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ENews 2009-17

Hello and welcome to ENews 2009-17.The headlines today:

Mark's parties still running, rumours are wrong,
Plans for Wallbridge, to see go along.
Upper Mills Bridge, has an appeal,
Scrub bash and clearance, banks to reveal.
Bypass successful, Keith's feeling miffed
Christmas is coming, stuck for a gift?
Canal's sprung a leak, repairs underway,
Do you need an O? Then get one today.
Christmas cards coming, of the canal,
Successor found, for Charter King Mal
Seen something odd? Please tell Ken Bailey,
If you've got a skill, we're trying to nail 'ee!



Rumours of Mark Welton's departure from his Summit Work Parties have been greatly exaggerated following news that he is moving to the Oxford area.

Says Mark: "I note from the (WAG) minutes, and I also hear on the grapevine, that I am quitting the post of Leader of the Summit Group, THIS IS NOT TRUE. Although I have told one or two people that I intend moving up to Oxford I have NEVER expressed any intention of quitting a job which I have thoroughly enjoyed for the last 10 years, give or take a few months. So someone has been a little creative with the facts here!"

There you have it; Mark's next Work Party (at the Tunnel House Inn end of the tunnel) is on the 1st November, further details can be found on the Connect Message Board.



Gloucestershire County Council has updated its website to include details of the proposed new A46 Bridge over the Thames & Severn Canal at Merrywalks, Stroud.

There are some good drawings of the proposed diversion route during construction and a draft of what the end result should look like. And an exhibition on the 19th November in the Sub Rooms, Stroud, from 12:30pm to 7:30pm is the place to go for further information.



Issue 2009-16 mentioned the launch of the appeal towards the anticipated £400,000 cost of moving and rebuilding Upper Mills Bridge at Stonehouse. Further information about the project can be found at

I'm able to report that the appeal has got off to a promising start and currently stands at a figure of around £13,300. CCT Chairman Liz Payne would like to thank those who have donated so promptly and so generously. There is still a long way to go, however!

Given the "little local difficulties" being experienced at the moment by Mr Mandelson, Mr Croker & the CWU in trying to deliver a postal service to you and me, it may be apposite to mention that there is the facility to safely and securely donate online via the PayPal system, details on the website page referred to earlier.


ENews 2009-16 referred to the deposit of dredgings in the Ryeford area which means the section to be dredged will need to be prepared so the dredger can get through the overhanging and fallen trees.

The good news is that formal approval for us to manage the vegetation on the offside of the canal here has now been received. In addition to teams from the Western Depot's Monday & Wednesday crew venturing out to do their African Queen bit, further Work Parties will be needed and the first of these will be on Sunday 1st November.

More information can be found on the Connect website, go to the Activities and Rosters page and then the 'Volunteer Activity Programme' Message Board.



Trust Council Director Keith Harding suffered a serious heart attack a couple of months ago. He was kind enough to provide me with the gory details but you may be eating as you read this…..

Suffice to say the coronary by-pass seems to have gone really well & Keith feels he should be back in circulation and able to take an active part in Trust activities again early in the New Year.

Keep that recovery going, Keith!



As the Festive Season is fast approaching, have you thought about some waterways related purchases for your chugging chums?

Firstly the rather nice Thames Head print described in ENews 2009-15 remains available, there's a picture of a similar one in the Connect Photo Gallery. If No 15 has gone to that great recycling bin in the sky then you can access a copy in the archive at for contact details and further information.

Then there is the Heritage Centre at Saul that is stocking an ever expanding list of book titles to suit your purse (or your debit/credit card if you prefer). Trevor Yorke's "Narrowboats Explained" and Dylan Branch's "Saul Stories" are proving to be hot favourites.

CCT members Jan & Tom Low have been hard at work making the chalk boards, letter racks and book marks decorated in their distinctive and admired canalware style. Also popular are the calendars & Christmas cards produced by The Inland Waterways Association.

In case the long term forecast is for a Cool Yule, now is the time to stock up on your bags of slow burning, sweet smelling, seasoned oak off-cuts whilst stocks last. Assuming you have a fire, of course. To paraphrase that well-known advert (which is very apt as a certain Twiggy is one of their regular models) "This is not just firewood…… this is Cotswold Canals Trust firewood!"

And don't forget – this season's Santa Cruises start on the 6th December. Helpers will be required, so if you want to dust off your recently acquired COBM then the Connect website at is the place to go to get your name on the Roster. 



There's a problem on (or under) the towpath in the Thrupp area around Jubilee Bridge.

Bricks have been dislodged by tree roots over the years and now these roots have rotted away leaks have appeared. Water is escaping from the canal into the River Frome and several voids up to one metre deep have been found under the towpath, thereby weakening the embankment.

The remedial work will cost in the region of £20,000 and is being funded by Gloucestershire County Council and Stroud District Council. Work has started to locate all the leaks and voids, once located they will be filled with a clay mix before a new stone surface is laid.

Photos of what the problem looked like last weekend appear in the Photo Gallery.



