ENews 2011-16

13 November 2011

Hello and a warm welcome to ENews 2011-16.

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HALF BOARD

Following last month's AGM there have been changes within Trust Council, the Trust's governing body.

– Tony Robinson takes over the reigns of Chairman from Liz Payne
– Liz resumes the role of Vice Chairman
– Jack Telling continues as Treasurer but will be standing down after 12 years' service at the end of the financial year (31st March 2012)
– John Carter has become Assistant Membership Secretary; Des Pinnock remains as Membership Secretary but is no longer a Board Member

In due course I hope to be able to publish a list of all those serving on this august body, together with a note of the portfolios they hold on CCT members' behalf.

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PLANNING A NIGHTMARE

Whilst it appears strange to many of us that Planning Permission is required to restore a previously existing structure we have to accept that it's the way of the world we live in whether we like it or not.

I thought this extract from an email surrounding the procedures that have to be gone through for the repair of a simple humped back bridge would be of interest; the bridge in question is Weymoor Bridge, OS reference SU 088953.

The first line with a ~ symbol is the comment from the contractors about what is usually required and the second with a * symbol is the reaction of our in house bridge expert.

~Topographical survey, establish bench mark levels and datum points outside the construction zone
*Ordnance survey bench mark in place on inner face of bridge at NW end. Road/track levels surveyed
~Calculations: a MEXE analysis is required to ensure that the arch can fulfil its function to carry traffic loads, based on span, rise, arch shape, cover, type of materials
*Calculations by (contractor)
~Planning application: this will need drawings showing plan and elevation as minimum, road realignment plus information on materials and finishes.
*All in hand & substantially completed. I will have the drawings to do a final review within the next few days
~Environmental: Planning applications also require a statement on protected species, biodiversity, trees and hedges etc.
*An environmental survey has been commissioned
~Utilities: diversion of existing and discussions to establish need for spare ducts to incorporated future cables.
*Existing services in the track consist of water (believed to be 15mm) & telephone (there is a draw box adjacent to the bridge), both of which could be supported, then encased in split ducts as work proceeds. Additional ducts can be incorporated
~Alterations to the highway alignment, primarily the vertical alignment which may impair sighting distances. Such changes would need to be accepted by the highway authority.
~Alignment drawing produced based on max 1:12 slopes. At the bridge, the tarmac & kerbs stop & the track continues with an unbound stone surfacing.
*Other than access to Basin Cottage – including service vehicles & the adjacent fields for the farmer, there is no other known requirement for vehicular access other than canal restoration. The track is however a bridleway.
~Any land ownership issues, way leaves and need for temporary construction space.
*It appears that the land is split between the Co-op & Wilts Council. We have a meeting with the Co-op shortly, date to be advised
~An assessment of the adequacy of the existing bridge foundations if these are going to be used as they are, or any repairs/modifications required.
*From previous experience with Beavans Bridge, Mill Lane, Swindon on the Wilts & Berks Canal where I did everything, including a bit of the stone work, but not the bridge calculations, the foundations were reused, the calculations stacked up & were agreed with Swindon.
*Several 32 tonne lorries loaded with hardcore used the bridge on completion.
*On excavation of the bridge hole for Weymoor bridge, the existing walls & invert can be inspected & a remedial work programme, if required, can be established at that point.
~Specification for materials.
*I intend using a semi-engineering brick which we have used elsewhere in the area & a lime sand mortar
~Inspection and supervision of the physical works and dealing with site queries.
*Occasional inspections would be useful.

'Nuff said.

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HYDRO WOES

You may recall the disappointment surrounding our failure to make the Energyshare Top 10 for the Dudbridge Hydro project, despite securing the second largest number of supporters.

The Trust's Chief Executive Ken Burgin has written in strong terms to try and find out why, because there would appear to be no logic whatsoever in Energyshare's decision.

So far we've had a "We'll get back to you" reply and, hopefully, I'll be able to let you know the reasons behind their decision in due course.

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WEBCAM LOCKED

A convoluted way of letting you know that work has started on the restoration of Wallbridge Upper Lock, that's the one outside Wallbridge Visitor Centre by Brewery Bridge in Stroud. (OS ref SO 848050). The plan is for the existing top gates to be removed and reused at Blunder Lock, Eastington (SO 786060).

You may remember the regular weekly updates that appeared on the CCT website as Brewery Bridge was being constructed; well, a similar arrangement is in place for Wallbridge Upper. An opening summary of what's going on appears in the Latest News section of www.cotswoldcanals.com and the live webcam has now been readjusted to focus on the lock itself.

The contractors will be on site from 07:00 until 19:00. 

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ALL FIRED UP

A reminder that the Western Depot Logs Division is in full swing at the moment, delivering logs here, there and everywhere within a 20-mile radius of its base at Eastington, Stonehouse. As well as keeping warm by supporting a great cause, customers of the service are raising a whole pot of cash towards the Trust's financial commitment to the restoration.

Orders are being taken for delivery between now and Easter 2012 and a schedule of available dates appears on the Trust's website under the "Logs For Sale" link.

If you would like to avail yourself of the service from the comfort of your fireside, all the Logman asks is that you read the website pages before contacting him  – so he knows you know all the ifs, the buts, the whys and the wherefores attached to the scheme.

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FACE SAVING

The latest update from Martin Phillips tells me that Stroud on Water now has a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/stroudonwater. He tells me I must "like" it (if like me you have no idea what he's on about I'm told any child or grandchild will enlighten us) then add comments!

The SoW web site is now looking a bit whizzier and will be populated over the coming weeks with news of entertainers, attractions and the need for lots of volunteers. It can be found at www.stroudonwater.org.uk

Speaking of which, Roger Nisbet is waiting, poised like a tightly coiled spring, ready to take names. If you have not already done so please register your interest on the Connect volunteer website (address below) or to contact R
oger direct try 07531 846055 or email roger@rinisbet.org

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IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN….ALREADY….

Yes, the Santa Cruise Season is almost upon us; is it really 12 months since all that awful weather seriously curtailed Santa's visit last year?

The December dates for your diary are:-

– SATURDAY 10th & 17th
– SUNDAY 4th, 11th & 18th

The Crewing Roster is up on the Connect website, you will need to get your name down soon as opportunities to get involved in this wonderfully rewarding experience are filling fast! 

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SNIPPET UPDATES

– Bridge replacement works have begun at Stonehouse Ocean, where the old bridge is being replaced with a new hand operated swing bridge. Work is expected to be complete at the end of February.
– A new weir at the confluence of the canal and river, enabling river water to continue down the canal at the right level. This will involve removal of the bund blocking the canal at Frome Gardens.
– An overflow weir between the canal and river at Frome Gardens, enabling excess water in the event of a flood to re-enter the river.
– Flood gates at Ebley Mill to prevent excess water carrying on down the canal and causing problems downstream, specifically at Bridgend.
– November will see work beginning on refurbishing the two locks at Dudbridge.
– Stroud Town Council has launched a forum to decide what to do with the land by the side of the Stroudwater Navigation when it is finally restored. See http://www.narrowboatworld.com and the Latest Additions section for more information.
– Construction students from Stroud College who are mid-way through an Access to Employment course have helped restore a flight of steps at Ryeford Double Lock as part of their studies. The work involved using lime mortar and the aspiring young team will offer their new-found skills on a fortnightly basis, learning vital skills in team work, on-site construction and health and safety.

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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.

NOVEMBER
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*
27th – Work Party Eisey Lock

DECEMBER
4th – Work party Brimscombe-Daneway section, venue TBA*
10th/11th – WRG at Eysey Lock
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