ENews 2013-06

4th August, 2013

Hello and welcome to ENews 2013-06.

Depending upon which program is used, some readers may be wondering why the formatting of ENews can appear a little odd on occasions, i.e. with apparent use of double spacing here and there. This is neither intentional nor by design; it seems to be a quirk that comes with using plain text on the phpList system we use.
So the current layout is set to continue – unless someone knows how the issue can be resolved without resorting to a HTML format, of course……..

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The headlines for this issue:

Quarterly draw is completed
Three members are sharing a grand
Update on just what's been happening
The weather has got some quite tanned.

The hunt is on for any milestones
That may still exist somewhere odd
Sorry to mention so early
But I'm giving Christmas a prod.

Pre-owned stuff for sale at the Depot
To help with the funding campaign
There's been a faller at Stonehouse
The trip boat's OK in the main.

Now read on for the stories behind the headlines………..

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3 MINUTES TO 11

Or 1057 if you prefer – the amount shared by the lucky winners in this quarter's Three Hundred Club Draw.

All 3 draws this year have paid out over GBP1000, no mean achievement!

The lucky winners were:
– First prize GBP634: Mr S Hawkins, Box
– Second prize GBP317: Mr B Fletcher, Chalford
– Third prize GBP106: Mrs E Hoad, Tetbury

The Three Hundred Club is the Trust's lottery held every January, April, July and October and membership is open to all CCT members. An annual stake costs GBP15 and a member may hold up to 4 stakes.

Further information can be found on the Three Hundred Club page of the Trust's website at www.cotswoldcanals.com .

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RESTORATION BITS N PIECES
(With Ordnance Survey grid references in brackets)

– Ebley: Regular boat trips are now under way on the Stroudwater Canal, departure point is Cloth Mills Bridge (SO828046). Public and Charter trips are available, go to the 'Boat Trips' page on the Trust website for further information.
– Ebley: The new swing bridge outside Ebley Mill (SO828046 again) has now been installed by the developer. The access path and brick work is almost complete, with just the towpath to be made good by volunteers.
A civic opening is planned for 11th October to coincide with planned open days at Dudbridge Locks (see next item).
– Dudbridge Locks (SO836048): Work on refurbishing the two Dudbridge Locks has started. The GBP330,000 contract has been let to Land & Water Services.
Open days are planned for Friday 11th and Saturday 12th October when members of the public will have the opportunity to actually go into the locks. The open days will take in the recently completed hydro-electric turbine (that has had to be shut down for the duration of the majority of the works). Tours of this facility will need to be booked in advance, further information in due course via the CCT website and/or ENews..
-Towpath closure: The work at Dudbridge Locks will probably last until November. This means the towpath will be closed for the duration of the works between Dudbridge Bridge (SO835048) and Chestnut Lane Bridge (SO840050) as a safety measure.
– Capels Mill (SO852047): Contractors have now left the site. Western Depot volunteers recently installed two benches, funded by the Veolia Environmental Trust.
Extra fencing will prevent walkers going up dead ends – and shallow water warning signs are being erected to try and deter tombstoners from ending up dead.
8200 sq m of wild flower seed has just been sown,creating a large meadow in the middle of Stroud. The Canal Project Team is working with the Stroud Valleys Project on a landscaping scheme for the site, to include areas of trees. 
– Cheapside (SO849049): Urgent action has been taken to solve the problem of low water levels at Wallbridge Upper Lock (SO848050). This was because the small pound at Dr Newtons Way was always higher than it should be – due to the canal being silted up and blocked by landslips at Cheapside . As soon as the new cut at Capels Mill was opened the level dropped to something nearer the design depth but – there was no feed through to Wallbridge. As an urgent stop gap measure, water was back pumped from below Wallbridge Upper Lock, preventing the whole length from Dr Newton’s Way to Wallbridge from drying up and killing a large number of fish. However back pumping could not continue indefinitely, so contractors were commissioned to cut a trench through the silt. This means that water from Capels Mill now flows through to Wallbridge instead of weiring over into the River Frome at Arundel Aqueduct (SO854046).
Engineers from Halcrow are examining options to take water from the River Frome at Brimscombe Port (SO869022), Gough’s Orchard (SO865024) or Bowbridge (SO857042).
– Volunteering: CCT volunteers have continued with the refurbishment of Blunder Lock (SO786060) on Phase 1B, whilst the Western Depot Logging Team has recovered a substantial quantity of felled Scots Pine which will keep the home fires burning, as one might say, via their Log Delivery Service. Further information about this Service can be found on the Trust website.
Volunteers are also busy installing commemorative benches along the canal – these benches are being made at Eastern Depot near Cricklade, using reclaimed Greenheart timber from former dock installations at Portland Harbour.
Another group of volunteers continues with the task of rebuilding Griffin Mill Lock (SO858036). Work has concentrated on rebuilding the brickwork within the lock chamber and continuing with the landscaping of the site. Work at both Griffin Mill and Ham Mill Locks (SO859032) has been given a significant boost by the presence of visiting Waterway Recovery Group volunteers, both at weekends and for a week-long Canal Camp at the end of June.
Work undertaken by the Tuesday and Thursday volunteers is now focussed on Capels Mill, having substantially completed the towpath upgrade between Stroud and Brimscombe. The Tuesday volunteers are also installing posts and signs for the Dog Control Zone established along the canal corridor. This work is on behalf of SDC’s Environmental Protection team, who are paying for all materials.

