ENews 2012-01

17th January 2012

Hello and a warm welcome to ENews 2012-01. Happy New Year!

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ORATION UPDATE
(In other words, there's no 'Rest'…)

Despite the Christmas and New Year break there is still a heck of a lot going on on the restoration front…….if you are unclear on any of the following locations, then remember that Ordnance Survey grid references appear on the CCT website at http://www.cotswoldcanals.com/pages/technical-stuff/bridges-and-buildings.php

– At Stonehouse Ocean: Four of the six new piles needed for the swing bridge had been installed by the time of the Christmas shutdown. The new swing bridge will be manually operated, but with hydraulic assistance
– At Ebley Mill: A coffer dam has been installed to allow construction of the narrow (5m) concrete channel which will accommodate the flood gates. These will be closed during flood risk conditions to prevent river water flowing down the canal and causing flooding, especially at Bridgend. A thin concrete base has been laid, which will provide a safe, clean and level working platform
– At Frome Gardens: Temporary piles have been installed to separate the overflow weir from the River Frome. Two pipes carry river and canal flow past the works and a clay bund keeps canal water out. Meanwhile, more temporary piles at the ‘confluence’ between the river and canal keep the river out. The bunded off canal between the two sites will be pumped dry 
– At Dudbridge Locks: Permanent piling of the canal channel between the two locks has begun. As soon as this is complete, construction of the bypass channel and culvert will start
– At Chestnut Lane: Work has been delayed because gas and water service diversions need to run deeper and longer to permit future mooring of boats. A temporary diversion road across Avocet Park, replacing the Chestnut Lane bridge is complete and expected to be brought into use towards the end of this month
– At Wallbridge Upper Lock: All four gates were hung on 13th December and CCT volunteers have been busy installing paddle gear. Bunds have been removed and the contractors have now left. Preparations are well underway for a royal visit to open both Brewery Bridge and the refurbished lock (see below)
– At Griffins Lock, Thrupp: CCT volunteers are busy upgrading the towpath, which had become extremely muddy during the recent clearance work. Another team has already started preliminary work on restoration of the lock. If you would like to get involved with this or any other volunteer project, details can be found on the volunteers website at www.cct.teamconnect.org.uk 
– At Inglesham (Lechlade): CCT volunteers are preparing the lock for restoration, which will give access to 350m of canal channel above lock for boats coming off the River Thames. Other volunteers are clearing this channel of 100 years of accumulated vegetation
 – At Eisey, near Cricklade: structural restoration of the lock is complete, though it will not be gated until the whole length is in water. Volunteers have cleared vegetation from over 1 km of channel above the lock. The aim here is to clear, raise and level the towpath which can then be opened as a permissive path.

All these projects mean that temporary towpath closures are inevitable from time to time. Whenever possible an up to date schedule of current closures can be viewed at www.cotswoldcanals.com by following the Towpath Closures tab.

Last summer saw CCT volunteers dredging 1km of canal between the Gateway Centre at South Cerney and Cerney Wick. Thames Water has generously agreed to reroute a water main beneath the canal free of charge, removing a major obstacle at this point.

The idea of transferring water from the Severn to the Thames, in order to ease the South East’s water shortage, is gaining ground. Thames Water had originally planned to build a large reservoir near Abingdon, but has now been directed to examine other options, including the canal-based water transfer scheme. This would potentially see the whole Cotswold Canals restored and an effective water transfer scheme provided at a fraction of the cost of the proposed reservoir. 

(I am indebted to Dave Marshall of Stroud District Council for this information)

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SHOPPING LIST

Western Depot at Eastington (junction 13 of the M5 for location purposes – or just down the road from the Old Badger Inn if you prefer) is in need of the following items that will greatly assist in the lock work currently being undertaken:-

– Pillar Drill on Stand
– ½” Router complete
– 865mm (9”) Cut Hand operated Circular Saw 240v
– SDS Drill 240v 

Ideally we are looking for a generous benefactor who is prepared to donate any (or all) of these to the Trust – or at least offer them them at a really realistic price – and further information can be obtained from Depot Manager Ron Kerby.

Ron will be back in circulation next week (commencing 23rd January) when you can email r.t.k@btinternet.com or telephone him on 01453 836018.

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WORTH MORE THAN A MONKEY………

I am referring to the Trust's 300 Club here – connoisseurs of slang will know what I mean!

The January Draw was held in the Trust's Wallbridge Visitor Centre on 31st December 2011.  The draw was made by Peter Barnes, a keen photographer and local resident who is a frequent visitor to the Centre. 

Response to the Three Hundred Club insert in the last Trow has resulted in a further increase in members and the first prize is now over GBP500.  The first prize of GBP528 was won by Mr R Major from Tetbury, second prize of GBP264 went to Mr J Stanier from Stroud and the third prize of GBP88 was awarded to Mr K Weller of Dursley.

If you would like to become a member of the Club you will find all the information you need at www.cotswoldcanals.com/pages/three-hundred-club.php

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ROYAL APPOINTMENT

HRH The Princess Royal will visit Wallbridge on Friday 10th February when she will formally open Stroud Brewery Bridge and Wallbridge Upper Lock.

Further information in the Latest News section of the Trust's website.

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WANNA SEE SOME PICTURES?

Many of you will be aware that several canal restoration societies visit the Cotswold Canals on a regular basis and provide invaluable help to us.

One of the regulars, the Kent & East Sussex Canal Restoration Group (KESCRG), spent a November weekend at Eisey/Inglesham and a pictoral record of their visit can be seen at www.kescrg.org.uk/picturespage%201111.htm

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WOOD WOULD BE GOOD

For those of you with log burning stoves installed in your homes, a quick reminder of the Western Depot Log Division if I may.

Log deliveries have proved to be a wonderful way for us to raise funds for the restoration, further information on the Trust's website at http://www.cotswoldcanals.com/pages/logs-for-sale.php

I still have plenty of delivery dates available in February and March!

We are hopeful of opening a Branch Office in
the east of our region soon, further information as and when it becomes available.

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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.

January
18th – Eastern Branch meeting, Trout Inn Lechlade 19:30
22nd – Work Party Griffins Mill Lock*
24th – Construction Action Group meeting Crown Cerney Wick*
29th(1) – Work Party Eisey Lock*
29th(2) – Work Party Summit Level (East portal of Sapperton Tunnel)*

February
4th – Work Party Griffins Mill Lock*
5th – Work Party St Marys Mill Chalford (Stonehouse – Daneway Message Board)*
6th – Western Branch meeting Fromebridge Mill 19:30
12th – Work Party Summit Level (East portal of Sapperton Tunnel)*
15th – Eastern Branch meeting, Trout Inn Lechlade 19:30
26th(1) – Work Party Summit Level (East portal of Sapperton Tunnel)*
26th(2) – Work Party Griffins Mill Lock*
28th – Construction Action Group meeting Bell House Wallbridge*

March
4th – Work Party Stonehouse – Daneway*
11th(1) – Work Party Summit Level (East portal of Sapperton Tunnel)*
11th(2) – Work Party Griffins Mill Lock*
12th – Western Branch meeting Fromebridge Mill 19:30
18th – Work Party Griffins Mill Lock*
21st – Eastern Branch meeting, Trout Inn Lechlade 19:30
25th – Work Party Stonehouse – Daneway*
27th – Construction Action Group meeting Crown Cerney Wick*

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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