Queens Award for Voluntary Service

Aldcliffe Road Triangle News Archive 2014

November 2014

November news roundup

We’re heading into hibernation season, but things are still happening, and we’ll kick off with news of more funding success!

The United Utilities Community Fund has given us £500 for materials for a solar panel and LED lighting for the workshop building, meaning that we will be able to run lights off a battery and not have to pay standing charges for a grid connection. This will hopefully be installed in the next couple of months.

In the next few weeks it is likely that the developers of the housing across the canal will be doing some work to the bridge approach retaining wall at the back of the Triangle. Passers-by will have noticed that a section of stone wall on Aldcliffe Rd has collapsed, and it is feared that the rest of the wall is in similarly poor condition.

The proposed solution to stabilise ‘our’ section of wall involves continuous flight auger piles bored on the bridge side of the wall, plus drilling and grouting in tie bars into the concrete piles from the Triangle side to fix the stone retaining wall back to them. To do the works they will need to remove the ivy from the wall, but the good news is that the end result should be a wall that we don’t have to worry about at all.

We had already started a dialogue with the developers about how they might be able to help with the works to improve the Triangle, and the initial response has been positive, so watch this space…

It’s about time we had another volunteer session, so anyone not wanting to enjoy the spectacle of the Christmas lights being turned on in town may wish to join us this Sunday 23rd at 2.00pm.

Finally, our next meeting is on Monday 1st December 7.30pm upstairs at the Robert Gillow.

(Posted 21 November 2014)

October 2014

Photocall, volunteer session

The lovely people from the Lancaster University Wind Turbine Community Fund who have given us £720 to pay for our landscape design would like to take a photo or two for their publicity. They are visiting the Triangle at 11.30am tomorrow (Thursday) for this purpose, and would like some smiling Trianglers to be present. Please do come if you can.

On Saturday morning from 9.30 we will have a volunteer session featuring a mix of workshop clearing, rubble sifting, stump attacking, head scratching, and tool admiration.

(Posted 15 October 2014)

August 2014

Rest postponed, funding success, next meeting

Yesterday (24 August 2014) we shifted at least ten tonnes of bricks, and cleaned six or seven hundred, but despite these valiant efforts and a full skip, we didn’t manage to finish.

So the previously advertised rest will be slightly delayed, and the new plan is as follows:

  • From 10am to 1pm tomorrow (Bank Holiday Monday), we will be completing the brick cleaning and stacking operation so that the reclamation yard can come and pick them up in the week.
  • From 9am on Friday 29th we will be barrowing the remainder of the broken/uncleanable bricks and associated rubble into a skip, just in time to off-hire the fencing panels. [UPDATE: this session has been brought forward to Thursday 28th at 4pm.]

Funding success comes in the form of £450 from Green Partnerships to buy some some much needed tools for the ongoing works. Well done to Peter for another successful grant application.

Finally, we will be having a meeting on Monday 1st September, at 7.30pm at the Triangle. No need to bring a chair this time thanks to Gillian who secured a donation of a set of perfectly usable chairs that would otherwise have gone in a skip!

With a bit of luck we’ll have a revised landscape design drawing to look at, and can start hatching plans for knocking the Triangle back into shape.

(Posted 24 August 2014)

The last of the lean-tos

As promised the former lean-tos have now been converted into a number of piles currently distributed around various parts of the Triangle, except for the scrap metal which has already gone to be recycled. Timber is available for collection by anyone that would like some.

This Saturday we will be finishing off the clear-up operation, commencing at the earlier time of 8am because we have a skip coming for the broken bricks, and hopefully completing by mid afternoon. Lunch will be provided.

Brick cleaning and stacking is still the number one activity, but we will also be barrowing broken bricks and mortar into the skip, and sawing up the remaining large timbers. If there is room in the skip we might even attack some of the uneven concrete in the area of the former toilet.

Then we can all have a rest for a bit.

Some of our regulars will be missing so please do come if you can.

(Posted 21 August 2014)

Demolition day 2

We made good progress on the demolition last Saturday, and another day’s work should see the lean-tos reduced to piles of their constituent parts. Unless the forecast changes dramatically, that day will be this Saturday, and we will be commencing at 9am.

The deferred egg butties will be putting in an appearance at lunchtime, and Duncan has generously agreed to reprise his barbecuing skills in the evening.

Tasks will be much the same as last Saturday, with the addition of a fair bit of wood sawing, to get the rafters etc into manageable sizes for people to take home for their wood burning stoves.

