The weather turned on us this month. In my April Blog I was looking forward to an improvement in the weather now that May was upon us. In all fairness it hadn't been all that bad a Spring. But come May, you will recall, we had several heavy thunderstorms. These turned The Fosseway site into a sea of mud, and the ramps down to ground zero became almost impassable. But did this put our volunteers off? No, whenever it was practicable Roger B. and his gang would be out there organizing the many deliveries of concrete blocks and bags of sand and then 'set to' at laying more bricks and blocks along the ever extending towpath wall.
Fortunately this month we were blessed with a party of trainee bricklayers from Walsall College who together with their instructors progressed the brickwork at a great rate of knots. Not only did the Walsall College contingent work at The Fosseway site several days a week, but some of their highly skilled tutorial staff volunteered to assist with the brickwork in progress at the Gallows Wharf site. Many thanks to Walsall College for all the help you have given us and you are most welcome to come and hone you bricklaying skills on our towpath walls any time.
In the meantime, work continued at the Gallows Wharf site, more bricklaying of course and the creation of the Garden of Reflection. Railway sleepers, to fit between the steel girders in front of the garages needed to be cut to enable them to slide down within the web of these girders. These, when they had been cut, were slotted in, back filled with soil and compacted to form the planed flower bed between the sleepers and the garages walls As the brickwork wall progressed we back filled between the wall and the sleepers to provide a base for the pathway in front of and below the newly provided flower beds.
During the hot weather it was neccessary to keep a good supply of water with which the brickies could prepare their mortar at both Fosseway and Gallows Wharf. David H. was in great demand, ferrying trailer loads of the wet stuff from site to site. Volunteer Steven W. came to the rescue. He sourced two large bowsers and fitted them to two towable trailers. We can now take as much water as and when needed to any of our sites with ease.
Down at the Fosseway site walkers will be impressed by the rate with which the pathway on the opposite side from the towpath has been extended. This path will eventually continue all the way to Fosseway Lane. Again thanks to visits by corporate volunteers for the many hours of help with this work.
Tony C., of canal side bench fame, deserves a mention this month, for he has not only been kept busy providing wooden structures for use at Gallows Wharf, gates, crates etc., but also in his spare time been reconstructing the interior of our mobile display cabin known as the SMART Van (Sales, Marketing & Retail Trading) for it to be ready for the 'Cars in the Park' event later this year.
As usual it was a busy month in May with no sign of any let up round the corner. (Have you seen the pile of clay at Fosseway). So thanks again to all who gave us of their time, please continue to come and work with us.
Read about the launch of the Gallows Wharf Project on May 14th.
Island House, Moor Road
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