Queens Award for Voluntary Service

Aldcliffe Road Triangle News Archive 2015

December 2015

Next meeting

This is somewhat late confirmation that we will be having a meeting this Monday 7th December at 7.30pm.

(Posted 5 December 2015)

October 2015

Next volunteer session

Just a brief note to say that we will be having a volunteer session this Sunday 1st November at 2pm. On the to-do list will be general tidying up, deconstructing the remaining pile of wood chippings, and attempting to mark out the position of potential raised beds.

(Posted 30 October 2015)

Time for a catch-up

We have had a short pause in activity for a variety of reasons, but now it is time to catch up, and we will be having a meeting this Monday 19th October, at the usual time of 7.30.

Recent(ish) events of note include the long-awaited installation of our rustic bench recycled from the main stem of the goat willow, and the violent removal of a window pane from the workshop – not by us of course, and presumably to facilitate a break-in, although nothing appeared to have been taken.

This last week we have been visited by a camper, but hopefully between the City Council’s homeless prevention team and the police, they will shortly be found alternative accommodation.

(Posted 16 October 2015)

September 2015

Bench ahoy!

We will have our next volunteer session this Sunday 6th September at 2.00pm with the chief aim of installing the carved goat willow bench into its selected resting place. If that isn’t enough to keep all of us warm, we could also work on bashing up some inconveniently located concrete.

Our normal schedule says that we are due a meeting on Monday, but there appears to be a lack of business and things to report on since the last one, so we will postpone it for now, and catch up at the volunteer session instead.

(Posted 4 September 2015)

August 2015

Next volunteer session

We will be having a volunteer session this Sunday 9th August in the usual 2pm slot, when there will allegedly be a break in the rain. Tasks will include the final application of woodcare product to the bench, further dissuasion of stumps in inappropriate places, relocating the concrete wheel (subject to presence of musclebound volunteers), and whatever else we come up with on the day.

(Posted 6 August 2015)

July 2015

Summer Fair: the result

Two weeks ago we raised an astonishing £888.51, nearly double our previous best! We attracted more people than ever before on yet another beautiful (if slightly breezy) day, and it is clear that our efforts to improve the Triangle are really getting noticed.

A lot of work went into this fantastic achievement, and we owe huge thanks to our fabulous volunteers who cleared & tidied, lifted & hefted, rigged & de-rigged, baked & barbecued, sliced & served, brewed & poured, raffled & vended, designed & printed, played & trilled, entertained & supervised, and did various other things that aren’t so easy to describe in mini couplets.

Many thanks also to the Mayor, Cllr Jon Barry, for judging our slate chalking competition and drawing the raffle; Rolande Chainsaw Carver for donating the carved owl for our star prize; Jon and Heather from the RSPB for providing some additional children’s activities; and Paul from Lancaster Building Contractors for clearing site just in time for the big event.

Special thanks to the Tordoffs, descendants of Joe Johnson, for visiting us again to see the Triangle in full swing, and extra special thanks to Geoffrey (Lord) Tordoff and also to his sister Barbara, for very generous donations, not included in the figure above.

A set of photos from the day are now available here. Thanks as always to Mike for ensuring that our activities are recorded for posterity.

As we have now had a whole two weeks of rest, it is time to look ahead to future activities. Next Sunday 26th July at 2pm we’ll have a catch-up meeting at the Triangle which may or may not morph into a volunteer session, depending on how much we need to talk about.

(Posted 18 July 2105)

June 2015

More preparations

Whilst we managed to shift about 4 tonnes of rubble last weekend, we didn’t get on to clearing the workshop, which is essential for the Summer Fair, so there will be another session this Saturday 27th at 10.00am with workshop clearing as the top priority.

(Posted 24 June 2015)

Summer Fair & other news

Our Summer Fair will be happening a week on Saturday on the 4th of July, so it is time both to preview the fun, and to ask for a little assistance in generating it.

From 12 noon until about 4pm there will be the traditional Triangle barbecue including veggie and halal beef burgers; teas, coffees and cold drinks; cakes and savouries; children’s games; a bring & buy book and DVD stall; a raffle; Triangle project information and history display; live music performances; and general conviviality.

To achieve all this we are looking for…

help with:

  • setting up from circa 9.30am and clearing up afterwards
  • running games, cake and book stalls, selling raffle tickets
  • Raffle prizes e.g. unwanted Christmas presents (deliver in advance, as above)

loans of:

  • Garden tables (but probably not chairs – we have plenty in the workshop)
  • Bins and/or recycling boxes for rubbish and recycling

donations of:

  • Cakes and savouries (bring on the day)
  • Books and DVDs (bring on the day, or deliver in advance, early evening any day between now and the fair)

Please contact us if you have any questions.

