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ENews 2012-03

28 February 2012

Hello, welcome to ENews 2012-03.


For those in the east with a wood stove
Our own logs can now be supplied
1A is coming on nicely
There's no way that can be denied.

Tasters are starting at weekends
Fortnightly to see how they go
Refreshments at Stroud on the Water
Tea and cakes on show at the Show.

If tugging a barge takes your fancy
Then time on Goliath could suit
London's water may come from the Severn
If transfer proposals bear fruit.



I am delighted to announce the opening of a Log Delivery Service Branch Office in the east of our region at Alex Farm, Eisey, also known as the Eastern Maintenance Depot.

Same prices and same booking arrangements as currently exist at Western Depot, Eastington; further information is available at

Stocks are plentiful at both eastern & western bases, so why not consider ordering now – at 2011/12 prices – to lay down for next winter?


PHASE 1A DEVELOPMENTS UPDATE  (With Ordnance Survey grid references for those unfamiliar with the locations)

At Stonehouse Ocean (SO 797050): Concrete has been poured for both the new swing bridge mounting and the landing platform.
At Ebley Mill (SO 829046): Large amounts of concrete for the flood gate channel have now been poured. The flood gates themselves will be installed in the first week of March.
At Frome Gardens (SO 833047): Bank protection matting has been laid on both sides of the overflow weir, which will allow any excess water in the canal to flow back into the river channel before it causes a problem downstream. The crest of the new weir will be capped with concrete blocks and the towpath carried on the raised walkway over. At the old confluence, where river water left the canal, the concrete base which will govern levels upstream has been cast. Installation of the proposed fish pass is the next task.
At Dudbridge Locks (SO 836048): All piles on the north bank are now in place and south bank piling has started. Excavation of the channel bypassing the two locks has begun at the upstream end, as has excavation for the bypass pipe which will run under Dudbridge road bridge. In the 1950s the flow of three streams was diverted into the canal. It is this flow which will be diverted around the locks – and power the hydro installation.
At Chestnut Lane (SO 840050): Excavation for the gas main diversion just upstream of Gasworks Bridge is now complete, paving the way to actually divert the main. A temporary diversion road is complete and expected to be brought into use by the end of February.
At Wallbridge -1 (SO 848050): Gloucestershire County Council has undertaken a consultation on the future of the road running over the old Wallbridge Bridge which meets Dr Newton’s Way roundabout. The consultation finished on the 17th February and the outcome is awaited.
At Wallbridge -2: Such has been the success of the Thursday ‘drop-in’ volunteering scheme, it is now being extended to Saturdays in order to give an opportunity to those in weekday employment. Sessions will initially take place on a fortnightly basis, the first one was scheduled for 25th February.
At Capels Mill (SO 853046): Planning consent has now been granted for constructing a new length of canal through this part of Stroud, where Dr Newton’s Way occupies the route (and level) once taken by the canal. Volunteers and contractors are well advanced with tree removal, which must be carried out before the bird nesting season.
At Brimscombe Port (SO 869022): The tenders received in December proved disappointing, no developer fully met the criteria jointly laid down by SDC, the community, Cotswold Canals Trust and Stroud Valleys Canals Company (owners). Discussions will be continuing with the developer who made the best bid, whilst other options are examined, such as developing the site in smaller parcels.



Follwing the undoubted success of the Thursday "Volunteer Taster Sessions" that were introduced by Canal Project Volunteer Manager Jon Pontefract, he has decided to cater for those who cannot make it midweek because of work committments.

From Saturday 25th February and on a fortnightly basis thereafter (see below for dates) similar sessions to the Thursday ones will be introduced.

Meet at 10:00 at the Wallbridge Visitor Centre. Further information from Jon on 01453 754287 or email

Any existing CCT volunteers who are at a loose end are more than welcome to come along, too.



A volunteer run Tea and Cake stall is proposed for the Stroud on Water Festival in June, to run over all 3 days and on a shift basis.

Stallholder-in-Chief Anna Watts would dearly like to hear from anyone who feels they can contribute to staffing the stall for a few hours.

Anna can be contacted via email at or on either of the Wattmobiles, 07976 617983 or 07800 581167.