See you there.

(Posted 13 August 2014)

Plans for the weekend

As promised, some more detail on plans for the demolition, this weekend:


  • On Saturday we will be starting at 9am, finishing by 6pm at the latest.
  • On Sunday we will be starting at 10am and finishing when we’ve had enough.

Food and drink

  • On Saturday lunchtime we will be serving flatbreads from Filberts Bakery (e.g. pesto & cheese, olives & feta, roast onion & peppers).
  • On Saturday evening there will be a BBQ and we will be serving beef burgers & veggie burgers, but if you want to bring something else then we’ll cook it.
  • On Sunday lunchtime we will be serving fried egg butties.
  • We will have an urn with hot water for serving hot drinks.
  • Please bring cold drinks & other snacks as required.

What To bring

  • Wear safety boots with steel toe-caps if you have them.
  • Good work gloves & hard hats if you have them, or we will supply.
  • A wheelbarrow if you have one.
  • Good strong rope if you have any.
  • Claw- lump- and sledge-hammers, chisels, crowbars, shovels if you have any.


  • We have a detailed Health & Safety Plan, which can be read here.
  • Matt Dower is taking charge of the demolition works and responsibility for safety on site so will be deemed the highest authority for the relevant activities.
  • We will be fencing off the demolition area, but even so the Triangle will not be a particularly child-friendly place this weekend (except at BBQ time).


  • Highly physical jobs will include erecting fencing, stripping roofs, wielding sledgehammers, and carrying heavy things around.
  • Less muscular jobs will include cleaning mortar off bricks, carrying lighter things around, sorting slates, and sawing up wood.
  • Low intensity jobs will include clearing vegetation, helping with food & drink, keeping watch on the towpath during some activities.


  • The weather is looking, erm, variable, but not disastrous. We will have undercover areas plus ample seating to wait out any showers. If we do have to abandon activities due to poor weather then we will need to ensure the site is left in a safe and secure state, and will try again next weekend.

If you have any questions please send an email to Dave – see Contact page.

(Posted 7 August 2014)

July 2014

Volunteer session

This is a brief advance notice of our next volunteer session, which weather permitting will be the weekend of the 9th and 10th August.

Yep, that’s not being vague, that is a full weekend session, which is at least as long as we’ll need to demolish the lean-tos and tidy up afterwards. There will of course be breaks, freedom to drop in/out, and hopefully food.

More details next week, but there will be jobs for all abilities. It would be helpful to know who can be there and when, so please send an email to Dave – see Contact page.

(Posted 30 July 2014)

June 2014

Funding success, school trip, next meeting

This week we have had notice of funding success in the form of a grant from the Lancaster University Wind Turbine Community Fund to pay for our landscape architect’s detailed design work, which is great news.

To celebrate, we are having a visit to Greaves Forage Garden this weekend, to see how local Incredible Edible people have transformed another small area of Lancaster. Meet at the Triangle on Sunday 29th at 2pm sharp, and we’ll walk over together. Prospective latecomers might like to know that it is located somewhere off Dorrington Road.

Our next meeting will be on Monday 7th July at the Triangle, either inside the workshop or al fresco as the weather sees fit.

Finally, a reminder that it is Fairfield Fun Day on Saturday 5th July. We’ll be setting up in the morning from fairly early on and extra hands are always welcome, so please come along if you can and be rewarded with a healthy appetite for the burger & cake stalls.

(Posted 26 June 2014)

May 2014

Spring BBQ, design, next meeting

Somehow more than a week has passed since our lovely BBQ, and the cake-melting heat has moved on, but it’s not too late to celebrate another successful community event which raised a very useful £345 for the Triangle funds.

One attendee enjoyed himself so much that he put out a surprise press release which can be found here on the Virtual Lancaster blog. Merrie England, indeed.

Big thanks to our organising team including Martin & Gillian for devising and running the Treasure Trail; Duncan, Liz and apprentice Daniel for the BBQ; Mike and Jane for organising drinks and Ruth, Sheila, and Wendy for serving them. Other roles were performed by the cast.

Thanks also to our two sets of musicians for entertaining us magnificently, our multitude of bakers for supplying yummy treats, and all who came along for food, fun, and fiendish pursuits.

Extra special thanks to the brave soul who signed a Faustian pact with the weather to deliver yet another unfeasibly perfect day. It was a noble sacrifice.

