Date: Sunday 31st May Place: Harrop Way off Richardson Drive (which is off Wollaston High Street) Time: 10.15 for 10.30am Parking: good: but beware of parking in front of people’s driveways!
Next Dates: (to be confirmed nearer the time)
Sunday 28th June
Sunday 19th July
Sunday 6th September
As it has rained recently the river has filled up and made it impossible to get into as hoped and planned. We are always dependent on the weather for our events and are generally quite lucky.
However there’s always something to be done! This time we will ‘balsam bash’. Himalayan balsam is an invasive species which takes the place of our native varieties. We are slowly clearing this particular area and have cleaned up the river here. There may also be litter to pick. It’s also great if volunteers can help with these less dramatic events! Good gloves useful if you have them.. if not we do.
Rod will check the river tomorrow morning and if he feels it is possible he will lead a small group to do some more clearing if anyone wishes to go into the river. We will know when we meet at Harrop Way.
Date: Sunday 31st May Time: 10.15 for a 10.30 start Where: Lion Health, Bradley Road, Stourbridge
If we are unlucky with the weather and the river is too deep to work we may go in for some Himalayan balsam bashing. I will not be able to contact you till the Friday or Saturday morning to confirm the final decision. Rosanne (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Photos from previous event
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Please contact Rosanne (email@example.com) to be added to our River Stour Clean-Up email list to be kept up-to-date with future events. Thank you
You Tube film of river event
The You Tube film is now ready (I haven’t seen it yet) and it has been suggested that it is a link from a facebook page. My daughter Kat has offered to set this up for me and help with it but in the long term it would be great if one of our volunteers who enjoys computer work could dedicate some time to making this a really good page and to refresh it regularly. Would also need to be a good communicator! Please let me know if this might be for you!
Very many thanks to Ian Winstanley for giving time to do this for us and to Kat for offering to help with the facebook page.
The River Stour Booklet
A reprint of this is now at the printers and should be ready in about 10 days. This will sell at £3.95 of which £1.50 will go to Mary Stevens Hospice. 1000 copies gave us a good price with Direct to Print (who were excellent to work with and gave us a generous discount and recycled paper was the same price. If you have contacts with local historical societies, local shops etc who might be prepared to sell the booklets please let me know as we need to move them along quickly to recover expenses.
Rosanne has done a first school assembly showing clips from Message in the Waves and relating the plastic in the oceans (effect on mammals, animals and birds) to the River Stour. The children were lovely and several came up afterwards to share concerns about their own area. Thanks to Jean Cooper and Helen Lacey for making contact. Three more schools have shown interest and two are booked in for a talk.
So various things are moving along thanks to you all! It’s great the way so many contributions are made by so many in different ways.
Date: Sunday 26th April Time: 10.15 for 10.30 Place: Lion Health, Bradley Road, Stourbridge Parking: no problem
We were incredibly lucky last Sunday with the weather and cleaned the river in bright sunshine. It was good to see well known faces and some new ones too. The boat ferried the rubbish and the bit we cleared looked very much better. There’s still more to do in the same area.
We are still in urgent need of storage space for our equipment and boat. If anyone knows of someone who can help with a secure lock up or garage do please let me know.
River Stour booklet
We have the go ahead for reprinting Gerald Darby’s River Stour booklet. It’s on a Microsoft Publisher data stick. (help!) If anyone knows anything about this and can help – all expenses met- that would be a great help. Profits go to Mary Stevens Hospice. I hope to get this sorted very soon.
Graham Beckley’s River Stour Exhibition
This will be held in Himley Hall and will be up and running starting April and running through the summer. Will let you know dates when I have them. Photos of the full length of the River Stour to where it flows into the Severn at Stourport.
River Stour Sign
Photo and copy for this have not appeared this week in St. News. Hopefully next week!
With many thanks to everyone for all the help and support.
Date: Sunday 1st February Time: 10.15 for 10.30 start Place: Bradley Road by the new Lion Health Centre Parking: Good parking facilities there.
The Lion Health development has done work on the river beside the building (already rubbish in it!) but downstream there is a huge amount of rubbish which we have not been able to tackle. River permitting we are going to have a go this time.
We plan on using The Little Stour Warrior to help us. If we are unlucky with the weather and unable to get into the river we will park in the Bonded Warehouse area (check where you park, some areas are fiercely private) and try to deal with the really dreadful litter in the area between Bradley Road and the river, also around the Bonded Warehouse.
River/Eco friendly cleaning products
One of our volunteers has started a new business creating organic household cleaning materials, Called Organic EverClean. Much of what we use is not at all friendly to the environment or the river (where it often ends up!) Sonja is having a launch event with samples of her products at Graham’s Place in Wollaston, from 7 – 9 pm. January 21st. All are invited. She also offers house cleaning. I am going to send her letter separately as it explains her plans. I believe January is ‘Mother Earth’ day so she has chosen a good moment!
River Stour Sign
All rather quiet on the Council front. We have to believe that they are busy creating a fine sign to be situated on the bridge informing that the River Stour is below what doesn’t appear to be a bridge!
We are still looking for a safe dry convenient place to store our equipment and our boat (if possible). Quite a tall order but if you can help with this let me know please.
