Ice Station Hanover

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow….  This time last year we were firmly in the grip of the white stuff, with several prolonged snowfalls over the winter season. The extra days off school/work, sledging in Queens Park and seeing our streets transformed onto a winter wonderland was fantastic… however, people do need to get about and some can manage better than others. The virtual lack of any level ground up here increases difficulty. There is a real chance of residents facing injury and hardship as a result of harsh winter weather.

The council does what it can, and has improved its response a lot over the past couple of years – investing in new 4X4 gritters, drafting in parks staff and traffic wardens to help out, increasing the amount of grit available in bins and at drop off points and looking at priorities so that the most benefit for the most people can be achieved with its limited resources. (more about the council severe weather response here)

There is a limit though to what the council can do if the whole city has heavy snowfall over several days – there are so many places to reach and so many people needed to keep roads and footways clear that properly treating every part of the city would be impossible, and this year the council have been talking to residents and community groups to see what we can do to help in our neighbourhoods.

Ice Station Pepperpot

This winter, volunteers from the Friends of the Pepperpot have agreed to hold some snow shovels in the Tower. If we get heavy snow, members who live close by will open up the Tower and make them available to any local resident who wants to help out.  As well as being a well known local landmark, the Pepperpot is also close to the bus stop on Queens Park Road and the local chemist, post office and doctors surgery on Islingword Road; all areas we would like to see kept clear of snow and ice so that anyone who needs to use them will find it easier.

Q&A

Q: Is it legal?  A: In recent years there has been some confusion about legal responsibilities and liability issues for residents helping to clear snow in the streets. The DirectGov snow and Ice Clearing Page says:

“Don’t be put off clearing paths because you’re afraid someone will get injured. Remember, people walking on snow and ice have a responsibility to be careful themselves. …. it’s unlikely you’ll be sued or held legally responsible for any injuries if you have cleared the path carefully.”

Q: Who will be responsible for the shovels? The FoPP Volunteers have simply agreed to unlock the Tower and make shovels available. They are not responsible for what people do with them – that is up to the individuals who take part.

Q: What time will it be open? During heavy snow, volunteers will unlock the Tower as soon as they are able and will close it when they have to go… Hopefully shovels will be available as they are needed, but as this depends entirely on the goodwill of locals, flexibility and consideration are essential.

Q: Will there be training? The council has produced guidance information for volunteers clearing snow and this will be made available for volunteers to read. Aside from this, volunteers remain responsible for their own actions and will need to make their own judgements on how best to carry out clearance activities.

Q: Can I use the shovels to clear my own path? We hope to be able to focus on public areas like those mentioned above, but if there are shovels available then nearby residents wishing  to use them at their own properties  are welcome to do so (remembering of course to return the shovels afterwards…)

Q: How can I find out more? If you have any questions now, please use the comments box below (please state if you don’t want you question to be published) If we do get heavy snow and this service opens, check back on this website. We also expect to be updating from the @heglat Twitter feed, using the hashtags #bhsnow and #hanover

Click the following link to download the full council guidance A simple how to guide for snow clearing for Volunteers

And here is a short version, just dealing with the practical aspects of snow clearance: Short Snow Guide

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What’s going on at the Pepperpot? – A Message From FoPP

Dear all,

The long awaited restoration of the Pepperpot Tower started earlier this year, however you may have noticed that not much has been happening in recent weeks.

Why is this? The good news is that in doing the restoration we found out that the Pepperpot includes ‘Rangers’ stone which was one of the first types of concrete ever used, rather like a lime concrete. This adds even more to the historical significance of the tower.

The bad news is that as a result of finding this out the council had to make sure that the planned works were appropriate and also would preserve and not damage the rangers stone. This, combined with discovering that some of the Pepperpot’s restoration work that needed to be done was more extensive than first expected, has meant that the project has been delayed and  the likely completion date is now October. 

As the funds that were set aside for the restoration works were limited this also sadly means that the tower won’t be fully restored when the scaffolding comes down but we certainly hope it will be a big improvement on how it looked before! The next stage for the group will be to seek outside funding so the tower can be fully restored to its former glory.

We also decided at our last meeting that, following the restoration of the Pepperpot, we would really like to seek a possible future use for the building. This means that, as well as seeking funding for the potential full restoration of the outside, there would need to be a fully costed plan for the inside of the folly.

We have achieved a lot so far, thanks to our volunteers and supporters but it’s important that we continue to build on this. We’ve written below skills would particularly help us to proceed to the next stage of our project.

We need people with skills in: Architecture, Fundraising and Book-keeping / accountancy. We would also like to aim to be more proactive with our fundraising and media profile so it would be great if anyone were willing to help with maintaining the website. If you have experience and / or skills in these areas (or know anyone who does) please let us know. Of course if you want to volunteer your time and skills in any other way we would be very grateful.

The Friends of the Pepperpot hold regular meetings – usually at Workshops for the Imagination on Islingword Street. Please check our Facebook pages for more information.

Thanks and Best wishes

Rachel Fryer
Chair of Friends of the Pepperpot