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ENews 2012-07

24th  May 2012

Hello and welcome to ENews 2012-07. And in case you are wondering, yes it is the first one in a long time!
A Brief Synopsis of today's stories is as follows:
Volunteer workers are given
A certificate and silver star
OneB application rejected
We shall try again in next year!
The Festival's on the horizon
All sorts of treats are in store
Volunteers needed in numbers
Plenty to do, that's for sure.
There's progress galore along 1A
A summary appears down below
Griffins Mill looking for helpers
Steve is your man in the know.
….But most welcome nonetheless.
Canal volunteers starred at Stroud Town Council Annual Awards ceremony at Stroud Subscription Rooms on Thursday 10th May.
Restoration Volunteers were named Environmental Champions in two separate age groups, Under 25 and 25 plus.
Award Certificates and engraved silver stars were presented to the winners.
A fuller report (and picture!) can be found on the Trust's website at under the 'Latest News' heading.
TO (1)B OR NOT TO (1)B
Readers may remember reference in previous issues to the application for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund for Phase 1B of the retoration, that's the 4-mile stretch from Stonehouse, west to Saul on the Gloucester-Sharpness Canal.
Well, the application was unsuccessful this time round, maybe because it was felt there needed to be further progress on the ground with Phase 1A. Also there is of course a certain event taking place in East London in July that has undoubtedly placed a huge strain on Lottery resources.
All is not lost, however, as a revised and stronger application is already being considered for submission in 12 months' time.
Martin Turner, joint organiser of the Stroud on Water Festival that is being held at Marling School on 2nd-4th June – see – reports: 
"The plans for the Festival are coming together well and all the stalls are sold. We have a very full programme with live music all day, children’s play area, plenty of food, bar, Trip Boats and to finish the event on Monday night a Jubilee firework display .The event will be opened by a Spitfire flypast just after midday on Saturday followed at 2pm by the official opening ceremony and boat procession. 
We expect to see up to 40 boats on the canal. The dredging is progressing well and yes we will have a fully restored 3.5 Km length of canal to navigate. There will be the opportunity to boat the whole length on an evening trip on one of the trip boats, this will include for the first time navigation through Ryeford Double Locks. Bookings will only be taken at the show, however, and on a first come first served basis.
There are still plenty of volunteering opportunities available! We ask for at least four hours time offer a reward of a very good T-shirt and free entry. Vacancies are available in stewarding ,parking, icecream sales to name but a few; contact Alan Watts by email on for further information. 
Come along and have a great time and support what is going to be a wonderful event."
(With Ordnance Survey references for those readers who may not be aware of locations)
– For the first time in, we believe, 71 years a vessel has navigated Ryeford Double Lock – in both directions! (SO819046)
Over the last few months the Trust's tug "Goliath" has been regularly seen on the stretch between the foot of the lock and Stonehouse, doing its best to keep the channel clear in addition to ferrying volunteers and materials to the 'inaccessible by road' Ryeford Locks. 
A couple of days ago it was time to put all their hard work installing the paddle gear to the test. No hitches, no glitches – everything worked as planned.
A celebratory pint was enjoyed by all in the Old Badger pub afterwards.
– The new hand operated, hydraulically-assisted swing bridge at Stonehouse Ocean (SO798050) has been installed and tested, albeit at an apparently jaunty angle that is currently being investigated.
– Contractors have removed the unsightly disused black pipe crossing the canal via Ryeford Bridge. (SO813046)
– A longstanding obstruction in the canal near Oil Mills Bridge Ebley (SO825046) will be removed later this month, where a sewer crosses the canal at insufficient depth, effectively blocking the canal. This will be lowered, using a thrust boring technique over a 200m length. The contract includes clearance of the canal channel at this point.
– The floodgates have been installed at Ebley Mill. (SO829046) The recent heavy rains allowed the purpose of the flood control installation to be put to the test. Whilst the gates are not yet operative the stop planks held back the water allowing it to back up to the Overspill Weir. 
