The Route in Detail
Cooking on the Cut
It seems to have become a habit, of late, for Ripples to be late. As usual we have been holding back in the hope of including the news for which we have all been waiting.
This time, however, hopes have become reality as Cliff explains in his report.
I have recently completed a series of photographs taken along the line of the Link and most of these are now on the web site. The last few are still in the camera as I have not yet used up the film. This brings me to the point. If we are to have an up-to-date record on the web site as work progresses--such as on the Huddersfield web site--the Trust really needs to have a digital camera. Maybe someone who has upgraded to a better camera would be willing to provide a basic camera as a donation or long term loan 640 x 480 pixels resolution would be fine for internet work.
Contribute to the magazine--PLEASE--I've had to put one of my walks in this issue and you probably remember the fuss the last one caused! E-mail copy to me at RLT@aaug.net, by post on floppy disc or on paper - preferably typewritten so I can scan the text into the computer.
AT LAST things are finally happening!
On the 28th April British Waterways took the decision to sign a preliminary contract with Gleesons to enable their designers to start work. This enables Ove Arup -- Gleeson's design team -- to draw up the final detail design to start now, giving the various parties time to sign the agreements over the next few weeks, thus not delaying the project any further.
The announcement came following the visit to the area, on Monday 3rd April, of David Fletcher - Chief Executive British Waterways, Stuart Simm - Operations Director and Derek Cochrane - North West Regional Director. On Tuesday morning the Trust arranged for all three to visit a number of key points along the route of the Link before proceeding to Crooklands, near to, Kendal for the official hand over of the Northern Reaches restoration proposals.
The format of how the Link will be operated has now changed somewhat from the initial outset. The company, Ribble Link Construction and Operations Ltd., will now be handed over direct to The Waterways Trust. This entails all the directors of the company giving up their seats on the board. Because of this the Ribble Link Trust will no longer have any say in the long term running of the scheme. This is somewhat of a disappointment considering we have campaigned long and hard for twenty years and have been responsible for raising a large proportion of the funds.
Gleesons will build the Link but British Waterways will be the contract managers and oversee the construction. The Waterways Trust will then lease the waterway back to British Waterways enabling them to carry out the maintenance of the Link for a minimum of 125 years.
The program of works is: April -- detail design; May -- all agreements signed and site cabins set up; June -- construction work on locks 6, 7 & 8; July - start canalisation of the Savick Brook; October through to November -- locks 1, 2, 2a, 3, 4 & 5 along with the start of landscaping, although this may run through into the following year.
As reported last month The Preston Millennium Boat Rally is being organised by the Lancaster Canal Trust, Lancaster Canal Boat Club, Association of Cruising Enthusiasts & The Ribble Link Trust. The event is to be held in Haslam Park adjacent to the Lancaster Canal on the 1st & 2nd of July, anyone wishing to come by boat from the main system will sail the rivers Douglas & Ribble and use the facilities in Preston's Riversway Marina. For further details please contact Peter Lang on 01254 851920. Final details are yet to be announced, but it is hoped that a bus service will operate between the marina and the park.
Entertainment has been organised during the day and the evening in the marquee. Also we are planning trips to view the progress being made by Gleesons on the three rise locks.
A rally plaque will be available marking the event and a Celebrating Construction Ribble Link 2000 plaque will also be on sale.
Finally once again I would like to thank all those who have donated their time to the Trust and for all the hard work that has been put in to achieving what was once a pipe dream but is now almost a reality The Ribble Link.
Mini Toad In the Hole with Caramelised Onions
4oz plain flour
½ pint milk
pinch of salt
6 links of top quality English sausage
1tsp brown sugar
1 large onion-sliced thinly
oil for frying
Sieve the flour into a bowl, make a well and drop in the egg. Add the salt and stir the egg into the flour. Add the milk by degrees, stirring continuously, until all of the flour has been worked in. Add any remaining milk, and beat the mixture vigorously to form a batter. The batter should have the consistency of single cream.
Preheat the oven to 425 F / Gas Mark 7. Grease six 3½ inch Yorkshire Pudding tins (shallow flan tins or foil pie dishes).
Cut each sausage into three and fry in a little oil for 5 minutes until browned. Place in the tins and put into the oven. Reserve the frying pan juices.
When the sausages are sizzling, pour the batter mixture over the sausages in each Yorkshire Pudding tin. Put back into the oven, and cook for 15-20 minutes until the puddings are golden brown.
While the Toad in the Holes are cooking; return the frying pan to the stove adding a little extra oil. Add the sliced onion. Once softened, season and add the brown sugar. Continue to fry, over a very low heat, until caramelised.
Serve at once on pre-heated plates, spooning some of the caramelised onion mixture over each mini Toad in the Hole.
TopPage design by John Clegg.