The Stourbridge Navigation Trust Committee is comprised of willing and able volunteers of a variety of ages, sex, experience and skills but with one thing in common and that is to ‘look after’ the Bonded Warehouse and the Stourbridge Town Arm to the very best of their ability. Below is a picture / pen summary of the Trustees:
I’m David Caunt, In 1983, as Mayor of Dudley, I attended the very first Open Weekend, the chauffeur collecting us from our boat at Stourbridge and taking us to Coalbourne Brook Bridge for a boat ride back to the Bonded Warehouse. When the Trust was formally established in 1985 I accepted the invitation to become a Trustee, eventually becoming only the third Chairman in over 30 years, retiring from that tenure in 2020 having done my bit and leaving a solid foundation for the future.
I’m Chris Dyche and was involved with the early clearance of both the Stourbridge Town Arm Canal and the Bonded Warehouse from the early 1970’s onwards, as a member of the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal Society’s Stourbridge Sub-Group. When Stourbridge Navigation Trust (S.N.T) was established I became a Trustee and Treasurer from 1985 onwards and then Financial Director upon it becoming a Limited Company. I’m also Financial Director of Fellows, Morton & Clayton; a wholly owned company of the Stourbridge Navigation Trust Ltd and have been a member of the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal Society since the early 1970’s serving as Treasurer from 1979 to date, and have also served as both Society Chairman & President. When not involved with “canal work” I’m a working Member of the Severn Valley Railway, being a part of their Kidderminster Booking Office team as well as being Chairman of the of the Severn Valley Railway Association’s Stourbridge Branch. I give talks to local groups covering both Waterway and Railway subjects.
I’m Heide-Marie Barratt and I am the Trust Manager for the Stourbridge Navigation Trust. I work in the building located opposite the Bonded Warehouse in the office upstairs. I hire out the function rooms for the Bonded Warehouse which is a lovely Grade II listed Building and take bookings for the Meeting Rooms, Open Weekend and Santa Boat Trips. I am also in charge of the moorings where we have 24 boats moored, we also welcome a host of visitors throughout the year. You can contact me on 01384 395216 to discuss your requirements at the Bonded Warehouse.
I’m Lance Cartwright, a relative newcomer to the Trust having joined as a volunteer in September 2015 and quickly appointed as a Trustee. I have enjoyed working on many initiatives with the Tuesday Club, serve as an elf for Santa and recently led the project to design, implement and as a result now maintain the new Bonded Warehouse website as well as the Facebook page. It’s a great organisation to be involved with and a privilege to help this unique and historical asset to continue to operate successfully in benefitting the community.
My name is Pauline Hooper. For the last 20 years my husband and I have attended the Open Weekend at the Bonded Warehouse on our narrowboat.
Following the event in October 2015, I volunteered to join the Trust. I have been actively involved in organising the Open Weekend and the Santa Experience, and attend the regular board meetings.
I’m Steve Gray and have been involved with the canal scene since my pre-teen years and attended the Stourbridge National rally of boats in 1962. As a teenager I was involved with the restoration of the Stourbridge 16 locks in the 1965-7 period. I was further involved with attempts to reopen the town arm to navigation in 1975, driving machinery to clear a channel through, (even on the weekend before getting married !) I joined the Trust as manager of the Bonded Warehouse in January of 1987, three months after its grand opening. After moving back to my engineering roots, I was invited to remain as a member of the Trust’s management committee as a volunteer and have been involved in most of the trusts activities ever since.
I’m Malcolm Perks, I have been assisting as a volunteer with all events organised by the Navigation Trust for a very long time. I was invited to join the Board of Trustees in 2008 and held the position of Vice-Chairman for 8 years until recently stepping down. However, I still remain on the Board as an active Trustee.
It is very rewarding assisting, where I can, with the day to day running of the Bonded Warehouse and helping to organise the annual Open Weekend, plus the very successful Santa Boat Trips for which I play a big part in building the grotto and doing my bit to help Santa on the days of operation. These events have over the years gone from strength to strength and now take a lot of organising.
I am fully involved with the Tuesday Club volunteer workforce helping to maintain the Bonded Warehouse and the surrounding conservation area. There is always plenty to do in keeping it all neat and tidy be that cleaning, painting, bricklaying, tree pruning, gardening, etc. you name it the Tuesday Club have done it.
My name is Nicolas Barlow, I am a Councillor for the Wollaston and Stourbridge Town Ward of Dudley Council and have been a Trustee since September 2015. I participate as a volunteer with the Tuesday Club, helping to maintain The Bonded Warehouse and its surroundings. I have also assisted with Open Weekends as well as the Santa Weekends, serving as a “stand-in” for Santa and an Elf. I have co-responsibility for the administration of this website and our Facebook page. We are extremely fortunate to have this unique historic building in our area and we must maintain its history for future generations
I am Ian Cowdale. I learned about the Trust in 1988 when I first moored my boat at Stourbridge. Subsequently I supported Trust activities and events and eventually became a Trustee then a Director. Subsequently I have recently been elected as Chair of the Trust. Over the years I have witnessed progressive changes and improvements to the buildings and operations of this historic environment, which have all been achieved through its dedicated volunteers and supporters. The Bonded Warehouse and the Trust are now a well-recognised part of both the Stourbridge community and the local waterways communities. I consider myself fortunate to have been able to support the Trust, and play a key part in helping guide it into an exciting future.
I’m Dr Paul Collins. I’m an Historian, Industrial Archaeologist, Writer, Broadcaster and life-long tram enthusiast. I’ve written 23 books and numerous articles, specialising in the history of transport and the Black Country. After many years as a student, researcher and lecturer at Birmingham University, I now work as a conservation officer, guest speaker and broadcaster on radio and television, including work for the Open University. I recently featured in Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journeys. With a small group of local people, I set up 102.5 The Bridge in Stourbridge (now Black Country Radio) – I broadcast twice a week with Black Country Matters and the 70s and 80s Show.
I am Christina Polychronakis, my primary role at Stourbridge Navigation Trust is as acting as Trust Secretary. This important role involves ensuring, through consultation with the Trust’s chosen Solicitors, that all the legalities of managing the Bonded Warehouse, associated Offices, Buildings and surrounding land assets are all accurately recorded and maintained to reflect any changes that occur over time. At Christmas time I enjoy helping the volunteers with the Santa boat Trips.
Hello, I’m Ann Pollard – I have been a Trustee for many a year now and enjoy contributing to the future of the Bonded Warehouse site and services by contributing to the Board and also at a practical level actively facilitating the Santa Experience. I am a keen canal boater and our boat regularly occupies one of the moorings onsite. I am also on the Committee of both the Stourbridge Swimming Club and the Brierley Hill Operatic Society as well as being Secretary of the Staffs & Worcs Canal Society. I like to keep busy !
Hello, I’m Geoff. I’ve been moored at the Bonded Warehouse Wharf for the past eight years where I’ve also annually served as Santa and being a practical man assisted with the construction of the Grotto. My family, living and buried, are spread throughout the Black Country and, as I am now retired, I am able to spend time writing about various historical aspects of Black Country life.
I’ve previously served as a Trustee on Housing and Care Charities where I’ve been able to use my experience in fundraising to assist the Charities; something that I hope to bring to the Stourbridge Navigation Trust.