Canal society appoints first ever paid employee

Published: Wednesday, 08 May 2019

THE Chesterfield Canal Trust has appointed its first ever paid employee.

Up to now the Trust has prided itself on being run entirely by volunteers, however the Trustees feel that this is the time to engage someone to work full-time on getting the remaining nine miles of the canal restored.

George at Staveley Hall Development Manager

So they have appointed George Rogers as Development Manager, with the aim to have the canal fully reopened by 2027, which will be the 250th anniversary of its completion.

Though appointed at the end of February he will be taking up the post on May 13th, working from an office in the beautifully converted stables at Staveley Hall. From his office window, he will be able to see Staveley Town Lock, which he helped to build.

Talented and inspirational

Kath Auton, (seen in the photograph with George at Staveley Hall) who convened the appointments panel explained:

“George is a very talented and inspirational young man with a passion and vision for the restoration of the Chesterfield Canal by 2027.”

After earning a Masters degree in Engineering from Trinity College Cambridge, George’s previous employment was as a Chartered Civil Engineer for a small engineering consultancy in Derby, specialising in the design of civil infrastructure works for National Grid substations.

Waterway Recovery Group

He also has wide experience within the voluntary canal restoration sector, is a Trustee of the Friends of the Cromford Canal, and leads its Strategic Restoration Committee, focusing on restoration planning and is a director  of the Waterway Recovery Group, the national organisation 

He has been Site Leader or Cook on over 20 week long canal camps, and a volunteer on over 30 further weeks, including multiple weeks on the Chesterfield Canal at Hall Lane, Staveley Town Lock, Hartington Harbour and Constitution Hill Bridge. Of his appointment he remarks:

Exciting project

“The Chesterfield Canal restoration is a very exciting project, and one that I have become deeply passionate about since first volunteering on a Waterway Recovery Group work camp in 2010. I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in and working with all of the highly dedicated volunteers, partners and communities to complete this ambitious project.”

In November 2014, George received a Point of Light Award, which honours shining examples of volunteering across the UK. Prime Minister David Cameron presenting the award exclaimed:

“Through his work, George is helping to safeguard the heritage and culture of Britain’s canals for future generations, which is of great importance. He truly deserves this Point of Light award.”