Print This Post Print This Post

ENews 2010-20

14 November 2010 

Hello and welcome to ENews 2010-20.

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

If you ever notice a break in the sequential numbering of ENews this means you have missed an issue that can happen for a variety of reasons. There is always a copy of the latest one displayed at together with a full archive from Day 1 back on 3rd April 2006.

You can receive a Twitter feed from the Cotswold Canals Partnership from direct to your mobile or PC.

The Partnership website at is a good source for regular updates on restoration progress. Follow the Whats Happening link then choose from the myriad of options that open up for you.


The headlines today:

The Merrywalks Bridge nears completion
With maybe just two months to go
The news on Ben Selfe is much better
And Santa is coming Ho Ho.

Gardiners Construction of Eastcombe
Have offered to lend us some kit
Some bits and bobs all about 1A
Lots happening by the looks of it.

Construction Group dinner at Cerney
You can get tickets from Ron
Western Branch meeting in Gloucester
Alan in charge from now on.



Works on the Merrywalks Bridge in Stroud will be completed in January. The bridge was originally scheduled to open later this month, but several little local difficulties have been encountered that have resulted in the slight delay.

These included heavy rain causing high flows in Slad Brook resulting in flooding of the site that delayed preparation of the bridge base, obstructions encountered during installation of both concrete bored and sheet piling, unexpectedly soft ground encountered at the bridge base requiring further excavation and filling, and BT cables that were at a lower level than expected.

Nigel Edgeworth, project manager, says: "It is disappointing that the road will not now be opened by Christmas, but unfortunately we couldn?t have foreseen the issues we?ve had with the construction site. However, the diversion using Wallbridge has worked so well."

Maybe we could raise funds for the restoration by opening a book on whether the diversion will stay in place once the bridge is completed……



Many of you will be aware that Ben Selfe, that knotty chap, author and BSS Examiner was rather poorly last year.

I am delighted to report that he has made an excellent recovery from the lung surgery he endured and has been given a clean bill of health for the coming 12 months at least.

Ben has bounced back into the swing of Boat Safety Examinations and is definitely open for business. You can find Ben in Saul Junction Marina during the week, or out on his R.W. Davis mooring at weekends. Contact Ben on or call 07767 880951.



A reminder (as if you needed one) that Christmas is just around the corner.

Already? I hear you say. I know.

Once again Santa is visiting Saul to be on board trip boat Perseverance during weekends in December and further details appear on the Trust website at

The website has an online shop too where you will find a good selection of the books currently available. For those difficult to find stocking fillers there is a great range of canal related artifacts available at Saul Heritage Centre or Wallbridge Visitor Centre.



The Trust is indebted to Chris Gardiner and Gardiners Construction Services of Eastcombe, Stroud.

Chris has donated the use of two 13 tonne excavators and operators to speed up the completion of the Spine Road to Cerney Wick dredging project. This work can recommence in early December once the 33,000 volt overhead power line is switched off, thereby giving access to previously inaccessible areas of the canal bank.

This should have happened when the initial dredging work was being undertaken, but due to a failure along the alternative power line this one was kept live to provide power to Cirencester.

Gardiners have already provided qualified chainsaw operatives free of charge and plan to do further work for the Trust during the winter period.

The Trust is indeed very grateful to Chris Gardiner for these most generous gestures of support.



– Work is due to be completed on the renovation of Ryeford Double Lock within a month.
– The crane at Dudbridge Wharf is to be tidied up, the viewing gates painted and an interpretation panel installed. The wharf walls will be cleared, repaired and possibly used as a re-positioned towpath.
– Planning permission is expected soon for the restoration of Griffins Mill Lock and work could start in early 2011.
– There are still plans afoot for a hydro electric scheme at Dudbridge.
– There is an old slipway at Ryeford that the dredging contractor is to clean out to check what is actually there and whether it could have a future use. 
– Ham Mill or Bowbridge Locks could provide a possible project for Gardiners Construction Services (see story above).
– Specialist and non-specialist work has been established by Stroud District Council engineers who are putting it into a time plan. This will then be allocated to CCT volunteers. 



The Construction Group Christmas Dinner will be held at the Crown Inn Cerney Wick on Wednesday 8th December, kick off 12:30, at a cost of £15 per head.

Details of the menu options and tickets for the event are available from Western Depot Manager Ron Kerby, 01453 836018 and 07710 872295 or email – but you will have to be quick as there is a cutoff date of Friday 26th November.



The next Western Group meeting will be at the Gloucester Yacht Club on Monday 6th December. Please note the change of venue for this month only. The club opens at 19:00 for the usual 19:30 start.

Mike Langford recently relinquished the reins as Chairman and Alan Watts has stepped into his shoes. Alan says: "I am aiming for a somewhat different format for this and subsequent meetings. Trust Council have agreed to send a Council Member to future meetings – Steve Pickover will be joining us on the 6th – to explain their particular role in the Trust, to answer members questions and to convey back to Council any constructive criticism or suggestions raised at the meeting. A summary of any significant points raised will be emailed to Council and I shall endeavour to follow these up.
I hope the meetings will still be seen as sociable but will become more directed so that some of the frustrations of members, particularly active volunteers, are addressed. It should also help new members get some idea of the structure of the Trust and its Partners".



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 and Wednesdays from 9:00am: Maintenance activity at Western Depot
*Tuesdays and
Thursdays from 9:00am: Maintenance activity at Eastern Depot


17th: Eastern Branch monthly meeting, Trout Inn Lechlade from 19:30
19th: Open Afternoon at Upper Mills Bridge site, Stonehouse 13:00 to 16:00
20th: Open Morning at Up[per Mills Bridge site, Stonehouse 10:00 to 14:00
*23rd: Construction Action Group meeting Crown Cerney Wick
28th: Work Party Inglesham Roundhouse (Work Parties Brimscombe Daneway Message Board)


5th, 11th, 12th, 18th and 19th: Santa Cruises at Saul Junction
6th: Western Branch meeting at Gloucester Yacht Club in The Docks 19:30. NOTE VENUE CHANGE FOR THIS MONTH ONLY
*11th/12th: Newbury Working Party Group weekend at Eysey Lock
*19th: Work Party Brimscombe-Daneway


Any newsworthy items for consideration should be sent to but please remember I am always looking for 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.
Bell House, Wallbridge Lock, Stroud, Glos GL5 3JS
Company Registered in England No: 01207787.
Registered Office: Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1NZ