2018 - June - Friday 1st:

With the sun shining, Jean, Margaret, Pete and Bob met up at the Kingfisher Cafe for their usual meeting and workday. Happily Diane came along as a guest again. The main purpose of the workday was to visit the NMA to check out the new bike stands that Jean was instrumental in getting the NMA to install.

After the cafe the group set off for the NMA. When they arrived they were delighted to see the bike stands were the 'Sheffield' type and perfectly located near the building entrance. The NMA had also fitted the plaques of Tom and Neil Harkness by the bike stands along with the Sustrans information board.

During the workday the volunteers also did a recce of the NMA link route. Apart from routine maintenance they found three major problems with the signage. The first was due to a new housing development in Fradley which had resulted in signage being lost. The second was a missing finger post at Fradley Lane in Fradley. The third was on the junction at Roddige Lane in the Sittles where a new quarry seems to have caused a wooden post to go missing. The volunteers fixed all three problems with temporary signage however in the case of the missing post in the Sittles, the fix is very temporary and advice from Sustrans will be needed.

It was a long and hard workday but everyone agreed it was another fantastic one, especially getting success with the NMA bike stands!


Hay End Lane, Fradley.

Fradley Lane, Fradley.

Roddige Lane, Sittles.

Barley Green Lane, Sittles.

2018 - May - Friday 4th:

With the weather taking a turn for the better, Margaret, Mick, Jean, Diane and Pete met at the Kingfisher Cafe as planned, minus Bob who didn't feel well enough to join the group.

After the usual meeting and refreshments at the cafe the group headed off on NCN 54 towards Lichfield for another workday. Around Fradley the group cleaned a number of signs, repaired one that had been defaced and cut back vegetation covering another sign. After this the route didn't need much attention apart from a few more signs that needed cleaning and a couple of faded 54 patches which needed replacing.

A long standing problem was identified during the workday. None of the metal signs have a place name or mileage them, all they have is '54' and an arrow. So, people don't know which way to go when joining the route. Pete is going to consult Jane the Sustrans signs expert for a solution regarding this.

All in all another brilliant workday and good weather which made a nice change. Unfortunately there are no photos this time as the ones taken didn't save properly on the camera.

2018 - April - Friday 13th:

Even though the weather was not so bright, this months workday was a brilliant one. Jean, Pete, Mick and Bob met up at the Kingfisher cafe as planned but with Diane as a special guest! The volunteers had a lovely chat at the cafe and it was great to have Diane with the group. As usual the volunteers went through various issues on the action list. They also got through a cuppa or two and some tasty food as well lol.

After the cafe Pete, Bob and Diane set off on their bikes for Alrewas, cleaning signs and cutting back vegetation along the way. In Alrewas the group were really pleased to meet Jim Jeffcoat, the Sustrans Ranger for Burton. Jim was cycling to Lichfield and stopped to say hello, how nice was that! On the way back to Fradley more work was done which included replacing a couple of faded '54' patches that were missed last year.

What a wonderful workday and meeting Diane and Jim made it even nicer. Hopefully Diane will meet the group next month and Margaret will be able to come along too.

Alrewas - Cleaning a sign

Alrewas - Cutting back vegetation

Alrewas - Fixing a squeaky bike

Alrewas - Pete, Jim and Bob

2018 - March - Friday 16th:

The weather was lovely today and so the volunteers got lots of work done. Jean, Margaret, Mick, Pete and Bob finally managed to complete the final bit of their NCN section i.e. between Curborough and the City Centre. It's taken a tad over a year to do the whole route, which apart from a lot of other work like cutting back branches and cleaning signs, involved replacing around 100 faded '5' and '54' stickers.

One highlight of the day was to take a look at the hedge on the shared use path near St Chads. Margaret and Mick managed to get this cut back last year but only after a lot of phone calls and emails to local authorities. A sign needed repositioning along this path but required ladders. So Pete and Mick returned a couple of weeks later and did the job, sorted. 

Next month the plan is to make a start doing the whole route again. However, this time it should be a lot easier now that all of the faded stickers have been replaced.

One of the last faded '54' stickers about to be replaced

The shared use path that was cut back to its full width last year and now has clean signs too

2018 - February - Friday 9th:

It was a very cold afternoon but Pete, Mick and Bob still met up in Chapters cafe as planned. Unfortunately Margaret and Jean couldn't make it this month. As the weather was very cold and windy the lads decided to just have a meeting and leave the last of the faded NCN '5' stickers until next month.

During the meeting Mick went through the suggested route via Gaia Lane to avoid NCN 54 going through 'the car park'. Mick is going to send the details to Dan and Edward for their thoughts. Another item on the agenda was the completion of the A51 Western Bypass cycle path. After four long years of pushing for this to be done it's finally been completed. In the main this is thanks to Edward Healey at Sustrans.

The volunteers were so pleased about the A51 work being completed that they decided to brave the cold and take a look at it. As can be seen in the photos below, the work is of a high standard all the way from the Toucan crossing to Abnalls Lane, perfect!

2018 - January - Friday 5th:

For the 1st workday of the New Year everyone met up at Margaret and Mick's house. The weather was quite bad so the volunteers decided to settle down to a meeting and see if the weather improved before getting on their bikes and starting work on the NCN.

As it turned out the weather didn't get much better during the meeting so it went on for longer than usual. Lots of items were discussed including some possible new cycle routes in Lichfield. SCC's lack of action regarding the A51 cycle path was also discussed. On a positive note, Margaret said she thinks a new volunteer might be on the horizon. Happily Margaret supplied lots of refreshments during the meeting which made it a really enjoyable one.

When the meeting ended the weather still hadn't improved much and so the tasks for the day were abandoned. With a bit of luck they will get done on the next workday in February, weather permitting of course!