With little to report on any progress on the length of canal from Huddlesford through to London Road, I have added, to this report, progress along the stretch known as Fosseway.
As far as the Darnford Moors workings are concerned, the outstanding feat of moving the preformed concrete tunnel sections from Great Wyrley Colliery to alongside the Darnford Moors Golf Club in diabolical weather conditions is all that is of note along this section over this period. But the amount of effort and planning that went into this operation deserves recognition and thanks to all those involved in particular Engineering Director Peter Buck. And if you haven’t seen the pictures and read the numerous reports of this happening you must surely have been out of the country!
Beyond the lift bridge a foot path on the left-hand side of the canal bed has been provided. The normal towpath here requires a lot of work to make it suitable for the public to be able to use again. But we will need to do this work as soon as possible otherwise the ‘triffid’ brambles will reclaim the site back and even the pilling may become distorted again. Back to square one! However shortage of funding is holding us up here.
At Gallows Wharf, in the last few days of this period, work has begun excavating by the London Road Bridge. Some of the original wharf has been lost under the adjacent garages. New foundations and brickwork have to be provided. There is no material change in the situation along the rest of the Tamworth Road sites and stays much as reported last month.
The centre of our operations is now at the Fosseway Site where we are providing the ‘wetlands’ area for which we have ‘Post Code Lottery’ funding. While much noise was being made about the moving of the tunnel sections, at Fosseway, ‘The Staffords’, Roger and Jean, were gainfully employed in constructing the brickwork piers, where the original towpath has been lost. These will provide the start and finish of a new boardwalk over the future wet-lands area. Not only the new brickwork walling, mentioned above, but Tony Cadwallader has been busy erecting the actual boardwalk using reclaimed plastic ‘lookalike’ timber. This material, which is quite expensive, is rot proof and durable and should last many a year.
We have been blessed with the continuing loan and use of an 8 tonne digger from Wacker Neuson. Tony G. has made good use of this opportunity to move loads of soil and sand around the site. We have had to make earth banks to eventually provide a path for walkers and their dogs to detour away from our work areas. We have also needed to move the canals western bank further westwards to maintain its overall width where the wet-lands area is intended. This requires a huge amount of soil and sand to be moved and compacted. Unfortunately, Wacker Neusen have now reclaimed their digger back. With one of our diggers down at Gallows Wharf progress along this stretch with just one digger will seem a little slow. However a huge vote of thanks to Wacker Neusen for the extended loan of their plant.
Numerous sand bags need to be filled to hold the landfill embankments in place and the concrete mixer will be most welcome to help with this task. We have now regained possession of our Wacker sheeps-foot roller after repairs. A useful tool and much needed on the Fosseway site. Our volunteers deserve a huge round of applause for their efforts, battling against the elements, wind, rain and snow. There is plenty of work still to be done at Fosseway so please keep up the good work.
Island House, Moor Road
Registered in England - No. 2456172
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