Time flies, this blog was intended to be written a couple of weeks ago, other things and
events always seemed to get in the way, so here we go with a blog for the month of
In my previous blog I reported that our larger yellow dumper truck is awaiting a new
clutch to be fitted. Well, believe it or not, in the whole world, well locally that is, it
seems, there is not one to be found! This has severely curtailed the work we could do
in pound 25. In fact in pound 25 all that has been done in the recent past is a small
amount of work, concrete bashing in lock 25, in preparation for a new oak beam to be
fitted at the cill. And we are still awaiting the replacement clutch pressure plate!
Fortunately the long dry spell of weather has dried up the area between the narrows and the A51 where work had been suspended because of excess mud and water. A huge amount of work has been carried out in this area this month. The gabion wall on the far side has been totally exposed. Several 'big pipe' sections have been installed at the end of the gabions to complete the workings to the extent of our boundary.
The earth ramp that gave us access to this area by the narrows has been dug out and repositioned adjacent to the towpath wall, allowing us to work from the narrows towards the gabion wall. Where this ramp was you will now find a nice row of 'big pipe' sections which will form part of the canal wall. All this earth moving has enabled the laying of a lot of concrete at the base of the gabion wall, all the way from near the A51 right through to the narrows. In addition to this the brickies have made an excellent start to facing the gabions with a wall in the same style as that on the towpath side.
To help with the huge amount of concrete needed we have received some from a ready mixed source, which in itself gives us an hour or so of intensive work getting it laid and tamped in a relative short space of time, but overall is a lot easier than having to mix it as well! The aim just now, subject to the weather, is to complete the concreting in this area and complete the wall in front of the gabions. When this is done we intend to dig out the gap between the concrete slab on the towpath side and that on the gabion side to a depth of half a meter and infill this area with puddling clay. The final stage is to remove the earth access ramp. If all goes to plan, and when the winter rains arrive this area can be added to our 'canal in water' total. Hopefully.
Sadly one of our volunteer members, Bob Houghton, has passed away. Bucket Bob, a long time volunteer, will be sorely missed. Bob would assist in many of the tasks needed to progress this restoration, in particular he accurately measured the water flow through, into and out of, our workings which are used in our negotiations with the Environmental Agency.
Hugh Millington, Photos: Christine Howles
Click on a picture to enlarge
Island House, Moor Road
Registered in England - No. 2456172
Registered Charity No. 702429
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