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ENews 2008-20

14th July 2008

Good morning, welcome to ENews 2008-20.

And an especially warm (if slightly damp) welcome to those of you who are receiving ENews for the first time, either because you joined the CCT or the mailing list (or indeed both) as a result of Saul Festival last weekend.

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

Please feel free to email with any newsworthy items you would like to be considered for inclusion but please remember – there should always be a connection, however tenuous, with the Stroudwater, the Thames & Severn or the CCT!

All and any feedback is more than welcome.



Saul Festival will make a profit!



This overview of the Festival from the perspective of the Guvnor Clive Field:

"The build-up week – Set up in the scorching sun. Sun block & water purchased for volunteers.

Waterway Recovery Group – South West bring their biggest contingent ever and exercise their energy, skills and ingenuity to the highest levels.

New managers – Tradeshow, traders' campsite, car park and ticket sales managers all approached their tasks with grins & gusto.

Support Staff – 387 people donned the green shirt and enjoyed helping others enjoy the weekend.

Friday – Afternoon opening. We were all ready at 4pm. 'This is looking good' we all thought. Bumper takings in the Drum & Monkey.

Saturday – The high winds created some challenges for the stall holders. If the recent Crick Show's premature closure through high winds was mentioned once it was mentioned a thousand times. Worrying times for the management team!

Sunday – The rains came down and the public stayed home in droves, although those who braved the elements thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

The following week. Site breakdown and clear up was hampered by the continued 'four seasons in one day'.

Conclusions – Kind messages of appreciation from happy festival goers andindications of a financial surplus cheered up the Festival Management team!

Overall, what a fantastic effort. There was tremendous spirit shown by everybody involved in bringing the Festival together and then keeping it going in less than favourable climatic conditions. My grateful thanks to you all, whatever your level of contribution happened to be."



And this one from Festival Support Staff Manager Colin Magrath:

"Well, wasn't that a wet one! Really successful nevertheless due to that that wonderful band of people who gave up their time to assist at the Festival.
I find it quite remarkable that the GREEN SHIRT BRIGADE has grown and grown over the years and just keeps on growing. This year around 150 new volunteers joined us but sadly we were missing a few of our veterans due to illness and holidays.

Lovely feedback from volunteers and the public alike; Howard Sutton the Car Park Manager remarked that a number of visitors had thanked him for what the volunteers were doing. That sort of reaction is what makes it all worthwhile.

Only 16 volunteers failed to turn up or notify me that they could not attend and this was a fantastic improvement on last year. So my heartfelt thanks go to all those of you who signed in this time round."



Finally, this from Roadshow Manager Mike Slade:

"Hello Roadshow helpers at The Saul Canal Festival and a sincere thank you to you all. It was a great treat to for me to welcome some new volunteer staff onto the Roadshow, hopefully those of you who helped for the first time may like to consider helping at future Roadshow events……just let me know if you would like further information!

An extra special word of thanks to those stalwarts who stayed on after the Festival Tradeshow closed on Sunday. They spent an hour and a half packing up and loading the trailer and dismantling the marquees in what can only be described as diabolical weather.

Overall I thought the Festival was a fantastic event, especially after thedisappointment of last year, and what I really noticed was that visitors to the Roadshow stand all seemed so positive about the future of the restoration now that the Heritage Lottery Fund has made its decision."


ENews 2008-19, reporting the HLF decision and Stroud District Council's Nigel Studdert-Kennedy's announcement.

Here is a brief extract from Nigel's statement made on the 26th June, primarily for the benefit of our new subscribers:

"The Heritage Lottery Fund today announced its confirmation, subject to certain conditions, of the award of £11,924 million – which was first awarded to the project in 2006. This is fantastic news for the Stroud District and for the negotiating team. HLF has accepted our business plan for restoring the canal between Stonehouse and Brimscombe and placed its faith in our ability to lead the project with support from the Cotswold Canals Trust."

I shall let you know if/when I receive details of any terms and conditions attached.



As if WRG volunteers hadn't been busy enough for us over the last few weeks, another group of them has spent a week's camp at Gough's Orchard Lock, the first lock west of Brimscombe Port on the Thames & Severn Canal. This is the beginning of quite a major and complicated lock restoration project.
A large amount of previously dumped material had been removed from the head of the lock and several bore holes and trial pits excavated so that the contents could be analysed. This gave access to the brickwork which was found, at least at the top end, to be in pretty good condition. Additionally a number of interesting artefacts have been unearthed including the remains of lock gates.
The WRGies are repairing the brickwork and resetting the coping stones. The current wet conditions are not helping though and the site has been compared with conditions that troops must have faced in the Somme. Whilst they are on site they also hope to carry out repairs to the leak in the bank downstream near Jubilee Bridge………but only if the presently high water levels fall somewhat.

They will be back later this year as further work parties are scheduled at this site.



The Trust's trip launch Inglesham will be running daily – that's right, daily – at Lechlade during School Summer Holidays (subject only to the usual limitations -weather, river conditions and crew availability).

So……if you fancy a leisurely glide along a beautiful, historic stretch of the Thames up to the junction with the T&S canal, or if you are at a loss to find some entertainment for the grandchildren, do please go along as you'll be made more than welcome.


A message from Ron Read, Inglesham crew roster supremo:

"Could Inglesham crew who will be available during August either update the Connect roster or contact me, with their details – as soon as possible, please!"



Further information and contact details about items marked* appear on the Message Boards on the Activities page of the 'Connect' Volunteers website at

Monday & Wednesday mornings: Weekly maintenance activity at Western Depot, Eastington*

Thursday evenings: Work Part
ies in the Latton/Cerney Wick area*

Every Saturday & Sunday: Trip boat Inglesham operating at Lechlade, River Thames*

Every Saturday & Sunday: Trip boat Perseverance operating at Saul Junction, Gloucester & Sharpness Canal*

14th July: Western Branch monthly meeting, Fromebridge Mill Whitminster 7:30pm. Off the A38 roundabout near M5 junction 13.
Everybody welcome

16th July: 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

19th July: Roadshow at Stroud Country Show, Stratford Park*.
Volunteers required, please, especially for putting up and taking down the marquee.


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

David Pagett