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Dudbridge Locks Restoration Report No.4

Restoration progresses

The team engaged in the restoration of the two locks at Dudbridge now numbers six bricklayers. Our visit on the afternoon of Wednesday 25th September revealed Pete Levett’s Swindon based team hard at work beneath the scaffolding in Foundry Lock.

Sensitive restoration

Land & Water’s Chris Spencer explained the hive of activity portrayed in the first of CCT Photographer Mike Gallagher’s pictures…

“We have virtually completed the removal of the old damaged masonry; the boys are now hard at work laying bricks in the gaps created by that stage of the project.

“We are keen to help people understand that we are not building two new lock chambers. What is going on here is the sensitive restoration of some ancient structures; that is why we are using traditional lime mortar and as many of the original bricks as possible.”

Music while you work

It is not unusual for a team of bricklayers to enjoy music while they work. The Dudbridge team are no exception…

An ancient mortar splattered portable radio played in the background behind the continual chink & tap of the cutting & setting of bricks.

What was interesting was that the bricklaying team from Wiltshire were soaking up the sounds provided by Stroud FM, the volunteer run local radio station situated just a mile or so from Dudbridge.

Musical memories

At the end of a music track about Clowns some quiz style banter ensued.

‘That takes me back, ‘Death of a Clown’ by The Kinks wasn’t it?’ was the assertion of one person present old enough to know.

‘No, that would have been ‘Ha-Ha said the Clown’ – came the contrary view from another 'contestant' – ‘Because Stroud FM play a lot of classic oldies and Mike D’Abo out of Manfred Mann lives near here.’

 Click here to see CCT photographer
Mike Gallagher’s photo set of Wednesday’s visit
Adjudication called for

A call to Stroud FM’s presenter Cresby Brown requesting a check of Wednesday afternoon’s playlist confirmed that if Points had been awarded… the ‘The Kinks’ answer would have won the Prizes.Work did not stop during this brief journey back into the collective musical memories of those present.This was a good thing as the Dudbridge Locks Open Days are imminent.

Public Open Days at Dudbridge Locks

Following the success of the Public Open Days at Capels Mill in May, Land & Water and Stroud District Council Canal Restoration team will host two public open days that will provide a unique opportunity for the public to view the ‘invert’ bottom) of Foundry Lock – (the upper lock). Staff will be on hand to explain the locks project and its progress.

The dates are Friday 11th October from 1pm – 5pm and Saturday 12th October from 10am – 1pm. Make a note in your diary.