This month has seen some amazing work done at the Summerhill site. Work on the basic towpath was completed as far as the new steps "Dora's Descent", that climb up the embankment to the Boat Inn. We then began the arduous task of back filling the towpath verges with soil and sand to make the towpath more picturesque. These verges will be flat and in the future will grassed for easy maintenance. The Summerhill and Green Team have combined forces to spearhead the work at this site. It has to be said that the two teams are really only one team doing the work of two.
Peter Buck marked out the position of the new Lock 9A. This is a brand new lock designed to lower the level of the canal enabling it to navigate beneath the Walsall Road. This is a landmark project to test out the technology for the sluice at the head of the lock. Work has commenced on the sluice chambers at the head of the lock in the form of an excavation. The work has its complexities so is progressing at a steady pace to ensure the safety of everyone concerned. The sand removed was transported down the line to back fill the towpath verges as we progressed that work towards the aqueduct.
We had three days help from students from Wolverhampton College and one day from a remarkable couple from the PMAS. All this help was greatly appreciated and a lot of progress was made. So much so that by the work party on the 1st July we had reached the "Picnic Area", which is right down near the quarry. The huge lump of concrete that had been dumped there has now been laid to rest in the borrow pit, which in turn has been partly refilled. This work was greatly assisted by the training of six volunteers to drive both the 7 ton digger and 6 ton dumper. It should be remembered that all this work was done by volunteers, sometimes just two or three per day on Tuesday's and Saturday's. To see the progress at the end of each day is sometimes amazing and hard to believe, that so few, can achieve so much, for so many, with so little. Inspirational efforts by everyone concerned!
Photos by Paul Haddock, Paul Reeves and Touluru
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