Many of you send emails or letters on behalf of Cotswold Canals Trust or Cotswold Canals Trust (Trading) Ltd. For some while now it has been a requirement that certain details of the organisation – like those at the foot of this newsletter – have to appear.

It now transpires that the Trust's and the Trading Company's respective Company Registration Numbers are in need of an additional zero.

If this article affects you at all, please note the Trust's number should read 01207787, that for the Trading Company 02884496.



Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without the CCT Christmas Card and, despite rumours to the contrary, I am reliably informed that we shall have plentiful supplies in roughly 2 weeks' time. Further information in the next ENews and there could well be a flyer with all the information you'll need in the next edition of "the Trow" too.



Many of you will know already that Saul trip boat Charter Manager par excellence Mal Brown has had to step down on health grounds.

Mal has done a fantastic job during his pe
riod in charge, building up the Perseverance charter business and both his and his wife Vera's commitment has been outstanding.

I am pleased to report that long time member Paul Roberts has accepted the challenge to follow in Mal & Vera's footsteps.

Thanks Mal & Vera – welcome aboard Paul!



If you regularly walk any sections of the canals between Saul Junction in the west and Lechlade in the east and see anything that looks "unusual" then Trust Council Director Ken Bailey would really like to receive an email from you. Some examples could be leaks in the canal bank, recently fallen trees, serious rubbish dumping, gaping holes in the towpath and so on.

Ken has a couple of addresses you can use, namely Ken@ladywood.f9.couk  or  and if you could supply pictures at the same time you would make him a really happy man.



Now would be a good time to remind all volunteers and potential volunteers of our designated volunteer website called Connect. It can be found at

As mentioned elsewhere in this newsletter the start of the restoration proper looks like it's really close now. What will be of tremendous help is if those of you with certain skills to offer can make sure that you are registered as a volunteer on Connect and have identified the skills you possess!

We need to know who we can approach to help with elements of the various volunteer projects that will arise. For example those who are qualified to drive, and have experience of driving, diggers, dumpers, tugs, and dredgers are likely to be in strong demand. Similarly we may well be seeking suitably qualified chainsaw operatives (as opposed to those of us who have used a chainsaw for many years). In all cases we shall require a copy of up to date qualifications and any accompanying certificates that have been obtained from the likes of Lantra or NPTC for example – for both Health & Safety and insurance reasons.

If you fit the bill, please register on Connect if you have not already done so. If you would like to discuss this further then email or telephone me on 01452 505322.



For further information and contact details about items marked* please go to the Message Boards on the Activities and Rosters page at 
If you wish to become a registered volunteer just follow the "Register Me Now" link.

*Mondays & Wednesdays from 9:00am: Maintenance activity at Western Depot, Eastington
*Saturdays from 9:00am: Tug, dredger & barge restoration activity at Western Depot, Eastington


*Tonight – Work Action Group meeting, Heritage Centre Saul 7:30pm
*31st – London WRG at Eisey Lock (and 1st November)    


*1st (1) – London WRG at Eisey Lock
*1st (2) – Work Party Summit Level (Coates)
*1st (3) – Work Party (bankside vegetation clearance) near Ryeford (Volunteer Activity Programme Message Board)
 2nd – Western Branch Meeting at Fromebridge Mill, Whitminster from 7:30pm, everybody welcome. Restoration update by either Bruce Hall from the Cotswold Canals Partnership or by Ken Burgin, CCT Chief Executive
*8th – Work Party at Ryeford (Saul-Daneway Message Board)
*14th – Stroud Farmers Market
*15th – Work Party Summit Level (Coates)
18th – Eastern Branch meeting at the Trout Inn, Lechlade from 7:30pm, everybody welcome
*22nd – Work Party (bankside vegetation clearance) near Ryeford (Volunteer Activity Programme Message Board)
*24th – Work Action Group meeting, The Crown Cerney Wick 7:30pm
*29th – Work Party Summit Level (Coates)


*6th: (1) – Start of Santa Cruise Season at Saul Junction. From10:00, last trip around 15:30
*6th: (2) – Work Party at Ryeford (Saul-Daneway Message Board)
7th: – *NOTE VENUE CHANGE*Western Branch Meeting at Gloucester Yacht Club, Victoria Basin Gloucester Docks from 7:30pm, everybody welcome. Restoration update by either Bruce Hall from the Cotswold Canals Partnership or Ken Burgin, CCT Chief Executive
*12th: – Santa Cruises at Saul Junction from10:00, last trip around 15:30
*13th: (1) – Santa Cruises at Saul Junction from10:00, last trip around 15:30
*13th: (2) – Work Party (bankside vegetation clearance) near Ryeford (Volunteer Activity Programme Message Board)
*18th: – Work Party Summit Level, Coates
*19th: – Santa Cruises at Saul Junction from10:00, last trip around 15:30
*20th: – Santa Cruises at Saul Junction from10:00, last trip around 15:30. FINAL DAY!


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 please 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: 01207787.
Registered Office: Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1NZ