ENews 2014-04

July 10th 2014

Hello and welcome to ENews 2014-04.
 
The headlines for this issue:-
 
The Logs Team have got a dilemma,
About how to gather in wood.
A riverside feast in the offing,
Here's hoping the weather is good.
Gift vouchers online for the trip boats,           
For adults and children alike.                              
The fish have been moved out of Wallbridge,                   
I wonder if they found a pike………                 
 
Now, please read on for the stories behind these headlines.
 
oOo
 
CCT – or CALLING CHARITABLE TRUCKERS…………..
 
This from my alter ego as ‘The Logman’ at Western Depot, Eastington:
 
Towards the beginning/middle of September it is highly likely that we shall be able to get our hands on a significant volume of wood; when I say significant I mean one heck of a lot, anything up to 60/70 tons, if not more. All nicely cut up into manageable lengths, too, as we shall have been on site for a few weeks beforehand preparing the wood for collection.
 
This latest opportunity to undertake our regular hunter-gatherer role presents us with an exciting challenge – because the wood needs to be collected from the north side of Bristol, roughly 25 miles each way from Western Depot.
 
We normally use The Transit van and 4-wheeled trailer, the combo that’s familiar to most of our log customers, but given the volume likely to be available the economics of chugging up and down the M5 on countless occasions with a relatively small payload each time simply don't bear thinking about.
 
And that got me wondering whether any readers could offer some form of assistance here. Utopia would be to secure the services of a large HGV tipper truck or similar – with suitably qualified driver thrown in hopefully – for a few days, depending upon the volume and number of trips per day – i.e. something that could bring back a good few tons at a time.
 
I hope to arrange a site visit shortly in the company of the tree surgeon who will be undertaking the felling, so this appeal is to ascertain the feasibility of collecting this much-needed wood for our ongoing and hugely successful log sales operation at a realistic cost to the Trust. If you feel you could help in any way then please can you contact me to discuss further – email logs@well-springs.co.uk or phone 01452 505322/07940 566758.
 
Thank you.
 
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DIY BBQ SJL
 
From Wendy Read at the Eastern End:
 
Instead of our usual July meeting we shall be having a BBQ at St. John’s Lock, Lechlade on FRIDAY July 18th at 7.00pm. This will be a DIY affair so please bring your own meat, drinks, plates and cutlery.
We will provide salads, sweets etc. etc.
 
Bring your family and friends for a BBQ beside the river, the more the merrier! Boat rides, and gazebos at hand if required.
 
All are welcome, all I would ask is that you let me know if you are coming by MONDAY JULY 13th please so us caterers can get busy. Email weread@btinternet.com or telephone 01367 252352.
 
I look forward to seeing you there!
 
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BOATING BRIEFS
 
Did you know that you can now buy gift vouchers for the Trust's trip boat operations at both Saul and Ebley? These vouchers are available for adult and child tickets, cost £4 and £2 respectively and can be purchased through the online shop (subject to a minimum purchase of £8) at http://goo.gl/G8TVdt or over the counter at either Saul or Wallbridge Visitor Centre.
 
If you fancy a trip aboard 'Endeavour' based at Ebley Wharf then you may like to know that there are now two canalside cafés available for your delictation, namely 'Kitsch Coffee' and 'Buttercup Buttery'.
Further information including details of opening hours appears at http://goo.gl/BIHDXF.
 
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WALLBRIDGE NEWS
 
Thanks as ever to David Marshall of Stroud District Council for the following report:
 
Wallbridge Lower Lock: Alun Griffiths Ltd has now begun work on site. An immediate issue came to light when the 11kVA cable under the towpath was not found to be on its expected alignment, making the use of sheet piles impossible. We are now exploring the possibility of achieving a vertical edge by using stakes and wire mesh instead. Meanwhile, we are arranging a meeting with the contractor responsible for realigning the cable!
Fish were removed from the pound between the two locks using a stun technique, and were relocated. This will enable Griffiths to remove the weir retaining the water above the lock, thus draining the pound. They can then begin silt and debris removal, as well as working on the banks. The bank issue is critical, since the bend here is tight and must be widened enough for a broad beam vessel.
We still expect Land & Water Services to begin dredging below the lock in July, once the necessary consents have been obtained from the Environment Agency.
We have installed two webcams covering this section. One is already live and can be found at www.stroud.gov.uk/canalcams. The other will be switched on once the Land & Water contract begins. They are high definition and refresh every 15 seconds. Our thanks to Nick Allen Design and WSP Textiles for allowing connection into their routers.
 
Volunteers: As always, our volunteers are busy! CCT volunteers from Weste
rn Depot have been carrying out much needed towpath strimming between Eastington and Brimscombe. Another team, working from the workboat Wookey Hole, have been clearing banks nearer the water surface. Then there's another team maintaining locks and gates. The fairly recently acquired reedcutting boat has been undergoing trials after modifications.
Yet another team has installed showers in the new volunteer facility at Brimscombe Port.
Our Tuesday group has finished brickwork repairs at Griffins Mill Lock, Thrupp and has now moved on to removing the collapsed wall at Bowbridge.
They have also been building a small retaining wall at Dudbridge Lower Lock, as part of the damage prevention exercise following the winter floods. The bigger Thursday group has finished laying the towpath base at Capel’s Mill and is now moving on to the top surface.
 
Education: Following on from the Thomas Keble School mural painted at Dr Newton’s Way in April, a new mural is taking shape under Downton Road Bridge, Stonehouse. This is being produced by young people from William Morris House, Eastington, a specialist college offering further education, training and social therapy for young people with learning disabilities.
 
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FORTHCOMING EVENTS
 
For further information (including contact details) about any items marked by an asterisk, please go to www.cct.teamconnect.org.uk and the Message Boards that can be found on the Activities and Rosters page.
To become a registered volunteer follow the Register Me Now link.
 
Mondays and Wednesdays from 09:00*: Maintenance activity at Western Depot Eastington.  
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 09:00*: Maintenance activity at Eastern Depot Eisey.  
Tuesdays from 10:00: Work Parties at Griffins Mill Lock.  
Thursdays from 10:00: Introductory volunteer sessions aimed at those new to volunteering. Meet Wallbridge Visitor Centre. Existing CCT volunteers more than welcome.  
Thursdays from 17:00: Work Parties Eisey area*  
 
JULY
18th (note change of date) – Eastern Branch meeting taking the form of a BBQ at St John's Lock Lechlade from 19:00.  
20th – Work Party Dudbridge Lock* (Work Parties Stonehouse – Daneway). 
22nd – Construction Action Group Meeting at Down Ampney Village Hall, 19:30  
 
AUGUST
12th – Noggin 'n' Natter at the Alehouse Stroud from 19:30.  
20th – Eastern Branch meeting Trout Inn Lechlade from 19:30.  
23rd/25th – Saul Waterways Pageant at Saul Junction. IWA event, see www.waterways.org.uk/festival  
26th – Construction Action Group Meeting at Brimscombe Port, 19:30  
 
oOo
 
If you have any item you consider newsworthy then please send me an email, although I would ask you to bear in mind that I always look for a connection with the Stroudwater, Thames and Severn or the CCT before considering any article for publication.
 
Any and all feedback – preferably good, but bad as well – is more than welcome.
 
PLEASE NOTE. We keep your email address on an electronic database for the sole purpose of contacting you in this way. We will never pass it on to any third party.
 
David Pagett
Editor, ENews