The canal lift bridge at Darnford Moors in Lichfield has been brought back to its former glory, thanks to the generosity of a local businessman.
Managing director Stuart Thomson offered the services of his company, Thomson Protective Coatings Ltd, to paint the lift bridge without charge, including paint, with operations director/ project manager Mark Preston in charge of the work.
The lift bridge originally came from the Peak Forest Canal via the Chesterfield Canal. Its refurbishment and construction of the abutments was largely carried out by volunteers in 1997/1998 with funding from Staffordshire Environment Fund.
It allows the towpath to cross over from the south side of the canal channel to the north side, avoiding the abandoned lock 29 and conservation area.
Both Stuart and Mark have over 25 years experience working in the construction industry.
Following his previous business (ICS) going into administration due to a loss-making contract which could not be sustained, Stuart decided to set up a new company, Thomson Protective Coatings Ltd, retaining some of his core workforce.
The company, which specialises in surface preparation and application of protective coatings, is currently setting up a website but can be contacted on 07947280069 or emailed at
Stuart and Mark were present at the official unveiling of the refurbished bridge, where LHCRT chairperson Chris Bull thanked Thomson Protective Coatings for their generosity.
Also present were LHCRT engineering director Peter Buck, who has designed a similar bridge for foot traffic which will be installed to allow pedestrians to cross the restored canal at Tamworth Road, the Trust’s original engineer John Horton, who outlined the work involved in installing the bridge, and Bob Williams, LHCRT finance director and a volunteer in 1997.