Those of you that couldn’t join us might like to know that the adult and junior versions of the treasure trail are available on our website here, as are the answers, but do try it first and see if you can beat the scores of the winners on the day.

And finally… thanks to a just-in-time delivery system we had our landscape architect’s proposed design on display in the workshop, which attracted some useful comments, but it would be good to have more.

Please do have a look and contact us with your thoughts (positive or negative, we won’t be offended), or come along to our next meeting on Monday 2nd June, 7.30pm, upstairs at the Robert Gillow, where it will be the main item on the agenda.

(Posted 28 May 2014)


Our noticeboard has arrived and we need to put it up, which we will be doing as the main focus of a bank holiday bonus volunteer session tomorrow (Monday) from 10am.

This is just in time to put an advert in it for our Triangle Treasure Trail & BBQ, which goes something like this:

Test your observation skills on our cryptic canalside treasure trail (adult & kids versions on same route), finishing back at the Triangle for…

  • Burgers ~ Home-made cakes & savouries ~
  • Hot & cold drinks ~ Live music ~
  • Latest information on the Triangle project

Saturday 17th May
Treasure Trail from 11 am
BBQ 12 – 4pm

At the Aldcliffe Road Triangle (next to the canal, opposite junction with Regent Street)

As ever we will be needing a bit of help on the day with setting up (from 10am), selling cake and drinks, and clearing up afterwards. We will also be needing lots of cake or other baked goods to sell (just bring on the day from 11ish), and loan of outdoor tables and chairs would be very welcome.

See you there!

(Posted 4 May 2014)

April 2014

More meetings!

At our last meeting we agreed to commission Georgina Peacock of Peacock Design to produce a detailed landscape design for us, which will both satisfy our planning conditions, and give us something inspiring to show potential funders.

Georgina will be visiting the Triangle at 7pm on Thursday 24th April to take photos and discuss our requirements. All are welcome to come along.

On Sunday 27th at 2pm we will be holding our next monthly meeting 8 days earlier than normal and at the Triangle instead of the pub. The main topic of discussion will be plans for our next community event on May 17th.

Assuming plans are running smoothly the meeting may well morph into a volunteer session. We are expecting delivery of our noticeboard imminently so one obvious task would be to stick it in the ground.

(Posted 23 April 2014)

March 2014

Triangle news and some dates for your diary

Thanks to a grant from Lancaster Green Spaces, and successful negotiations with the planners, we now have a noticeboard on order. It will be made by local craftspersons, and erected by our capable volunteers hopefully in just a few weeks’ time.

But before then, we have other work to do. This Sunday 23rd March at 2pm we will be removing three small trees that sadly cannot stay, preparing the ground for replacement planting, and continuing to spruce up the inside of the workshop.

Assuming all goes well there will probably be a follow up session the week after to get a new tree in the ground whilst it is still planting season.

Our next meeting will be on Monday 7th April at 7.30 upstairs at the Robert Gillow as usual.

And finally, advance warning that we will be having a fundraising event on Saturday 17th May. Eyes are still being crossed and teas have yet to be dotted, but there’s a strong likelihood that cake will be involved.

(Posted 21 March 2014)

February 2014

Session, meeting

We will be having a volunteer session this coming Sunday 2nd March, where the main focus will be moving the bricks and steel sheets from the workshop (where they were previously stashed for future use), into the lean-to buildings (where they will be much less in the way). Please bring a wheelbarrow if you have one. Also on offer will be removing the last bit of evidence of the former toilet by chiselling render off the stone boundary wall, and removing the sycamore on the retaining wall buttress if permission from the Tree Officer arrives in time.

Not for the first time the meeting will follow shortly after, on Monday 3rd March, 7.30, upstairs at the Gillow. Amongst other things we will be discussing the notice board, which we are now at last in a position to get on with thanks to successful negotiations with the planners.

(Posted 27 February 2014)

January 2014

At last! A Triangle session.

Well, it is still January at least. The weather has been rather offputting recently, but this Sunday 2nd Feb at 2pm we will be aiming for a gap in the showers, rolling up our sleeves, and then rolling them back down again because it is still blooming cold. Nevertheless, progress will undoubtedly be made on digging up redundant pipes, more clearing out of the workshop, and carting the unwanted results to a skip most of the way up Regent St.

These exertions will be closely followed by the more reflective activity of a meeting in the comfortable environs of the upstairs room at the Robert Gillow pub on the evening of Monday 3rd Feb at 7.30 pm.

(Posted 29 January 2014)