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AMNESTY MILESTONE

There's a fascinating piece about Thames & Severn milestone plates that is well worth a read on the website at http://www.cotswoldcanals.com/pages/posts/thames-severn-canal-milestone-plates-554.php

Now then. If you happen to know that there's one leaning up against the fence in next door's garden – or in your own, come to that – and you would like to see them repatriated then I am sure Jon Pontefract at Stroud District Council would be more than happy to offer an appropriate amnesty.

Jon can be contacted at jon.pontefract@stroud.gov.uk 

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IT'S NEVER TWERLY…….

…..To start thinking about Christmas which is, after all, only about 19 weeks away…………..

The new range of Christmas cards is available now and can be purchased online via the Trust website or at either Saul or Wallbridge Visitor Centres. Also available is the 2014 calendar with some wonderfully atmospheric photos fr
om our own in-house cameraman extraordinaire Mike Gallagher.

If you are thinking of buying then don't delay – I seem to recall everything sold out rather quickly last year!

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SELLING? O NO

The Western Depot often receives donations of unwanted stuff for it to sell to raise funds. These can comprise garden equipment, scrap metal (which we are happy to have as we can sell that on to a scrap metal dealer) and on occasions old oil and other unidentified substances which, quite frankly, we do not want as we cannot get rid of them either.

Brief details of what's currently available, offered for sale to ENews readers on a "Or Near Offer" basis :-

– Dinghy. This is believed to be an “Enterprise” dinghy. It is 4m long and 1.5m beam. With an outboard engine it would be ideal for cruising the Cotswold Canals! It needs some TLC but the plastic hull is in good condition. Offers based on GBP100
– Garden Shredder, 1800W. This electric garden shredder is in full working order. The paintwork needs some TLC. It dismantles very easily and safely if an oversize piece of garden waste jams it. Offers based on GBP25
– Garden Rotavator. This item has been fully refurbished by the WD engineering team. Offers based on GBP65
– Small trailer. This ingenious trailer is made from an old filing cabinet. It is 110cm long, 90cm wide and 30cm deep. Offers based on GBP100

Pictures of these items can be viewed at http://www.cct.teamconnect.org.uk/display_photo_gallery.php – the Gallery can be viewed by all, not just registered Connect users.

Alternatively to view any of them in the flesh as it were, just call in to Western Depot Eastington on a Monday or Wednesday between the hours of 09:00 and 15:00.

Free delivery can be arranged within a 15 mile radius of Eastington.

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TREE MEND US

Between Upper Mills Bridge (SO805048) and the old railway bridge (SO806047) in Stonehouse there are some rather dodgy-looking willows on the offside.

Some of these appear to be leaning at what could best be described as a jaunty angle and indeed one of them decided to shed a significant limb recently.

Thanks to the prompt action of Western Depot volunteers the towpath was quickly cleared. However the Ebley trip boat operation has been suspended on this stretch for obvious reasons, meaning that for the time being 'Endeavour' will turn above or below Ryeford Double Lock (SO819046) – just in case.

Steps are being taken to resolve all this, but due cognisance of wildlife habitat and tree conservation issues has to be taken……………….now I know exactly what you are thinking……..

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THE WHAT'S ON DIARY

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 & Thursdays from 09:00: Maintenance activity at Eastern Depot*
Tuesdays & Thursdays from 10:00-15:30: Volunteer sessions aimed at people new to volunteering; meet Bell House Wallbridge. CCT members also welcome.
Wednesdays & Sundays from 09:00: Work parties at Griffins Mill Lock*
Thursdays from 17:00: Work parties at Eisey*

AUGUST
13th – Western Branch meeting Fromebridge Mill Whitminster 19:30
21st – Eastern Branch meeting, Trout Inn Lechlade 19:30
27th – Construction Action Group meeting Down Ampney Village Hall 19:30

SEPTEMBER
7th – Roadshow at Stroud Festival of Nature
10th – Western Branch meeting Fromebridge Mill Whitminster 19:30
18th – Eastern Branch meeting Trout Inn Lechlade 19:30
24th – CAG meeting Bell House Wallbridge 19:30
28/29th – London WRG at Ham Mill Lock.* CCT Volunteers welcome

OCTOBER
8th – Western Branch meeting, Fromebridge Mill Whitminster 19:30
16th – Eastern Branch meeting Trout Inn Lechlade 19:30
22nd – CAG meeting Down Ampney Village Hall 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

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