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ENews 2011-11

19 August 2011
Hello, and a warm welcome to ENews 2011-11.

The Centennial Cruise set off last Friday on its journey via the 2 routes currently available to Lechlade, celebrating the 100 years that have passed since the last boat was able to take the somewhat more direct 36 mile one via the Stroudwater and Thames & Severn canals.

I have received the following progress reports. The first is from Graham Hobbs (he of the bagpipes for those of you who witnessed the send-off) relating to those going up north, the second from Martin Turner the convoy leader for those going down south.

(The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice that the 2 itineraries below do not quite marry up towards the end of their respective journeys, but I am sure the 2 elements will effortlessly merge into 1 at the appropriate time…)

There was a great send off from Saul.  The Northern cruise is on schedule and has been told by bystanders that they came across us in media we hadn’t contacted, such as local radio outside of Gloucestershire.

Four boats are forming the flotilla on the northern route, namely Wildcat, Scotty, Greeves and Intrigue.  We can be short of crew sometimes and it has been appreciated when CCT supporters have turned out to help with locks, rattle collecting tins, etc.  If any others could do so as we pass through their areas, wearing CCT T-shirts if possible we would value the help. If anyone can support us on any occasion you are welcome.  perhaps you could contact your local newspaper/radio/TV? Latest up to date information can be had from Wendy Beamont, who is doing a sterling job of leading this team,  on 07503 219417.

We are cruising until about 4/5pm each day although factors beyond our control can obviously upset the apple cart here.The schedule for the next two weeks is:

– Friday 19th  Mooring at Wooton Wawen
– Saturday 20th Mooring at Kingswood Junction
– Sunday 21st Mooring at Saltisford Arm
– Monday 22nd Mooring at Foss Wharf
– Tuesday 23rd Mooring at Napton
– Wednesday 24th Mooring at Fenny Compton (Wildcat’s home)
– Thursday 25th: Mooring at Banbury
– Friday 26th  Free day in case the schedule has slipped
– Saturday 27th Activity day at Banbury
– Sunday 28th Mooring at Lower Heyford
– Monday 29th Mooring at Wolvercote
– Tuesday 30th Meet up with southern route boats (if they’ve overcome all their setbacks) possibly mooring at Eynsham Lock time unknown.
– Wednesday 31st Mooring at Bablock Hythe
– Thursday 1st Sept: Mooring at Radcote Bridge about 3 pm
– Friday 2nd : Arrive Lechlade Halfpenny Bridge about 1 pm
– Saturday 3rd: Free day
– Sunday 4th: Official arrival Riverside Park – parade of boats and Family fun day all day.  Centennial cruise dinner in the evening.
As many of you will be aware we were delayed by the weather but made it to Bristol arriving at 9pm on Sunday after an 11-hour day.

The publicity we have produced has been amazing, my phone has been red hot. If any of you have contacts with the local media, radio /tv papers etc why not let them know? We have had a tremendous response locally with fantastic publicity, our canals need help and six boats arriving dressed overall seems at present to press the right buttons, My phone number is 07860 521876 and I am happy to do interviews etc.

The convoy going south is made up of  Doinmein,  Aquariga,  Lucky B,  Quidditch,  Lord Toulouse and Minimum M. Our revised itinerary is as follows.
– Friday 19th August Arrive Bath Churchill Bridge Moorings
– Saturday 20th Bath. Pultney Weir moorings as they become available
– Sunday 21st Day in Bath
– Monday 22nd Claverton Pumping Station, Special opening organised with the pump running, overnight at Avoncliff.
– Tuesday 23rd Arrive Foxhanger Wharf
– Wednesday 24th Caen Hill, 27 locks, we will have help here lock wheeling from the Avon and Wilts IWA and Kennet and Avon Trust, Moor Devizes Wharf
– Thursday 25th Arrive Pewsey moorings,
– Friday 26th Arrive Crofton Pumping Station
– Saturday 27th Arrive Hungerford
– Sunday 28th Arrive Newbury
– Monday 29th Arrive Aldermaston Quay
– Tuesday 30th Arrive  Reading Jail loop
– Wednesday 31st Wallingford town moorings
– Thursday 1st September Oxford Osney moorings
– Friday 2nd Arrive Babcock Hythe
– Saturday 3rd Arrive Lechlade
– Sunday 4th Lechlade Funday, Parade of boats

