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ENews 2009-14

20 August 2009

Hello and welcome to ENews 2009-14. Coming up:

African Queen stuff, cutting way through,
Jobs for Phase 1A, at Dursley Pool too.
Problems with hogweed, knotweed as well,
Membership numbers, continue to swell.
Assistance is needed, with fibre glass,
And oil drums too – can you surpass?
Efforts rewarded, letter of thanks,
Now been refitted, dredger's side tanks.



Gloucestershire County Council has placed an order with Suttons Contractors to cut a 2 metre wide channel through the reeds between Beales Lock and St Mary's Lock (they are east of Brimscombe heading towards Chalford).

This work started on the 10th August and the order includes 10 tonne of stone to raise a low section of towpath in the area.



New canal project vacancies have been posted on

These jobs are open to all, and I should perhaps make it clear that there is no preferential treatment for either CCT members or ENews readers as every applicant will be judged on his or her merits. It would be rather nice if "one of ours" was the successful candidate though……

As you may have guessed the jobs on offer at Dursley Swimming Pool are not canal project related…..but you are still welcome to apply if you are interested!



Bruce Hall from the Cotswold Canals Partnership came along to the last Western Branch meeting at the beginning of August and gave a really informative PowerPoint presentation on where we are with Phase 1A of the restoration. 

A summary of the salient points covered can be found at

Meanwhile the lads & lasses from Waterway Recovery Group continue their sterling work at Gough's Orchard Lock, Brimscombe. The scene a little further upstream at Chalford has been transformed recently with the replacement of all the coping stones and the installation of a good looking Information Panel. A couple of pictures of the scene here can be found on the Connect Photo Gallery page at  

There's another Information Panel gone in at Ryeford Bridge too.



Membership Supremo Des Pinnock reports that our members currently number just under 5,500, which is an all time record.

Many of you may not be aware that Des handles all aspects of the Membership process on his own. Amongst other things this entails welcoming new members, changing addresses, preparing the annual Gift Aid claim and making sure you and I have paid our renewal subs every year.

Well done Des and thank you for all your (mainly unsung) hard work on behalf of the Trust



Turn his hand to anything Member Tony Jones reports that he is building a work-punt for the Trust. The bits and pieces have been knocked up in his drive at Rodborough and will be moved shortly so that it can be assembled in a fellow member's garage. This is where you could come in, particularly if you are pretty handy with a power driver, as fitting the bottom ply panels requires some nifty screwing and nailing before the glue goes off. 

Tony is also looking for someone familiar with fibre glass techniques, something he says is missing from his own repertoire. Any help with skills and materials would be much appreciated.

You can contact Tony (either to lend a hand or just to have a look at what he's been up to) by email at or on 01453 762915.



Do you know where we could get our hands on some empty 45 gallon (200 litre if you prefer) or larger drums?

If you do could you please contact either Dudley Greenslade, or 01453 825515, or Roger Wells or 01453 544490.

Needless to say we can arrange collection, especially if they are currently languishing forlorn and neglected within a reasonable distance from Western Depot, Eastington….



It tends to be matters relating to Phase 1A that get all the attention at the moment, so many of you may not be aware that there is a dedicated band of workers regularly beavering away along the Thames & Severn Canal to the east of Cirencester. In addition to routine maintenance they keep the towpath under control and the area as a whole generally neat and tidy.

So it is particularly gratifying when the Chairman of Siddington Parish Council takes the trouble to write and thank the "Gang of Four", as they are known, for all their hard work and to let them know how much their efforts are appreciated. Hearty congratulations to Alan Merryweather, John Maxted, David Groebecker and Huw Jones on this well deserved recognition.

If you would like to join them in their Free Health Club then Alan or John would be delighted to hear from you. Alan's email is or 01285 643916 and John's, phone 01285 861011.



The Wednesday Crew at Western Depot, Eastington performed the delicate operation of replacing the dredger's buoyancy tanks earlier this week.

Each one was a little on the heavy side to say the least – I reckon around a ton would not be unduly overstating it – and given the dredger is currently a good few feet off the ground whilst it is being lovingly restored it was quite an achievement.

If you would like further details of activities at Eastington or indeed of Work Parties elsewhere and other events where you could join in then the Connect website is the place to go, You need to be registered as a volunteer to access the site, the registration process itself is straightforward.



For further information about items marked* and for contact details please go to the Message Boards on the Connect Activities page at 

*Mondays & Wednesdays: Maintenance activity at Western Depot, Eastington
*Tuesdays from 18:00 hrs: Tug, dredger & barge restoration activity at Western Depot, Eastington
*Thursdays from 17:30hrs: Work Party in/around Latton Basin


*23rd – Work Party Summit Level (Coates)….CANCELLED
*25th – Work Action Group Meeting, Heritage Centre Saul
*29th, 30th & 31st – IWA National at Ratcliffe on Soar, Notts


*6th – Work Party Summit Level (Coates)
7th – Western Branch Meeting at Fromebridge Mill, Whitminster. 19:30 start, everybody welcome. Restoration update by either Bruce Hall from the Cotswold Canals Partnership or by Ken Burgin, CCT Chief Executive
*12th – Stroud Farmers Market
*13th – Frampton Country Fair
16th – Eastern Branch meeting at the Trout Inn, Lechlade. 7.30pm start, everybody welcome
19th – Selsley Village Fete
*20th – Work Party Summit Level (Coates)
*22nd – Work Action Group Meeting, The Crown, Cerney Wick


The primary objective of ENews is to keep members, volunteers and subscribers up to date with what's happening within the Cotswold Canals Trust as a whole. Any and all feedback is more than welcome.

If you have any newsworthy items you would like to be considered for inclusion plea
se let me know at but please remember there should always be a connection with the Stroudwater, the Thames & Severn or the CCT – however tenuous.

David Pagett
Editor, ENews
The Cotswold Canals Trust – Registered Charity No: 269721.
44 Black Jack Street, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 2AA.  
Company Registered in England No: 1207787.
Registered Office: Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1NZ