Tugmeister Tony Jones reports that he has commenced workboat handling training by making use of the Trust's tug 'Goliath' and the hopper barges 'Samson' and/or 'Delilah'.

The objective here is to build up a pool of suitably qualified volunteers to keep costs down with both the current Phase 1A of the restoration and with Phase 1B (the stretch from Stonehouse Ocean down to Saul Junction on the Gloucester-Sharpness Canal).

It goes without saying that trained crew will be expected to "repay" the training costs incurred by volunteering on a regular basis when the call goes out!

A  set of illustrated 'Information Notes' has been produced and a copy will be available to each trainee along with a worksheet to record his or her progress towards the ultimate goal, namely the Waterway Recovery Group Driver's Authorisation Ticket with a '021c. Tug' classification.

Training is currently taking place on Mondays and Wednesdays, mustering at Western Depot, but should there be sufficient demand it may be possible to undertake some training at weekends.

For further information please contact Tony on 01453 762915 or email



All this talk of drought in the southeast has reopened the debate about the possibility (and sense) of using some of the canal network for water transfer purposes.

And guess where the most logical route lies? As has been mentioned in previous editions of ENews the route from the Severn to the Thames via the Stroudwater Navigation & Thames & Severn Canals would be ideally suited for this purpose; it is envisaged by those that know about these things that up to 300 million litres per day could be pumped up to Sapperton Tunnel at which stage gravity would take over for the remainder of the journey.

That volume of water would fill 120 olympic-sized swimming pools…………..daily.

Chief Executive Ken Burgin is enthusiastic. “This scheme has huge advantages over more tradition solutions like reservoirs and pipelines,” he says, “The energy costs would be around half that of a pipeline, due mainly to lower friction losses. Pipelines are also expensive to install. A reservoir big enough to solve the problem would have to be roughly the
size of Heathrow Airport. That is a lot of countryside to lose in the South East and would not be popular.”

Best guesstimate as to likely costs at this early stage are GBP250 million. Now that sounds an awful lot of money; nevertheless it compares somewhat favourably with the guesstimate for a pipeline (GBP2.6 billion) or reservoir in the Abingdon area (GBP1 billion)



For further information and contact details about items marked* please go to  and the Message Boards on the Activities and Rosters page. 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.
Alternate Saturdays from 10:00: (See below for dates) Volunteer sessions aimed at people new to volunteering but unavailable during the week; meet Bell House Wallbridge. CCT members also welcome.

28th – Construction Action Group meeting Bell House Wallbridge*

4th – Work Party Stonehouse – Daneway*
10th – Work Party Wallbridge area, from 10:00
11th(1) – Work Party Summit Level (East portal of Sapperton Tunnel)*
11th(2) – Work Party Griffins Mill Lock*
12th – Western Branch meeting Fromebridge Mill 19:30
18th – Work Party Griffins Mill Lock*
21st – Eastern Branch meeting, Trout Inn Lechlade 19:30. Talk entitled “Ropes and Knots” speaker David Beamont.
24th – Work Party Wallbridge area, from 10:00
25th – Work Party Stonehouse – Daneway*
27th – Construction Action Group meeting Crown Cerney Wick*

1st(1) – Work Party Summit Level (East portal of Sapperton Tunnel)*
1st(2) – Work Party Griffins Mill Lock*
7th – Work Party Wallbridge area, from 10:00
9th – Western Branch meeting Fromebridge Mill 19:30
15th(1) – Work Party Summit Level (East portal of Sapperton Tunnel)*
15th(2) – Work Party Griffins Mill Lock*
18th – Eastern Branch meeting, Trout Inn Lechlade 19:30. Talk entitled “East End Restoration Work” speakers John Maxted & Martin Thompson
21st – Work Party Wallbridge area, from 10:00
22nd – Work Party Stonehouse – Daneway*
24th – Construction Action Group meeting Bell House Wallbridge*
29th – Work Party Summit Level (East portal of Sapperton Tunnel)*


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.

If you think you have missed an issue of ENews there is a full archive (from April 2006 when the first issue was published) at

Any and all feedback is more than welcome.

David Pagett
Editor, ENews