Wallbridge Lower Lock — Local contractor announced
SDC Canal Restoration Project Manager Dave Marshall announces that Gardiners Construction of Chalford have been contracted to deal with some challenges at Wallbridge Lower Lock.
Gardiners have previous experience on the Cotswold Canals restoration.
Their next job, beginning on Monday 11th April, is to prop up the failed wall at the tail of the lock. Once that is secured Gardiners will then remove the remains of a long ago collapsed building on the lock offside.
Volunteer led lock restoration
Dave Marshall explains…
“Wallbridge Lower Lock is being restored by the SDC led Cotswold Canals Partnership Volunteers. We need the site to be made safe so that those volunteers can continue the excellent job they are making of the restoration of this historic structure. It is the first lock on the Thames & Severn Canal first opened in 1789.
“Gardiner’s contract will reduce the weight of the slope immediately above the lock whilst creating a safe working space below. SDC will then oversee the structural examination of the failed wall in order to understand the cause, extent and solution to the problem.”
The photo below shows the failed offside wall at the lower end, or ‘tail’, of the lock.
|The photo below shows the busy SDC volunteers relocating coping stones.|
Two more challenges
1. Unstable embankment to be stabilised
Between the offside of the lock, and below Stroudwater Court — the recently completed McCarthy & Stone development, there is a steep bank of largely unstable surface material.
It appears that this embankment may have been created by historic rubbish tipping during the times when disused canals were considered to be the appropriate repository for such waste. The SDC team is working with McCarthy & Stone to clear as much of this material as possible.
The photo below shows the steep bank above the lock.
2. Collapsed towpath edge to be replaced
Comparative costings have been obtained to repair the collapsed canal edge along the towpath side of the canal.
The solution is at the design stage but will probably involve the use of interlocking ‘porcupine’ blocks. The plan is for the blocks to be laid by the team of increasingly skilled SDC Cotswold Canals Partnership Volunteers led by Jon Pontefract & Paul Weller.
Preparatory work by volunteers
In the meantime the volunteers, often referred to as ‘The Tuesday & Thursday Team’ are reducing the height of the towpath edge to diminish the amount of material that will need to be relocated. This work will also serve as preparation for the professional re-routing of a high voltage cable which runs beneath the towpath
Time to spare and energy to share?
If you have time to spare & energy to share then why not come along and join in?
The ‘Tuesday & Thursday Team’ meet at the Cotswold Canals Trust Visitor Centre at Wallbridge Lock at 9:30am on those days.
Just pop in and meet the team leaders as they brief the volunteers over a cup of tea.
Alternatively, click here to email Jon Pontefract beforehand, or give him a call on 07986 351 412
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