Hope you may be able to make the next event. I will confirm nearer the time.
Date: Sunday 7th December Time: 10.15 for 10.30 Place: Dudley Road (A459), Halesowen at the bottom of Furnace Hill
Weather permitting: will confirm nearer the time.
We have been to this site before but only litter picked there. There is litter there again for those who prefer not to go into the river. For others we will actually have a go at the rubbish in the water as far as is it’s possible to get at it.
The banks are quite steep but Rod will bring appropriate equipment. It would need a fair amount of confidence. The lower part of the river is not deep and should be quite manageable.
Don’t forget the River Stour calendar! These are available from the Stourbridge Health Store, a small shop in the Victoria Passage off Stourbridge High Street and also from Fair and Square (Fair Trade) in Market Street Stourbridge almost opposite Waitrose. They are a bargain at £3.50! We have printed 200 copies (We sold them all last year) so I’m hoping they will all move this year!
Also, if you are any good with your camera think of taking some photos of the river and entering the competition next year (£50 first prize!). We need photos of the Stour through the seasons in its rural and Black Country setting. (Wildlife on the Stour also great.) We are hoping the competition gets more people down to the river and helps it to become more known and appreciated. There will be a presentation to this year’s prize winners by David Harcourt, the Manager of Waitrose, soon.
Date: Sunday 19th October Time: 10.15 for 10.30 start Venue:The Stour Bridge (by Fox Removals and Bonded Warehouse)
New Venue: Bagley Street Car Park
Directions: From the Stourbridge ring road take the Lye road (Birmingham Street). At the first mini roundabout turn left and go down the hill. (At the bottom is the Stour .. invisible!) Start up the hill on the other side and you will see a footpath sign on your right. The carpark is opposite it on the left on the bend.
Please bring gloves if you have them.. or we can supply. Bagley Street area is in urgent need of cleaning up litterwise. We have worked on the river there in the past and still have lots to do in the future in that spot.
Sunday November 16th
Sunday December 7th
Place: The Stour Bridge
Time: As above
We will follow the above calendar IF POSSIBLE! Anyone who went into the river at the last event will be aware of the difficulties with the uneven surface of the river bed. If the river is swollen or turbulent we will let you know of an alternative site for litter picking or balsam bashing!
Fabulous weather and a great group of volunteers. Thanks again to Keith for the use of his truly invaluable winch. We really only made a start on the rubbish visible from the bridge .. there’s plenty more to do so we’ll stick with it till it’s done. Thanks also to those who heaved the litter up the slipway, litterpicked or planted up the last bit of the parapet, to Rod and Wayne for storing and carting. And a special thanks to Eden for all her hard work.
All photos are in now and waiting to be judged by Mr Harcourt of Waitrose who organises Stourbridge In Bloom and supports our events. He has donated the 1st Prize Trophy. We will again produce a calendar in time for Christmas. What a wonderful present! I’ll let you know later how to get hold of one!
Photo of Old Stour Bridge: I’ve just put out an alert to the press in the hope of finding someone who might have an old photo of the last Stour Bridge. If you know of an older person who might have one in their album… we’d love to see it.
GEAR: The more people can bring their own gear, the easier it is for us! So if you are a regular volunteer is it possible Father Christmas might help out here?! Of course we can provide for anyone who needs it.
Hoping for a calm river and a sunny day for the next event. All the best Rosanne
We will be clearing the rubbish from the river under the bridge and nearby and once again have The Little Stour Warrior helping to transport it.
Date: Sunday 28th September, 10:15 for a 10.30 start Place: The Stour Bridge near the Bonded Warehouse, Stourbridge Parking: Bonded Warehouse or Fox Removals
Very many thanks to all those who came last Sunday to clear the silt from the slipway by the bridge. It was a massive task but amazingly it got done with some formidable teamwork! Helen V. cleared the last bit of grass and weeds from the lower parapet and that’s now ready for some plants and seeds.
It’s beginning to look a bit more dignified! If you are coming and have plants or seeds.. please bring them. There are some more ambitious thoughts rumbling around about future improvements! Hopefully with the activity going on in the bridge area it will draw attention to the river. We had some friendly comments from passers by.
These are very hard to manage and transport. Would anybody have a large sports type bag
or two smaller ones they don’t need? The length needs to be at least 36″. It would be a great
help.. and they don’t need to be beautiful.. just strongish! Thanks.
So many thanks again to all of you who are making it possible to get something done about the River. Hopefully little by little, the ‘lost River Stour’ might become a bit less lost!
Directions: Take Harrop way off Richardson Drive. Parking needs to be sensitive as it’s a re
The plan is to pull Himalayan Balsam from the bank of the river running downstream from the little bridge. The balsam is an invasive species which displaces indigenous plants and takes over very quickly. This area has alot of it which needs to be cleared if possible.
Wayne Haywood is leading this event and suggests wellies as footwear. I remember the ground to be rather uneven. If you think you might need gloves to protect your hands please bring some gardening gloves with you.
Date: Sunday 10th August, , 10.15 for 10.30 Place: Under the Stour Bridge Parking: Fox Removals or Bonded Warehouse