– The recent rains ensured that the overflow weir at Frome Gardens (SO833047) was seen in action. 
– The metal extension ramp to the high level Hilly Orchard Bridge is now in place. Once complete it will facilitate access for buggies, wheelchairs etc and the removal of a ground level bridge that currently blocks the canal where the headroom can be measured in centimetres…….
– Work continues apace at Dudbridge Locks (SO836048) where piling of channel is now complete although the headwall to the bypass channel still needs to be piled. Works beneath the Dudbridge road bridge are substantially complete, comprising the walkway and scour protection.  Construction of the hydro-electric turbine chamber and its outlet culvert was delayed by complications with temporary work arrangements. Excavation of these is now underway, as is excavation of the main bypass channel alongside Dudbridge Upper Lock. 
– Contractors Land & Water are well under way with the widening of the canal between Lodgemore and Chestnut Lane Bridges (SO843050 and SO840050 respectively) and CCT volunteers got busy with the construction of a slipway on this stretch once Planning Permission had been received. Because of the imminence of the Stroud on Water Festival  work is taking place around the clock.
– The old swing bridge at Chestnut Lane has been removed, with excavations taking place to accommodate the machinery building. The new bridge will be electro-mechanically operated and capable of carrying 44 tonne vehicles. Work is expected to continue until September.
– Contractors have now begun work on the £2m contract to install 330m of new canal channel at Capel's Mill. (SO852047) The canal’s original route and level are occupied by Dr Newton’s Way. The site is sloping and during the 1970s was used as a refuse tip, making it one of the most challenging on the entire 37 mile Cotswold Canals. Work is expected to continue until early 2013.
– Work is about to begin on strengthening Bowbridge Bridge (SO857042) that will then allow heavy plant to cross the canal. This work is being done on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council, the bridge owners
Top fish Steve Hake is masterminding the volunteer-led restoration of Griffins Mill Lock – Grid Reference SO858036 – that is located between Bowbridge and Thrupp. He reports as follows:
The Griffins Mill site is now well established – and just needs some more volunteers to keep the momentum going! 
A great deal of work has already been undertaken but there is still plenty to do. You can find a summary of what we've been up to lately on the Griffins Mill Message Board on Connect, 
Our next scheduled work party is on Sunday 27th May, although this may change due to Stroud on Water jobs; contact me for confirmation one way or the other either by email or phone 07816 085579. New work party dates for the summer will be announced after the Festival.
I have experimented with work parties on Wednesdays but more support is needed to make these viable on an ongoing basis. Please contact me beforehand if you are thinking of coming along to one of these sessions as not all of them go ahead.
We have the equipment, we have tea and coffee and a caravan on site; all we need now is more volunteers! 
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 sessions aimed at people new to volunteering; meet Bell House Wallbridge. CCT members also welcome. 
Thursdays from 16:30: Evening Work Parties at Eisey* (From 12th April) 
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. 
26th – Blunder Lock Eastington, SoW Promotion Event (Roadshow Activity) 
27th(1) – Work Party Summit Level (East portal of Sapperton Tunnel)* 
27th(2) – Work Party Griffins Mill Lock* 
2nd – Work Party Wallbridge area, from 10:00 
2nd-4th – Stroud on Water Festival, Marling School Playing Fields 
10th – Work Party Summit Level (East portal of Sapperton Tunnel)* 
11th – Western Branch meeting Fromebridge Mill 19:30 
16th – Work Party Wallbridge area, from 10:00 
20th(1) – Wildlife Walk from Wallbridge, 10:00. 
20th(2) – Eastern Branch meeting, Trout Inn Lechlade 19:30 
23rd/24th – Historic Boat Rally, Braunston (Roadshow Activity) 
24th(1) – Work Party Stonehouse – Daneway* 
24th(2) – Eastington School Duck Race (Roadshow Activity) 
30th – Work Party Wallbridge area, from 10:00
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.
Any and all feedback is more than welcome.
David Pagett
Editor, ENews