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ENews 2008-11

14th April 2008
Hello, welcome to ENews 2008-11.

The objective of ENews is to advise, inform and update. And maybe even to amuse from time to time.

I have not got a way through every bund, so please feel free to email with any newsworthy items you would like to be considered for inclusion.

All and any feedback is more than welcome.



Further information about most of these items appears on the Activities page of the 'Connect' Volunteers website at

14th April: Crick Show planning meeting, Saul Heritage Centre. 7:30pm start. A get-together for all those going to Crick and/or who can help with the preparations at Western Depot, Eastington.

16th April: Eastern Branch monthly meeting at the Trout Inn, Lechlade. On the north bank of the Thames by the A417 bridge. 7:30pm start, everybody welcome

17th & 24th April: Evening Work Parties in the Latton/Cerney Wick area. See 'Work Parties Cerney Latton area' Message Board

20th April: Work Party Chalford area, contact details on the 'Work Parties Saul to Daneway' Message Board.

21st April: Lechlade History Society meeting 19:15 for 19:30 at the Lechlade Memorial Hall. Speaker Theo Stening has chosen a title of "The Re-Birth of the Cotswold Canals". All welcome; there is a charge of £3.00 per person per meeting for guests.
Further information from Mike Cawsey, or 01367 252401

26th/27th April: Another Dig Deep weekend at Eisey Lock. Further details appeared in ENews 2008-8 and are on the Connect website's Eisey Lock Message Board – or you can contact Ken Burgin

27th April: Canamble, the annual sponsored walk raising funds for the CCT. See for full details and a sponsorship form

1st May and every Thursday: Evening Work Parties in the Latton/Cerney Wick area. See 'Work Parties Cerney Latton area' Message Board

12th May: (PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DATE FROM "FIRST MONDAY" BECAUSE OF MAY BANK HOLIDAY) Western Branch monthly meeting at Fromebridge Mill, on A38 roundabout west of M5 junction 13. 7:30pm start, everybody welcome.

31st May/1st June: Advance notice of the Roadshow's proposed attendance at Gloucester Antiques & Collectors Fair in Gloucester Docks. If you will be available to help, please contact Roadshow Manager Mike Slade as soon as you can, email or telephone 0117 9693270



With the Oil Mills restoration nearing completion it is disappointing to report that a problem has risen from the silt, namely a sewer pipe crossing the canal bed just to the west of Oil Mills Bridge and about which BW appear to have been previously unaware.

Suffice it to say that they seem reluctant to resolve this problem, despite earlier assurances that they would do a 'Magnus Magnusson' on this stretch before packing their bags, i.e. they'd started so they'd finish. Those in a position to bring pressure to bear are on the case……

Not only that but there's also a problem with the proposed removal of the bund to the east of the bridge that may take a while to resolve too. All to do with the enforcement of a "Section 106" agreement.



Hot on the heels of Richard Harrison's departure from the partnership comes news that James Blockley has secured alternative employment with the Cotswold Conservation Board as their Cotswold Way National Trail Officer.

For those of you who may not be aware, James was the Partnership's Community Links Involvement Co-Ordinator – at least he hasn't had to reduce the length of his job title with this new role – instrumental in arranging the layout, design & content of all the posters & display panels that have cropped up along and around Phase 1A amongst many other behind the scenes activities. He has probably attended more meetings in the canal corridor than I've had hot dinners, always managing to remain positive in the face of occasional adversity.

I know that James is thrilled to bits about this new role after the disappointment of the brouhaha caused by BW's withdrawal. He leaves with our grateful thanks for all he has achieved over the past 21 months.



ENews 2008-9 heralded the proposed training weekend on the 10th/11th May and the following has been culled from an email Harry Edwards has received from WRG:

"The Training Weekend is being held on the 10th/11th May in Lichfield, with training on the Lichfield Canal. We hope to offer training on the usual favourites – excavators, dumpers, vans, trailers, surveying, bricklaying, banksman, scaffolding and first aid. More details and a booking form will be sent out in April, but if you would like to book on the weekend (cost £15) please contact Alison 'Womble' Bottomley directly If anyone is willing to be an instructor for the weekend please also contact Womble."



As you will have seen from the "What's On" guide at the beginning of this Newsletter this year's Canamble is taking place on the 27th April.

Richard Attwood needs a couple more people to help at the Ebley Mill checkpoint. This is the start and finish line & is also the checkpoint for those undertaking the shorter walk. Ideally you will be available from 08:30 to 17:00, but if you can offer just the morning or afternoon then I am sure something can be sorted out.

Four more people are also need to be part of the "Last Man" team who walk all or part of the route, starting at 10:30 by when all walkers should have left.

If you can help with either request please phone Richard on 01453 792021.



Training is continuing for volunteers in lime mortar and masonry repairs, a very important element of the Brimscombe Port Walls project. On site training is provided by the Royal Agricultural College.

Courses last 2 days and cover:

Introduction to the use of lime mortars; the correct hand tools; practical work in raking out and preparation of masonry joints; carrying out lime mortar pointing; cutting and dressing stone; practical work in laying stone with lime mortar; cleaning a wall after masonry repair work.

There are spaces available on the following courses:

Tues 15th & Mon 21st April
Tues 22nd & Wed 23rd April
Tues 6th May & Thurs 8th May …… more courses are being planned for later in the month.

Trainees need to be over 16, capable of undertaking manual work and there is no upper age limit.

PLEASE NOTE. There is no cost to individual volunteers, but please ensure you can attend on the days chosen as there are training costs which have to be covered by the Port Walls Restoration Fund.

Contact David Viner for more details on 07710 175441 or



The 11th annual Saul Festival is only 11 weeks or so away now, Festival Director Clive Field & his team are busy beavering away behind the scenes making sure everything is in place. Meanwhile the quest for volunteers continues unabated…

Many thanks to the 200 or so of you who have already registered because the Festival
only works with the tremendous effort & enthusiasm displayed by volunteers of all ages and abilities.

Remember that undertaking just two 2-hour shifts gets you free access to the Festival site for the whole weekend. Rest assured there are still plenty of volunteering opportunities available!

If you go to
you will discover the range of opportunities on offer. From this page you can follow the various links to, for example, download a registration form, view the rotas to see where help is still needed or indeed to contact Colin Magrath the Support Staff Manager if you would like further information.



CCT member John Copping is looking to "investigate and record" the roundhouse at Inglesham as part of a diploma course module. His research will centre on what he finds there, but he would really like to hear from others with a greater knowledge than he on their history, design, function, purpose and so on.

John has a whole list of questions and queries he would like to resolve, a few examples are:

– Were there further roundhouses in addition to the remaining five?
– Why particularly were they built 'round'?
– What was the typical size of an occupant family?
– Were they built before or after the canal opened?
If you can help John, or point him in the right direction for other sources of comments or ideas, please contact him by email at or by phone 01926 403966


Bye for now – please remember to send me any newsworthy items for inclusion in future issues.

David Pagett