ENews 2011-15

29th October 2011

Hello, welcome to ENews 2011-15.

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PAPER MATE

Are you retired and/or bored and looking for a way to volunteer to help the Cotswold Canals Trust without getting involved in the heavy or mucky stuff?

If so please read on……………

The Trust’s Western Depot at Eastington, just east of Junction 13 of the M5, needs a paperwork King or Queen – we are an equal opportunities Depot! – who would be happy to come along on Mondays and Wednesdays to undertake a variety of interesting roles.

The workforce is notoriously bad at doing paperwork, let alone keeping it up together. For example there are timesheets to collate, risk assessments/method statements to download and prepare for the job in hand (yes, there is a computer link), vehicle records to maintain (when used, what for, mileage, annual servicing, MOT dates etc) and we are thinking that we need a system to keep an eye on who takes what tools where and when. If tools are “borrowed” are they returned?

Vital kitchen supplies could also do with monitoring on a regular basis, i.e. tea/coffee levels, washing up liquid and so on.

If you would like to be considered for the opportunity to wield unimaginable powers over us lesser mortals by exercising your office skills please contact me by email cct@well-springs.co.uk in the first instance so that a day and time can be arranged for you to come and have a look round the Depot to give you some idea of what the job will involve.

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SHOW PROGRESS

This update from Martin Phillips about next years Stroud on Water celebrations that are taking place in June.

It is all starting to come together. It will be a great show. However, we're desperately in need of people to fill two key roles:

Our Music Manager will manage bookings for entertainers and sort out their needs, plus pull together a programme for the three days. We shall have a main stage, plus a small "acoustic" stage with open mic sessions, poetry and possibly a few pre-booked entertainers. We need someone who has a knowledge of the music business, broad tastes and can manage our tiny budget to best effect.

Our Trader Manager will take bookings for traders, keep track of who's paid what, and will actively promote our festival to potential traders and caterers.

We will need lots of general volunteers for help on the day and leading up to the event doing all sorts of things, but ability to smile and be nice at the same time as carrying out another role is essential.

For Music or Trader Manager roles, please talk to Martins Turner or Phillips: Turner by phone 01291 650367 or email martin.turner40@btinternet.com or Phillips by phone 01453 860133 or email martin@douglas-phillips.org.uk

General volunteers please get in touch with Roger Nisbet 07531 846055 or email roger@rinisbet.org – or you can register your interest via the Connect website

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WATER SHAME

We found out on Friday (28th) that our application for funding from the energyshare fund for the Dudbridge Hydro Scheme has not made it to the final 10, despite attracting the second highest number of supporters.

The Members involved with the management of the application are, quite frankly, gutted, especially after all the hard work that has gone on behind the scenes in the last few weeks. 

We have not received any indication as to why we were not selected yet, nor do we know which Groups made it; maybe it is too soon to know. Meanwhile Project Manager Keith Tibbitts would like to thank each and every one of the 1,028 of you who supported the application.

We have experienced setbacks before and have always bounced back. As soon as a decision as to what happens next is made then you will be amongst the first to know.

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WEB SPIN

Why not add www.cotswoldcanals.com to your Favourites List if you haven't done so already? That way you can visit the website regularly to keep tabs on what's going on. Here are some recent additions, for example:

– For those readers outside the immediate catchment area of the Cotswold Canals the "Technical Stuff" pages were updated recently to show an O.S Map reference for every lock & bridge. See http://www.cotswoldcanals.com/pages/technical-stuff/bridges-and-buildings.php 
– Four decades of The Trow are now available on line. Pick a date that's significant or relevant to you – and have a look to see what was going on at the time!
– Information about "How to Leave a Legacy" appears on the Appeals & Donations Page
– Not quite there yet but watch out for information about a range of commemorative benches that we hope to launch soon, and the opportunity to sponsor an engraved brick at any of several locations  

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ENVELOPE INSERTION OPERATIVES…

…Are being sought for the next session of Trow stuffing that will take place at the Heritage Centre Saul on Tuesday 8th November.

This quarterly fun-filled exercise is where roughly 4,000 copies of "The Trow" are prepared for posting to CCT members and will be taking place from 10:00 for around 2/3 hours.

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RESTORATION SNIPPETS

– Volunteer work parties will be starting soon at Griffins Mill Lock (OS ref SO 858036, see Web Spin story) once the contractors vacate the site. Updates on Connect as and when
– Work is scheduled to start this month at Wallbridge Upper Lock (SO 848050), confluence weir at Frome Gardens Ebley (near SO 829046), Dudbridge Upper & Lower Locks (SO 836048), Ocean Swing Bridge (SO 798050) and Chestnut Lane Swing Bridge (SO 840050)
– Tenders are about to go out for the Capels Mill section (opposite Waitrose, Stroud)
– Tenders for the redevelopment of Brimscombe Port are due in by early December
– Wheelchair access will soon be available at Wallbridge Visitor Centre following the installation of a specialised lift
– On Thursday 3rd November at 2pm, the Museum in the Park is hosting a talk by CCT Chief Executive Ken Burgin entitled 'The Trials and Triumphs of the Thames & Severn Canal'. To book, call 01453 763394. Cost is £4.

