Bits 'n' bobs

Here you will find details of ad hoc projects and eclectic matters arising that seemed to defy our efforts to pigeon-hole them under a regular category. Bon appetit.


This section is updated regularly and all material before the earliest date shown is either archived off-site or deleted. However, in the interests of continuity or maintaining a thread, older items may be retained here.

'A complete surprise ...'

LOCAL AUTHOR RECEIVES PRESTIGIOUS AWARD

Extract from Media release dated 19.10.18


A Black Country writer and broadcaster now resident on the Welsh border in Herefordshire has been recognised for his contribution to the airwaves with a certificate for ‘outstanding commitment to voluntary service in Dudley Borough’.  Graham Fisher MBE was given the accolade on Thursday 18th October at the annual Dudley CVS (Council for Voluntary Service) awards held in Brierley Hill Civic Hall, where a selection of nominees and organisations representing a wide spectrum of activities across the Borough were acknowledged.


The accompanying citation reads: ‘He is a former Chairman of Stourbridge Radio Group Ltd, the operating company of 102.5 The ‘Bridge, where he also presented the flagship Breakfast Show. In addition to conducting is own independent podcasts he currently broadcasts on Black Country Radio, the successor to 102.5 The ‘Bridge and is ‘the voice of the Black Country’ for History West Midlands’.




Since moving to the Borderlands Graham’s Tales From the Barn (available as a free download from his website) have proved increasingly popular in offering a sideways glance at life in his native Black Country from the perspective of his adopted land. 


His work with History West Midlands ( free download at www.historywm.com) offers a picture of people and places around that area, whilst he can also be heard daily undertaking community announcements on Black Country Radio (BCR) together with ad hoclive appearances on both BCR and other stations.


Graham, who contributes to both commercial and community-based radio, says: ‘This came as a complete surprise. Being more usually associated with inland waterways and Stourbridge Glass it is really gratifying to have my broadcasting work acknowledged in this way. It is a great honour and I am much indebted to those who saw fit to nominate and select me'.

GF at Brierley Hill Civic Hall and his certificate for outstanding commitment to voluntary service in Dudley Borough. (see also Photo).




A heartbreaking tale, posted 27.5.18

We are saddened beyond measure to learn of the loss of mv Oliver Cromwell, the largest hotel boat operating on the inland waters of the UK, which tragically sank on the afternoon of Friday 25th May 2018. 


The former barge was being towed from Gloucester Docks, having served 25 years as a floating hotel, to a new home in Ireland when she went down about 12 miles off Anglesey. 


Erstwhile owners English Holiday Cruises Ltd (EHC) have issued a statement clarifying the situation thus far, pending investigation into the incident by the relevant authorities. 


GF was engaged with EHC for several years and so this devastating loss is particularly profound to all of us here at GFEnts. 


mv Oliver Cromwell    1922 - 2018. 

Farewell, ol' friend.

mv Oliver Cromwell at her mornings in Gloucester, 2009.


A clip of this magnificent vessel's final  moments - be warned, it is quite distressing - can be viewed at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-wales-44263757/paddle-steamer-sinks-into-irish-sea-off-anglesey-coast


EHC's statement, issued by Operations Manage Jay Clements on 26.5.18, is here

GF

'Captain GF' at the bridge of mv Oliver Cromwell on her berth at Gloucester, 2007.


GF would like to express his shared sadness with anyone touched by this event,  particularly the Clements family and staff at  EHC, the new owners and, of course, all who sailed in her and inevitably enjoyed a wonderful time in her company. 


A more fulsome tribute to Ollie can be heard at TFTB, Episode 22 Goodbye ol' friend.

Audio

A.L. Lewis VC Memorial Fund & Black Country Radio

Click  for extract from interview on Saturday 17th February 2018, Black Country Radio 102.5FM.

With thanks to Ian Marrey and ackolwdgements to BCR. www.blackcountryradio.co.uk

From the archives

Montgomery Canal Walk

A sponsored non-stop walk along the entire length of the Montgomery Canal, at that time virtually completely derelict and abandoned since 1936. Commencing from the disused basins in Newtown, Powys, and heading northwards to Welsh Frankton, a distance estimated at 36 miles 120 yards, it was undertaken, fittingly on St. David's Day in bitingly cold late-winter weather. A larger legible image is in Photo.

St. David's Day (1st March) 1986

Personally sponsored by HRH Prince of Wales , at whose request the amount he donated has never been revealed, the walk established a record in perpetuity that, in view recent restoration work , is unlikely to be replicated under the same conditions. Monies raised amounted to one of the largest single donations ever made to the Trust. A larger legible image is in Photo.

The Circumnavigation Project

The follow-up project to the walk of 1986, this sought to establish the possible link between Wales and the Black Country in a circular route. With no records of it being attempted previously or since, the event is, as with the walk of '86, unique. A token 'cargo', a lump of coal mounted in a display case, was carried along the entire journey and subsequently gifted  to Stourbridge Navigation Trust. A larger legible image is in Photo.

May 1989

Supported again by HRH Prince of Wales, who has a stretch of the 'Montie' named after him, the event was intended to raise awareness of the waterways, which, at the time, did not enjoy  the level of support that they do today and so it was felt on this occasion the generation of interest was more appropriate than raising cash. Whilst the journey received extensive coverage, some finances were also raised. A larger legible image is in Photo.

The Montgomery Canal Sponsored Walk of 1986 and The Circumnavigation Project of 1989 are unparalleled ventures and, in view of the length of time since they were undertaken, are now of historic significance. They will be of particular interest to contemporary enthusiasts and similarly to students working within a curriculum. The author wil be pleased to discuss how these can be of use in your application and attention is drawn to Talks in the navigator bar. Alternatively, click below to contact us direct.

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