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Staffordshire High Sheriff completes charity canal walk
Ian Dudson
Ian Dudson wore his High Sheriff t-shirt on his walks

Ian Dudson, Staffordshire's High Sheriff for 2010/11, is taking a well-earned rest after walking the total length of Staffordshire's canals.

His Canal Challenge took place on eighteen separate days in 2010.

Mr Dudson was aiming to celebrate his year in office by highlighting the county's significance in industrial archaeology as well as raise money.

Over the course of the project, he and his supporters walked more than 150 miles.


The walks, from the south to the north of the county, started in Stourbridge on 19 May and only finished at the end of October.
Each walk was around ten miles long, and there were 19 in all.

The project turned out to be fun, worthy - and informative. On some walks Mr Dudson was joined by as many as 40 well-wishers, some of whom had canal wisdom to impart: "It was very interesting and informative to have with us the local knowledge and experience - for example, we learnt that the word for people who stare through barge windows is Gorgonzoola!"

BBC Radio Stoke was able to witness the completion of project, at the final walk from Denford in the Staffordshire Moorlands.

Though the final figure is not known yet, thousands of pounds were raised for the Staffordshire Community Foundation. The figure will appear on the High Sheriff website .

A photographic record was kept of each walk.

Ian's wife Jane, who also took part, said: "We were also looking forward to the seeing an awful lot of the history which is still at the side of the canal."

All stretches of canals in Staffordshire were traversed, even branches and arms.

High Sheriff

The times when the High Sheriff of Staffordshire's role back in Anglo-Saxon times were hugely important have long been forgotten.

But sheriffs are still around and they want to remind you why they should not be overlooked.

Since the pottery businessman, Ian Dudson, was appointed as Staffordshire's High Sheriff in April 2010, he has set out to raise the profile of the role.

He hopes the series of walks along Staffordshire's canals will highlight the position. Ian thinks it is vital to: "...be seen around the county, and to take the message of why we still have High Sheriffs."

Dudson's Pottery

Ian Dudson is Chairman of the Dudson pottery firm and also Chairman of Trustees at The Dudson Centre. The Dudson Centre is run by Voluntary Action Stoke-on-Trent and tenants include many charity and voluntary groups. The Bottle Oven at the centre is still used as the Dudson company's museum.

Ian's family's involvement in the pottery industry in Stoke-on-Trent spans over two hundred years - and the network of Staffordshire canals played a significant role in the logistics of the company.

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20 May 10 |  History
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In pictures: Canal Walks 3 & 4
07 Jul 10 |  Nature & Outdoors
In pictures: Canal Walks 5 & 6
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In pictures: Canal Walks 7 & 8
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In pictures: Canal Walks 9 & 10
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In pictures: Canal Walk 11 & 12
06 Oct 10 |  Nature & Outdoors
In pictures: Canal Walks 13 & 14
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In pictures: Canal Walks 15 & 16
09 Nov 10 |  Nature & Outdoors



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