Fuels Ltd.) to the Trust to enable WRG and other volunteers to be accommodated whilst working on the Ribble Link Navigation. The premises consist of units which bolt together to form a building 11 metres x 8 metres, and when completed will house toilets, showers and a kitchen as well as sleeping accommodation.
The weekend was organised by Spence Collins of Navvies Anonymous along with Frank Parker of the Ribble Link Trust and consisted of two teams from WRG, one located on the site at Chester to assist and supervise the lifting of the units for transportation to Preston. The other team was located at the Preston Marina site to assist with the off loading and the preparation of the foundations.
Marsdens of Chorley, a crane hire specialist company, were employed to load the units at Chester, and Ken Abrams Ltd. of Skelmersdale provided the vehicles to transport the units to Preston.
Chris Miller of Preston Marine Services kindly supplied a crane to off load the units at the Preston end and has also been very helpful in allowing the building to be erected on his site which is in close proximity to the Ribble Link Navigation.
The Trust wishes to thank all those involved for the help given to complete the project.
WRG volunteers erecting the building
Send questions and comments to RLT@aaug.net
Last Revised: Sun 4th June 2000
Copyright © 1997-2000 by John Clegg, Cliff Fazackerley and the Ribble Link Trust Ltd.