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MOVING FORWARD

Talking of Ken, the following points have been culled from the upbeat report he presented at the AGM recently.
– Work on Ocean Swing Bridge may have started but it’s not too late to give to the appeal! See website for further details
– If and when the Dudbridge Hydro scheme is up and running an income of approx £20,000 p.a. should be forthcoming to help maintain the restored canal

Phase 1B (Saul Junction to Stonehouse Ocean) matters.
– New railway bridge required at the Ocean under main line
– Missing mile between Eastington and the A38 will include 2 new locks and could also comprise a marina basin. Could be a CCT volunteer project (apart from the channel under M5)
– New Walk Bridge – current limit of navigation on the Stroudwater – to replace existing fixed one
– 5 heritage locks of which 4 are wholly or partially restored
– Approx £4m of matched funding to be found
– Possible wetlands project
– SDC have agreed the lead role for the 1B bid, this is not a commitment to underwrite the funding
– HLF (1st stage) funding application for Phase 1B could be submitted as early as next month with a decision due by April 2012. 2nd
stage submission is flexible, i.e. when we are ready
– Possible overlap with 1A with potential completion 2016/17 if everything falls into place
– Likely route under M5 is via existing bridge over River Frome
– Bonds Mill Bridge at Stonehouse is proposed as a lift bridge providing 2.5m air draft

Phase 2 (River Thames to Cotswold Water Park) progress seen at/with
– Spine Road to Cerney Wick pound
– Weymoor Bridge, Latton
– Eisey Lock restoration and development of CCT Eastern Depot at Alex Farm
– Inglesham Lock restoration project. The appeal target of £125,000 has reached £56,700 – it’s not too late to donate to this one, either!
– Water supply discussions with the Environment Agency & Natural England
– If 1B makes an early start and goes to schedule then we need to be ready to follow on with Phase 2
– Negotiations with Cullimores about recreating approx 1 Km of infilled canal at Marston Meysey

Phase 3 (Brimscombe Port to Cotswold Water Park)
– Coates area being well maintained
– Towpath being kept clear where access is possible
– Channel kept clear above Beales Lock
– Matters to be addressed include dam across canal at Coates, the Coates Portal of Sapperton Tunnel, resumption of boat trips into the Tunnel and the railway bridges at Bourne and St. Mary. What we need is volunteers to champion these projects – further information from Ken ken.burgin@pikelock.com

– Natural England is joining the Cotswold Canals Partnership. Early discussions sought on proposed reservoirs and canal design, especially in Latton area
– CCT making presentation to Thames Water & Environment Agency on 4th November about proposed water transfer project

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FORTHCOMING ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS

For further information and contact details about items marked* please go to www.cct.teamconnect.org.uk and the Message Boards on the Activities and Rosters page. To become a registered volunteer please follow the Register Me Now link.
 
Mondays & Wednesdays from 09:00: Maintenance activity at Western Depot*.
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 09:00: Maintenance activity at Eastern Depot*.
Thursdays from 10:00 – 15:30: Volunteer taster sessions (towpath clearance) aimed at people new to volunteering; meet Bell House Wallbridge. CCT members also welcome.

OCTOBER  
30th – Work Party Summit Level, Tunnel House Inn*

NOVEMBER
7th – Western Branch meeting, Fromebridge Mill Whitminster 19:30
13th – Work party Brimscombe-Daneway section, venue TBA*
16th – Eastern Branch meeting Trout Inn Lechlade 19:30
20th – Work Party Summit Level, Tunnel House Inn*
22nd – Construction Action Group meeting Bell House Wallbridge 19:30*

DECEMBER
4th – Work party Brimscombe-Daneway section, venue TBA*
11th – Work Party Summit Level, Tunnel House Inn*
12th – Western Branch meeting, venue TBC

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Newsworthy items for consideration should be sent to listmaster@cctmembers-newsletter.co.uk but please remember I am always looking for a connection with the Stroudwater, the Thames & Severn or the CCT.

Both the Trust website www.cotswoldcanals.com and the Partnership website  www.cotswoldcanalsproject.org are good sources of information on restoration progress with up to date news articles and pictures of progress.

If you think you have missed an issue of ENews a copy of the latest one is always displayed at www.cotswoldcanals.com/pages/enews-newsletter.php and there is a full archive back to April 2006 when the first issue was published.

Any and all feedback is more than welcome.

David Pagett
Editor, ENews