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Updated 4th November 2011
Millennium
Project
Construction Opening
Two hundred man and woman-hours went into this project in 1998, long before construction started.

Permission from landowners and the Parish and County Councils, consultation with professional groups on disabled access to the countryside, provision of finance, and the actual design of the boardwalk itself.

The aim was to make the whole length of Goostrey Footpath 12 usable by most folk in the village, including those who through age or otherwise were less agile than most. This involved replacing stiles with kissing gates, and most importantly arranging safe passage across a muddy area that had gradually extended and deepened so that for some years this key footpath, linking the two halves of Goostrey, had been impassable.

Original Concept The boardwalk is essentially a 14 metre long, 1.3 m wide, bridge supported on substantial wooden piles sunk through the boggy surface layers into firm ground below.

Design of the boardwalk was undertaken by Peter Swash, a retired Mechanical Engineer with a good “feel” for big carpentry. A necessary bend part way along complicated design.

Peter designed the structure so that the bridge could be pre-fabricated off-site, transported in sections, and erected on site by [largely-unskilled] labour in 2 days.

It all happened to plan. The seven 2-metre sections were fabricated by Hedley Dale, Roger Dyke - and Peter himself - early in 1999. A family who had bought a house in Goostrey but were not moving into it immediately volunteered their large concrete yard as the pre-fabrication site. This was a great help.

On Wednesday March 10th 1999 the sections were moved to site with a tractor and trailer. Well, almost. The tractor could get to within 100 metres of the site - the 150Kg sections had to be hand-carried from there… Installation of the piles was under way by 9.30 and by 7pm the following day the main structure was finished. We had got the levels right, the sections all fitted together, and it didn’t rain on us. And the ladies kept everyone well fed and watered.

The following weeks saw the installation of hand-rails, and replacement of the stiles along the route with gates and kissing gates.

On the 18th September 1999 Councillor Bill Owen, one of the founders of Footpaths Group and still an active member, welcomed the Mayor of the Borough, Councillor Rab Parry, to Goostrey to formally open the “new” footpath, the first of Goostrey many Millennium Projects to be completed.

Councillor Owen took the opportunity to thank the landowners involved and the many organisations that had contributed finance, technical know-how, finance and encouragement to the project, particularly Cheshire County Council, Goostrey Parish Council, the Fieldfare Trust, Shell Oil and Manchester Airport Community Trust Fund.
Clearing Top Layer of Mud Prefabricating Boardwalk Sections
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