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ENews 2012-10

18 August 2012

Hello, welcome to ENews 2012-10.

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Here is a Brief Synopsis of today's stories for you:

The Eh? Team are back for the winter
Delivering logs far and near
Christmas is just round the corner
Buy online? Now that's an idea.
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First there was drought now there's plenty
Too much is slowing things down
If you fancy a role as Tugmaster
There's a training chance coming to town.
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Membership numbers keep rising
It's into Wall-bridge they all go
Trip boat Annette is refloated
She'll run from Ebley – good show!

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WOOD YOU BELIEVE IT

Yes we're back – for what will be our 4th season!

The Log Delivery Service will be up and running again from mid September at Western Depot, Eastington, possibly a little later from Eastern Depot at Eisey in view of modifications required to the delivery trailer there.

Further information about the service can be found on the CCT website at www.cotswoldcanals.com by following the 'Logs for Sale' link. There is also a page there that highlights the many plaudits we have received from our customers over the last couple of years.

To place an order or for more information just contact the Logman (that's me, for those who didn't know) and then sit back secure in the knowledge that you will be supporting the work of the Canal Trust from the comfort of your fireside this winter.

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CARDS ON THE LINE

Whilst we may not have seen summer yet, now may be an opportune time to remind you that Christmas is only 18 weeks away……………..

There are some exciting additions to the existing range of goodies available as the first ever CCT Calendar has been released for sale. The A4 size wall-hanging calendar features 12 photographs taken by Trust member Nick Bird. The Calendar is also available from either of the Visitor Centres or the Roadshow when it is out and about on its travels.

Many of you will know of the ever popular map of the Stroudwater and Thames & Severn up to Sapperton Tunnel, especially those who enjoy exploring the route of the two canals. Well, cartographer Nick Darien-Jones has done it again, this time with a comprehensive navigation & towpath map devoted to The Gloucester & Sharpness Canal.

Another popular line is the 12-pack Christmas card selection of 4 local wintry scenes (3 of each) painted by local artist Peter Westley.

Now……………if you are too snug and cosy in front of your fire courtesy of the Log Delivery Service and don't want to venture outside then don't forget you can order online at http://www.cotswoldcanals.com/pages/shop.php

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WHAT'S GOING ON?

Still plenty to report, but the project is being generally delayed by high water levels…I have added OS Grid References for those readers who may be unfamiliar with the locations of the places mentioned.

Stonehouse Ocean (SO798050): Work to slightly adjust the alignment of the bridge, to take traffic away from the adjacent bungalow, is underway and running to time – completion is due for week commencing 20th August. This will allow vehicles to begin using the bridge and will bring relief to the residents of Beards Mill, who have faced a 2 mile diversion since work started.

Ebley Mill (SO829046): Temporary towpath work has been done here by volunteers in order to make it passable! Starting shortly are permanent works involving a short length of new tarmac towpath and the relaying of block paving to form a ramp up to the towpath. This work will include a concrete base for a stone structure to house the mosaic presently in Reception. It was designed a couple of years ago by children at St Matthew’s Primary School and has been awaiting a permanent home by the restored canal. Meanwhile, contractors have been asked to remove the stop planks currently blocking the canal outside Ebley Mill; this should then allow volunteer-run workboats along the restored canal. 
 
Hilly Orchard Bridge (SO833047) – Lodgemore Bridge (SO843050): The towpath here remains closed to allow construction of a landing stage just below Dudbridge Bridge. This work is taking longer than planned due to high water levels. To help offset this, canal levels between Dudbridge and Ryeford have been temporarily reduced.

Dudbridge Locks (SO836048): The priority here is to complete the bypass channel – taking river water around the locks – by 1st October. Work on the river channel is not possible after this date due to the onset of the fish spawning season. Once this is done, work can begin on restoring the two Dudbridge Locks. This may have to be delayed; as heritage structures, the locks must be restored using lime mortar – which cannot be used when there is a risk of frost.

Chestnut Lane (SO840050): Steelwork for the new swing bridge is now in place. The bridge deck will be laid shortly. It will be electro-mechanically operated and capable of carrying 44 tonne vehicles. Work is expected to continue until September.

Capels Mill (SO852047): Piling on this site continues. Sheet piling is complete; these sheets will retain the towpath. Around half of the concrete bored piles have now been inserted; these will retain the landfill slope. At the western end, around half of the canal channel has been excavated, but this cannot be completed until an 18” water main has been diverted later in the year.
Public open days will be held here on Friday 14th September (1pm – 4pm) and Saturday 15th September (10am – 1pm). See http://www.cotswoldcanals.com/pages/posts/capels-mill-progress-report-no.-4-465.php for more information; why not pop in to Wallbridge Visitor Centre beforehand to put what will be on view into context?

