Volunteers have been at the heart of Stourbridge Navigation Trust since its inception. Following over a decade of restoration work led by volunteers the Bonded Warehouse was opened for community use in 1985. The present Trust is the culmination of 5 decades of voluntary effort, continuing the ethos of volunteering and seeing this as the sustainable way forward.
The Trustees recently agreed that an Honours Board should be displayed to recognise the efforts of the main stalwarts of the Trust who gave their time, skills and energy freely to firstly restore and then manage, maintain and improve the facilities over the years both past, present and into the future.
The Honours Board, skilfully hand crafted from scratch and hand lettered by local artist, Meg Gregory, was officially unveiled by the Mayor of Dudley, Councillor Andrea Goddard, and the Chief Executive of the Canal and River Trust, Richard Parry, at the 2023 Stourbridge Open Week-end and will take pride of place on public display in the Bonded Warehouse.
Chairman of the Trust, Ian Cowdale said at the unveiling “Without the efforts of many people, I believe the Bonded Warehouse would now be no more than a distant memory suffering the same fate as other listed structures in the locality. The Stourbridge Town Canal Arm has only survived thanks to the volunteer activity at the Warehouse. As visitors stand and admire the new Honours Board and use the facilities today they can, just for a moment, remember the hard work put in by a dedicated volunteer force.”
The Trust has a responsibility to maintain the standard of the area they control along the town Arm and also maintain the Bonded Warehouse and associated buildings and structures. The Trust is always keen to recruit new volunteers who wish to get actively involved in fulfilling their aims – they are sure to receive a warm welcome by our enthusiastic team.
The gallery of photographs below illustrate the making of the Honours Board and celebrations of volunteers and Trustees after the official unveiling.