News and Events
Oxfordshire newsletter – Spring 2017
To read the latest Oxfordshire newsletter, click on the link below
After a long and fulfilling career with the Coal Board, Enrych East Midlands member Micky continued his passion for steam engines and engineering by volunteering at the Great Central Railway.
Micky now has Parkinson’s which has affected many aspects of his life; friendships and meaningful social connections have become difficult to maintain.
Enrych volunteer, Dr McNeil, also shares Micky’s passion and has been scribing memoirs of his days working on steam engines for the Coal Board and reflect and record some local industrial history.
On completion, Micky and Dr McNeil hope to publish these fascinating accounts in a local industrial heritage magazine for enthusiasts and future generations to enjoy.
Read some of their work below…
The Memoirs of Micky
Scribed by Enrych Volunteer : Dr D McNeil
I met Micky through his contacts with the Enrych charity, who told me that he wanted to write his memoirs of his days working on steam engines for the Coal Board and reflect and record some local industrial history.
The coal supply to Leicester originally came, it seems, from the South Derbyshire coalfield, which extends into north-west Leicestershire. The direct route has to cross an extinct volcano, now known as the Charnwood Forest. The supply of coal would have crossed the Forest by horse-drawn cart and by pack-horse, but this method became too limiting in the upheaval we now call the industrial revolution. To make its wheels turn it needed a coal supply far greater than that the traditional method.
Canals come to the rescue. A canal barge could transport a large quantity of coal at minimal cost, using only one horse nd two men (one to look after the horse and one to steer the barge). The sad thing was the canals connected Leicester to the Nottinghamshire coal fields, not the north-west Leicestershire one. The Ashby Canal, opened in 1794, did serve the southern part of the coalfield, but its connections to Leicester were very long and tenuous. To build a direct canal though the Forest was financially impossible. So one was built along the northern edge of the Forest, from Thringstone to Nanpantan. Instead of a flight of locks leading to the canal quay in Loughborough, there was an early plate-way or railway of sorts. This was opened in 1794. However, the reservoir at the top level, the Blackbrook, on one wet and stormy day in February 1799 bursts its (rather pathetic) dam and the local town of Shepshed was flooded. The Charnwood Forest Canal was never the same again, and was finally closed in 1846.
George Stephenson helped design and build the Leicester to Swannington railway. This line was opened on 17th July 1832 and ran from the coal-fields of Swannington (near Whitwick) to West Bridge in Leicester where it connected to the Soar Navigation. It was remarkable for two things: firstly, the Glenfield tunnel and secondly the invention of the steam whistle. It is interesting to see the extension of coal mines into Leicestershire after this line opened.
Micky joined the Coal Board as an apprentice in 1956. His ambition was to work on steam engines, but these were being phased out. However, his particular favourite, a J94 0-6-0T (for experts), could handle much larger loads than the new diesels then available. He was able to help collect spares from various depots to keep the J94’s running, thereby actually saving man-power as two diesels were required to pull a train that one J94 could manage. In time, however, as bigger diesels and larger wagons became available, time was up for the J94’s.
Micky then became involved with the preserved Great Central Railway at Loughborough. One of his first jobs was to rebuild the boiler of one of the larger types stationed at Loughborough.
Buckinghamshire Spring 2017 Newsletter – news, social events and possible upcoming trips
Enrych Bucks Photo Group has a new home!
Our very successful photogroup has now moved from its old venue at Trinity Church to The Healthy Living Centre, Unit 1 Walton Court Shopping Centre, Hannon Road, Aylesbury, HP21 8TJ.
This friendly group meets every Wednesday from 10:00-11:45. One session per month is a fieldwork session so we would advise you to check with Steve Cook on 07825005305 before attending the session in case they are out on location.
To view details of what the group has been up to check out their Flickr account.
East Midlands Spring Newsletter
Please enjoy the latest news from Enrych East Midlands.
Find out who has joined the team, what our volunteers are doing, and how Enrych has changed people’s lives.
And download our diary of social events for 2017 by clicking on the links below
‘Think CO’ – be aware of carbon monoxide poisoning
We’ve been sent information from the ‘Think CO’ campaign about the symptoms, signs and dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Do have a look at the attached poster which tells you the key facts and what to do if you suspect a problem.
For more information about this campaign, go to www.gassafecharity.org.uk
‘Disability Confident’ Award to Enrych
We are delighted to announce that Enrych has been awarded the ‘Disability Confident’ accreditation (Level 2). This government award reflects our continuing commitment to enabling employment for disabled people.
‘We are delighted to receive this award as a sign of our commitment to enabling disabled people in the workplace” says Enrych CEO Gina King
Enryching lives for over 30 years
Enrych is a charity that supports disabled people to enjoy active and independent lives.
Everyone has the right to enjoy life and make choices about what they do. However, many people with disabilities face barriers every day that can limit their choices or independence and may lead to isolation or depression.
Looking beyond disability
Enrych helps people identify what would make a real difference in their lives (especially through leisure and learning opportunities) and then we find ways to help make it happen. This might be a volunteer partnership, an activity group, Enrych social events or through one-to-one support.
We support people to tailor their own service and have the opportunity to
- Increase self confidence
- Develop independence
- Meet people with the same interests
- Reduce social isolation
- Improve fitness, emotional health and well-being
- Have fun
- Connect, engage and enjoy life in the community
“Having the confidence to use the computer independently has opened up a whole new world and I am so grateful” Enrych member
Enrych supports over 1,800 people every year
Every year, Enrych makes a difference to the lives of over 1,800 disabled people and their families.
We do this through our volunteer partnership projects, social progammes and direct support to individuals through our Enrych Assist Personal Assistant service.
Enrych Support in our members’ words…
I would not have gone on holiday if it hadn’t been for Enrych
Thanks to my volunteer, on days when I feel low, I have a lovely garden to view
The name fits perfectly with me – it has ‘enriched’ my life!
Enrych Support in the words of our member’s families and carers…
I can’t thank you enough, this means so much to us
M would never be doing these things if it wasn’t for Enrych
C feels privileged to have visitors – you are the only ones who see him
What our clients say about having an Enrych Assist Personal Assistant…
Definitely made a positive difference to my life
Very helpful, understanding and supportive
Enrych changed my world. Helped me to go out
I would never be able to do what I do, and would never have had the same opportunities if I hadn’t got my own PA
Encouraging volunteering and supporting disabled volunteers
At Enrych, we support and train over 430 volunteers every year
What our volunteers say about Enrych
I love volunteering for Enrych. It’s nice to know I can make a real difference to someone’s life and has made me definitely appreciate my life more
Delighted to hear J is enjoying it as I’m having great fun!
It’s always a pleasure, a lot of fun and very rewarding. I would recommend volunteering with Enrych to anyone!
We actively encourage disabled people to volunteer, and 10% of our volunteers have a disability.
Enrych volunteers contribute over 14,000 hours every year directly supporting disabled people.
Our volunteers are the life blood of Enrych, and we want to thank each and every one of them.