In other news:

Anyone that has passed the Triangle recently will have noticed that the walling work is progressing nicely with the main length of towpath wall now repaired and reduced in height, a historic opening re-formed near the owl, and another historic opening re-opened to form an additional entrance near the bridge end. The waller is going to have a break for a week, and then do some work to reduce the height of the section next to the bridge that used to be the lean-to wall. The length that has been done has yet to be properly pointed, and it may be that we will have to find the money to get this done.

A couple of weeks ago we were visited by three generations of descendants of Joe Johnson (who used the Triangle as his builder’s yard at the end of the 19th century and well into the 20th) and Anne Fox (who lived in the building with the curved external stair just over the canal bridge). They married, and the rest is history that will be appearing on a display at the Summer Fair and is already on our website, along with new photos of the Triangle in times past kindly provided by their great-grandchildren. We are very grateful that the family assembled from various parts of the North-West and Yorkshire to meet us.

There will almost certainly be another tidy-up session before the Summer Fair, so watch out for further announcements, but that is all for now.

(Posted 21 June 2015)

Summer Fair appetiser

Details of the menu for our Summer Fair will be issued very soon, but in the meantime we can announce a little appetiser event to amuse your bouches:

Sunday 21st June at 2pm

Soup of the Day: ‘Chunky Rubble & Woodcare Product’ – served with an empty skip and timber substrate.

(Please be aware that those volunteering for this starter are also likely to experience some clearance of the workshop, or in rare cases difficulty removing stumps).


(Posted 18 June 2015)

Whilst the sun shines

The sun is due to shine, so this weekend we will be making hay, or rather more literally: hanging out at the Triangle for a couple of hours clearing, tidying, and gunking. There may also be some plotting and scheming regarding the siting of a bench and some mushrooms. Assembly time is 2pm on Sunday 7th.

(Posted 4 June 2015)

May 2015

More work & a meeting

The Summer Fair is creeping ever closer, and there is plenty of work to do in readiness, so we will be having a volunteer session this Saturday 30th May commencing at 10.00am. Tasks will include applying more gunk to carved tree bits, attacking sprouting stumps in the hope that they will decease, removing extraneous materials from the workshop, and green binning the remaining piles of rakings.

The next meeting is on the evening of Monday 1st June, either inside or just outside the Triangle workshop depending on the weather, and will focus on cobbling together some sort of plan for Saturday 4th July.

Following last meeting’s debacle of the Chair having to be reminded to attend, it is unfortunate to have to report that this time the Chair has a partially clashing mandatory training session, and the Secretary will be on holiday. We will therefore be starting at the later time of 8.00pm, and crossing our fingers that a stand-in secretary will turn up to record our assembled wisdom.

(Posted 27 May 2015)

Another volunteer session

A brief note to say that there will be a volunteer session this Saturday 16th May, commencing at 10am, with the priority being the application of non-toxic wood preserving substances to our stump carvings, rustic bench, and newly arrived mushrooms. The substances should be arriving tomorrow, but we will need brushes and suitable decanting vessels to allow multiple items to be treated simultaneously. Other tasks may be available. See you there!

(Posted 14 May 2015)

Next volunteer session

On Monday there should be a break in the bank holiday rain, so we will have another volunteer session, commencing at 10.00am. The primary aim will be to get the last bollard in the ground, but there are various other jobs that need doing including more ivy work, tidying, and preparing the fascia boards of the future pergola for a coat of paint.

There will also be the opportunity to admire not just the carved owl throne, kingfisher, and the ongoing repair works to the boundary wall, but also the beautiful rustic bench that Rolande delivered last week, which is hiding in the workshop. We need to have a think about where to site the bench, and prepare it for being concreted in.

See you there!

(Posted 2 May 2015)

April 2015

Next volunteer session

We have two more bollards to install, two small piles of ivy to get rid of, and two piles of wood to process, so we will be having another session this Saturday 18th April commencing at 10.00am.

In non-volunteering news: works to the towpath wall are due to start imminently, and our chainsaw carver should be on site next week to work on the stumps.

The next meeting is this Monday 20th April at 7.30pm at the Triangle.

(Posted 16 April 2015)

March 2015

Easter news update

We have truly sprung back into action now, and as Easter approaches there is quite a lot of news:

Trees & wood

We coppiced the hazel last weekend and our tree surgeon felled the goat willow and the rowan in the week. It is sad to see the latter two trees go, but expert advice was that both were near end of life and were preventing healthy development of the longer living trees. The beech and the oak should now begin to spread, and the hazel will start growing back either this season or next.