Many of you will be aware that Her Majesty celebrates her Diamond Jubilee in June next year and this just happens to coincide with our very own celebrations. It has to be said that she is not expected to attend,however. Wearing one of his other hats Martin Turner sent me the following update from his Centennial Cruise mooring in Bristol Docks.
Incorporating the IWA National Trailboat Festival, the Stroud on Water Festival will be taking place over the weekend of the 2nd – 4th June and is being designed to celebrate the opening of the first stretch of restored canal through Stroud. The behind the scenes organisation is progressing well and a summary of what has happened so far looks like this:
– The canal will be open past Marling School, the festival site, the contract for the locks has been let and the completion date April 2012.
– We will have around 30-40 boats on site, these are Trailboats around 25ft long that gain access to the Canal via a slipway. Currently 6 potential sites are being evaluated.
– The festival site is superb and within a short time you will be able to see the site plan on our web site
– Already the Marquees are booked and trip boats will be operating.
– We will have continuous entertainment  in the form of various music, choirs, bands and the like and a stage is booked.
– Whilst we have several thousand pounds of sponsorship we will be charging for entry.
– We already have trader bookings and we intend to have a large craft area, demonstrations of craft in fact plenty going on, most important of all will be a family area where we already have a climbing wall and playbus booked .
– Also plenty of quality catering. Some things will change but we have a quality festival with national coverage that the CCT will be proud of so put it in your diaries now!
If you would like to join the Festival Volunteer Team please register your interest via the Volunteer website that can be found at
– The new Stroud Brewery Bridge at Merrywalks opened to traffic on 21st July. An official opening, involving the canal beneath the bridge, will follow in a few months time.
– The Lockkeeper’s Cafe behind Wallbridge Visitor Centre has now opened.
– Tenders have been invited for repair work to Wallbridge Upper Lock alongside the cafe.
– A £1.4m contract for structures works between Ebley and Wallbridge has been
awarded to Galliford Try (formerly Morrisons) Construction. This will involve reconstruction of the confluence at Frome Gardens and building a new overflow weir just upstream of Ebley Mill. It will also involve refurbishment of Dudbridge Upper and Lower Locks. Work is expected to start in early September. This work will have the effect of raising the water level as far as Wallbridge, giving the appearance of a restored canal and allowing the Stroud on Water Festival to take place next June.
– Work is underway in the Marling School playing field to divert a sewer around the new lock bypass channel during the school summer holidays.
– September will also see the start of work on constructing new swing bridges at Stonehouse Ocean (delayed by a wedding at St Cyr’s Church!) and Chestnut Lane, Stroud. A third bridge at Lodgemore Lane, Stroud, has been removed from the contract as the Team examines the possibility of building a carbon-fibre composite bridge at this location, potentially enabling it to carry vehicles of over 20 tonnes but still be hand operated.
– At Hilly Orchard, Cainscross, agreement has now been reached between SDC, the Environment Agency and Cainscross Parish Council over the problem of the high-level bridge. A planning application is about to be submitted for an extra span on the bridge, connecting to a mound and gentle ramp down to ground level. People with disabilities and buggy users have been using the temporary low-level wooden bridge, which is blocking canal navigation.
– Contractors will soon be starting work at Griffin’s Mill Lock, Thrupp to construct bunds above and below the lock. Material will also be cleared from the lock chamber itself. This work will clear the way for CCT volunteers to begin repair work on the lock.
– Four developers have now been invited to submit bids for the redevelopment of Brimscombe Port. The bids will be assessed by a team involving the council, Stroud Valleys Canal Company (which owns the site), Brimscombe & Thrupp Parish Council and perhaps others.
– Field used for disposal of dredgings at Horsetrough Roundabout has been returned to the farmer and ploughed.
– Landing stage and ramp being constructed at Upper Mills to permit operation of trip boat.
– Ryeford Swing Bridge has been made fully operational.
– Ryeford Double Lock won Runner-up in the Historic Environment category of the Waterway Renaissance Awards.
– Severn Trent Water main now lowered below canal bed level above Ryeford Locks.
– Thursday volunteers doing an excellent job constructing new path linking Dr Newton’s Way to the towpath.
– CCT has designed paddle gear for 1A – acceptable on price, heritage and safety grounds.
For further information and contact details about items marked* please go to the Message Boards on the Activities and Rosters page at
To become a registered volunteer please follow the Register Me Now link.

Mondays & Wednesdays from 09:00: Maintenance activity at Western Depot*.
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 09:00: Maintenance activity at Eastern Depot*.
Thursdays from 10:00 – 15:30: Volunteer taster sessions (towpath clearance) aimed at people new to volunteering; meet Bell House Wallbridge. CCT members also welcome.

23rd – Construction Action Group Meeting, Crown Inn Cerney Wick 19:30*.
26th-28th – CCT Roadshow at Tall Ships Event Gloucester Docks*.
27th – Roadshow at Banbury re: Centennial Cruise
4th – Roadshow at Lechlade Fun Day* to mark arrival of Centennial Cruise participants
10th-11th – KESCRG at Eysey Lock*
10th – Roadshow at Stroud Festival of Nature*
10th/11th – Roadshow at Oxford Open Doors project, Hythe Bridge, Oxford
12th – Western Branch meeting, Fromebridge Mill Whitminster 19:30
18th – Work party Brimscombe-Daneway section, details TBA*
21st – Eastern Branch meeting Trout Inn Lechlade 19:30
27th – Construction Action Group meeting Bell House Wallbridge 19:30*
2nd – Work party Brimscombe-Daneway section, venue TBA*
10th – Western Branch meeting, Fromebridge Mill Whitminster 19:30
19th – Eastern Branch meeting Trout Inn Lechlade 19:30
22nd – CCT AGM at SDC Offices Ebley Mill Stroud from 10:30
23rd – Work party Brimscombe-Daneway section, venue TBA*
25th – Construction Action Group meeting Crown Inn Cerney Wick 19:30*
7th – Western Branch meeting, Fromebridge Mill Whitminster 19:30
13th – Work party Brimscombe-Daneway section, venue TBA*
16th – Eastern Branch meeting Trout Inn Lechlade 19:30
22nd – Construction Action Group meeting Bell House Wallbridge 19:30*
Any and all feedback is more than welcome. 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.
Both the Trust website and the Partnership website are good sources of information on restoration progress with up to date news articles and pictures of progress. You can receive a Twitter feed from the Cotswold Canals Partnership from direct to your mobile or PC.
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David Pagett
Editor, ENews