Lichfield & Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust

LHCRT  Working Party Blog   May 2016

Tamworth Road,  Fortnight to May 8th

During this period progress has been made on the installation of the Concrete Canvas on the left hand canal bank and other works associated with it.

After the C.C. had been laid we started  to apply  concrete, (mixed by our volunteers), to the lower half  of the C.C. as a protective layer against narrowboats.

Both these jobs are time consuming.  Progress may seem slow but we are getting there! The weather has been kind to us of late and our Volunteer turnout numbers have been good on all days. (may there be a correlation?). But many thanks to all.

This Wednesday coming, a start is being made on the removal of the Big Pipe at long last. With this out of the way we can really crack on with our aim this year to get pound 27 into water. The trouble is, there are still a tremendous number of things to be done.  These include:-

This dam will enable us to concentrate totally on the pound 27 works.  And it will provide an essential source of water to wet the clay in the winding hole when we come to line it.

Hugh Millington

Photos: Christine Howles

The Big Pipe in March 2001

Take one last look at the Big Pipe!

Big Pipe Removal  May 11th

Removal of the Big Pipe got underway with the guys  moving about 20 sections per hour using a Telehandler on loan from Finning Equipment Solutions at Cannock.

This great achievement is a significant milestone in the restoration of this section of the Lichfield Canal and with its removal our volunteers can now carry on with the remaining canal lining along the bed of the canal which has been prevented by the pipe being in the way.

By the end of the first day all but the last eight sections had been removed.  However, on Day 2, the last few  sections proved to be more of a struggle. The concrete strip at the far end is too narrow for the Telehandler. If it goes partly on the conctrete and partly in the hole where the pipe used to be it may tip over. Meanwhile we are tidying up and over the next few days will transport the pipes to the section of canal where they will be recycled for use as part of the canal retaining wall supporting the Heritage Towpath Trail

Finally, with a combined effort from Keith on CAT Telehandler and Tony Gardner on our own 5t Excavator the last section of Big Pipe was wrestled from the canal bed and brought out to the stockpile.

Paul Marshall

February 13th 2016

"I think this is the pipe you were looking for!" - Tony Gardner

The last piece of pipe is transported to the storage pile.

Tamworth Road  May 11th to May 22nd .

Wednesday 11th May! 'Big Pipe Day'. The weather was poor, (rain for most of the day).  The Telehandler, on loan from Finnings International,at Cannock, was on site, the volunteers had turned up in number and it was all systems go.  You've all seen the pictures and you will all probably know that throughout the day most of the big pipe sections were removed and stored temporarily in the adjacent field.  Kieth Grice manfully wrestled with the Telehandler all day.  The further he progressed down towards the weir the harder it got to reach the pipe sections.  However by the end of the day all but about eight to ten sections were still to be removed.

Early evening saw a break in the weather, a brief period of dry weather enabled us to hold a Bar-B-Que.  About thirty of us celebrated the day the big pipe came out. It turned out to be a great success.( Note to brain:- must do it again later in the year).

The following day Tony Gardner in our larger digger was able to get to the remaining big pipe sections out so that Keith in the Telehandler could reach them comfortably.  We had loan of this machine only till Tuesday so good use was made of it to now move the pipe sections to a storage area beyond the narrows and the A51.

Whilst all this big pipe work was going on, other volunteers were usefully employed in laying more of the Concrete Canvas and many other works.

At the weekend an ex member spoke with us and offered the Trust a nearly brand new grass mowing machine.  It's rather like a powerful strimmer on wheels. It really does the works.  New volunteer  David Dwyer put it to good use on the second Wednesday and cut a big area of grass around the locks and pound 26.

Now the pipe has gone, we have made a start in concreting beneath where it was, and good progress was made on this task at the weekend just gone.

It's all systems go at the moment,  Concrete Canvas laying, concreting where the big pipe was, reinforcing the C.C. half way up the left hand bank, and soon we will be installing the Geomesh along the top half of this bank, and many other tasks as well.

Thanks to all who have contributed to an excellent six and more days working, during which more than 247 hours have been worked.

Hugh Millington

Photos  22nd May by Christine Howles

Big Pipe Day

Video by Paul Marshall