You may have noticed that the rowan and goat willow stumps have been left at head height so that they can be turned into sculptures by a chainsaw carver. We are also planning to reuse as much of the wood and chippings as possible, as natural play features for example, so will need to have a good sort though, which brings us on to the…

Next volunteer session + picnic

The bollards for the cobbled area will be arriving this week, so we will have a volunteer session on Easter Saturday 4th April starting at 10.00am to start (and maybe even finish) installing them. We will also be sorting and tidying the piles of wood, and clearing any ivy still remaining after the last session. Assuming the weather behaves, please bring along some food and we’ll enjoy a picnic lunch, open to admirers and well-wishers as well as volunteers.

Towpath wall

Meetings with the Bloc/H20 (the developer) and CPUK (the main contractor) of the new housing development across the canal have resulted in a very generous offer to carry out our planned works to the towpath wall as a joint donation. We are meeting them next week to agree the details, and they have indicated that they are ready to start work straight away, so watch that space!

Hospital car park

The RLI are planning to build a multi-storey staff car-park on part of their existing staff car-park, just across the canal from the Triangle, behind the new houses. There was a small consultation at the RLI last Monday night, to which not very many people were invited, but Mike took photos of the various plans which you can view by clicking the links below:

At the time of the consultation the RLI were expecting to submit a planning application within two weeks.

Next meetings +

Following the normal ‘first Monday of the month’ schedule, the next two meetings clash with Easter Monday and May Day bank holidays, and we will therefore have our next meeting on Monday 20th April at 7.30pm at the Triangle workshop, skip the May meeting, and resume as normal on Monday 1st June.

Fun Day

And finally, a reminder that we will be having an event on the Triangle on Saturday 4th July. This seems a long way off but we will only have two meetings between now and then, so please start working on bright ideas as soon as possible.

(Posted 28 March 2015)

At last, a volunteer session!

We’ll be having a volunteer session this Sunday, 22nd March at 2pm. Tasks will include coppicing the hazel, clearing up the ivy below the back wall, and erecting a bat box that has been donated. Any available green bins would therefore be most useful.

In other news, we are expecting our tree surgeon on Tuesday to come and fell the rowan and the goat willow. Together with the coppicing of the hazel this will make quite a dramatic difference to the Triangle, but this needs to happen to protect the health of the best trees (the beech and the oak), and to enable the wall to be repaired.

Bollards and sockets are on order, so the next volunteer session after this one will involve sticking them in the ground.

(Posted 19 March 2015)

February 2015

More funding success, sunlight, and next meeting

Following last year’s funding for our landscape design work, the Lancaster University Wind Turbine Community Fund invited us to apply again for this year’s round, and we have had further success!

This time they are paying for a set of bollards so that we can finally have control of the cobbled entrance area, which will also significantly improve safety and visibility for pedestrians and cyclists at the towpath access / crossing point on Aldcliffe Road.

In other news, we now have a solar panel on the workshop roof which is busy charging a battery that will power new LED lighting in the workshop. We will be putting this to the test in April when it should be warm enough to move our meetings back to the Triangle.

Assuming this works well, the next stage would be investment in additional capacity and an inverter, enabling the use of power tools for a fully authentic off-grid workshop experience.

Our March meeting is this coming Monday 2nd at 7.30 upstairs at the Robert Gillow.

And now, a date for your diary:

This year it’s our turn to do something in the Fairfield Fun Day slot, so please scribble something in for Saturday 4th July, cancel any inconveniently clashing holidays etc, and start dreaming about cake and burgers. Mmmm.

(Posted 28 February 2015)

January 2015

The Year of the Triangle?

Happy new year Trianglers!

The cold is still very much with us but it is time to wake up for a bit and nip out for some nuts to keep us going until spring. What that means in non-badsquirrelmetaphorese is that we have a volunteer session and a meeting coming up.

Despite the dubious weather forecast we will convene this Sunday 25th Jan at 2.00, and at the very least transfer the remaining bags of rubbish in the workshop to a skip half way up Regent St. We’ll also see what else we can move out of the workshop in preparation for the solar lighting installation work.

Our next meeting will be on Monday 2nd Feb at 7.30, and we are back in our normal winter venue of the upstairs room in the Robert Gillow unless someone who is more familiar with the booking system calls back to say we’re not. There will be updates on our planning status and meetings with the developer and contractor over the canal, plus a new idea for using the two trees that are to be felled.

In other news, at the end of February there will be a hedge laying event on the cycle path between Carr House Lane and Sylvester Street (i.e. alongside the Girls Grammar School playing fields), complete with cash prizes for the most improved teams! All training and tools are provided, so we could aim to field a Triangle team on at least one of the two days. Some more information can be found on this poster.

(Posted 23 January 2015)