As predicted in my September Blog, the finishing touches to the area between the narrows and the A51 were successfully completed The area is now finished and all we need is a deluge of rain to get some water in it. Until this is the case we won't know if there are any leaks or not. Two or three weekends ago we made an attempt to pump water from the winding hole into it, not very successfully, The pump was having an off day, it kept getting clogged up with blanket weed among'st other problems. We managed to get about 4" transferred across but sadly this drained away over the following week. The clay base had dried out leaving large cracks in it which could have been the source of the water loss. We'll try again.
Other work down at the Tamworth Road site was concentrated in pound 25. A large volume of soil had been removed to the Fossway site leaving us space to continue emptying lock 24. This has now been achieved. It appears that the invert (the bottom) of the lock had not been damaged when the 'big pipe' was installed. Good news indeed. All the concreting in pound 25 is done and the only task left is in lock 25 where the new oak cill beam awaits to be installed.
There is still one more task to do in lock 24 which is to replace missing bricks within the lock walls and along the top layers of these walls This month has been a bit patchy.
With Fossway works impinging on what machinery and volunteer force we had available on our work days. But we are glad to lend a hand wherever it is most needed. With our work ending at Tamworth Road, and planning permissions still awaited for Gallows Wharf and the 'big pipe' removal,we are now getting stuck into another important task down at Darnford Moors. Years ago when the lift bridge was installed, the banks of the canal were lined with shuttering. Over time this shuttering has lost its shape. Largely due to the shuttering being too short and that there were no tie-rods installed to hold it in place. We now have to, after removing the 'triffid' brambles, dig out from behind the shuttering, push it back upright, fit tie-rods and back fill with clay. Finally we will top it out with stone to make a decent pathway.
Lastly. He not only makes a fair canal side bench, ( available to purchase via the Trust for a small sum), but also have you seen the workman's / volunteer's shelter he has constructed? This shelter will be most useful as we spread out ever further from our site at Tamworth Road. Tony Cadwallader you are a star Well done and thank you. Indeed thanks again to all who have contributed this month. Keep it up!!
Hugh Millington Photos Christine Howles
Island House, Moor Road
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