Registered Charity No. 702429

Re-watering Pound 26
To allow contractors to have undisturbed possession of the Tamworth Road site, we suspended our volunteer work parties through February and March, with one exception. Two dead trees beside the Pound 26 towpath had to be felled before the nesting season and having the pound full of water. Clive Hensman put his chainsaw training to good use, assisted by Simon, Keith, John and Bob. Otherwise, the enforced rest was not unwelcome!

If we could order the right weather, we could not have done better than to have the driest March since 1923 for the contract work on Pound 26. With so much work to do on and in the ground, McPhillips were so lucky in not having to cope with any muddy conditions or flood flow through the “big pipe”. The only significant rain came at a week-end which helpfully facilitated the necessary water test for the new base cast in Lock 25!

In simple terms, the principal stages were:-

As an added bonus, the big pipe and drop shaft in Lock 26 have also been removed to enable us to proceed with completing restoration of that lock now instead of puzzling over how to get the big pipe out of there!

Easy when you know how! All this required heavy machinery in expert hands and a small team of very capable civil engineers; civil in every sense of the word. McPhillips enjoyed being with us and we certainly enjoyed having them undertake this difficult task for us. We are particularly grateful to Peter Buck, John Horton, Derek Lord and David Piggott for overseeing all this work for the Trust.

Pound 26 before work started
Lock 25 before work started

Lock 26 tail before work started
Sign at the site entrance

Lock 25 shaft demolition
Laying concrete in Lock 25
Lock 25 head repaired

Pumping concrete into Lock 25
McPhillips clear Pound 26

More clearing pound 26
McPhillips levelling Pound 26 base
McPhillps laying bentonite waterpoofing

Tributary pipeline diversion round Lock 26
Letting in the first water
Lock 25 after work finished
And then a family of ducks moved in - where did THEY come from?
Pound 26 looking like a canal

The WOW factor - After 14 years of hard graft, a dream becomes a reality
(Photos by Bob Williams)

it is worth noting that the contractors, McPhillips (Wellington) Limited completed the work both on time and for the fixed price of 86,105. Indeed, they voluntarily extended the scope of work greatly to our advantage and repeatedly said how much they had enjoyed this very different and challenging project. If only we had endless funds, they would have gladly carried on with much more!

For now, it’s back to the handful of volunteers to continue the basic work, but encouraged by several newcomers wanting to join in now they see we’re getting somewhere. If this appeals to you, please give me a call on 01543 671427 to make arrangements.

Lock 26 tail after work finished
Work to do in Lock 26

Bob Williams, Project Co-ordinator

For some of our earlier progress reports click on the links below

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