Griffins Mill (SO858036): Volunteers from the Cotswold Canals Trust continue to do a sterling job on restoring this lock. Following a week long work series of Work parties involving CCT volunteers there will be a further boost from two weeks of work camps involving the Waterway Recovery Group, who had originally been scheduled to work on Inglesham Lock near Lechlade.

Cotswold Canals Knowledge: Over 150 students from Archway School and The Prince’s Trust were involved with canal projects last month. Completion of the 25m x 2m mural underneath Dudbridge Bridge by 11-14 year-old Archway students was no mean task. The finished mural can be viewed by the public once the towpath under the bridge reopens next month.

Did you know… When full, Wallbridge Upper Lock contains 482 tonnes of water!

(As usual I am indebted to Dave Marshall, SDC, for this update. Thanks, Dave)

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THE PUGWASH PIRATES

Congratulations to volunteers Iain Tweedie and Paul Rees who have both recently qualified as Tugmasters.

This means that Tugmaster-in-Chief Tony Jones is now looking for more volunteers to follow in their wake, especially as the Trust will have the use of ex-BW workboat "Wookey Hole" once she is fully restored.

Training will take place during Western Depot volunteering days, namely Mondays & Wednesdays, as this will provide the opportunity for hands on experience. The tug is regularly used then to help maintain a clear channel thro
ugh the navigable stretch from Stonehouse eastwards.

Tony says that if there is sufficient demand then it could be possible to arrange some weekend training sessions.

Interested? If so, seek out Tony around 09:00/09:30 at Western Depot (you can't miss him, trust me) or contact him on 01453 762915, email jonestheboats@yahoo.co.uk for more information.

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WALLBRIDGE WORKS WONDERS

Despite a few Doubting Thomas' at the time, the decision to move the Trust's headquarters from Cirencester to Stroud a couple of years ago has proven to be the right one. Our profile amongst the community rose almost overnight – and we have never looked back.

Since the Wallbridge Visitor Centre opened it is fair to say that membership numbers have – well, rocketed. We have just broached the 7,000 barrier and that indicates an increase of over 1,500 in just 2 years! Although it is obviously not responsible for every single one it is nevertheless accountable for by far and away the majority of new members recruited during that time.

In my mind this figure amply demonstrates the enthusiasm, interest and support that there is for the restoration amongst the Great British Public, not only in Stroud itself but in the whole of Gloucestershire and indeed beyond.

One way to enthuse the membership, volunteers and supporters in general is to keep them regularly updated with what's going on………..and that, of course, is where ENews comes in! 

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A NETTE GAIN

We have a revamped floating asset………

After a number of false starts crew and route familiarisation training can finally take place aboard "Annette", the latest addition to the Trust's fleet.

The boat will be based at Ebley Mill (grid reference SO829046) and it is to be hoped that public trips could be available along the restored section of canal before the end of the trip boat season.

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COMING UP……

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
*Wednesdays and Sundays from 09:00: Work parties at Griffins Mill Lock*
Thursdays from 10:00 – 15:30: Volunteer sessions aimed at people new to volunteering; meet Bell House Wallbridge. CCT members also welcome.
*Thursdays from 16:30: Evening Work Parties at Eisey

AUGUST
22nd – *Work Party Summit Level from 10:00
28th – *CAG Meeting Bell House Wallbridge from 19:30
29th – *Work Party Summit Level from 10:00

SEPTEMBER
8th – *Festival of Nature, Stroud (Roadshow Activity)
8th/9th – *Gloucester Lock 200 event, Gloucester Docks (Roadshow Activity)
11th – Western Branch meeting Fromebridge Mill 19:30. PLEASE NOTE THIS AND FUTURE MEETINGS WILL BE HELD ON THE 2nd TUESDAY OF THE MONTH
14th – Open Afternoon at Capel's Mill, 13:00 – 16:00
15th(1) – Open Morning at Capel's Mill, 10:00 – 13:00
15th(2) – *Queen's Jubilee event at Slimbridge (both a Roadshow and trip boat Activity)
19th – Eastern Branch meeting, Trout Inn Lechlade 19:30
26th – *CAG Meeting Crown Cerney Wick from 19:30

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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. Any and all feedback is more than welcome.

David Pagett
Editor, ENews