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ENews 2012-08

3rd July 2012
Hello, welcome to ENews 2012-08.
In issue 2012-07 under the heading of ‘Restoration Bits N Bobs’ I made typically brief reference to the state of the recently completed Ocean Bridge, Stonehouse.
It transpires that this item raised more than a few eyebrows amongst residents in the vicinity of Ocean Bridge in view of the nature of the ongoing problems with it. I am truly sorry if any offence was caused by the 27-word sentence, that was certainly not my intention.
It maybe worth pointing out that ENews has never knowingly contained discouraging or critical items over its 6-year history – and I have never considered it a platform for the airing of particular gripes or grievances. The objective of published articles is to summarise what’s going on for the benefit of approximately 3,200 subscribers who are spread far and wide around the UK – and indeed the world.
A Brief Synopsis of today’s stories is as follows:
Graham is planning a new book
Based on the Tunnel this time
Roundhouse for sale up at Chalford
Location is certainly prime.
Festival had many plaudits
From those who enjoyed the event
Depots in need of assistance
Office staff help to augment.
Canal Cruising Club has been set up
Affiliate of CCT
BBQ meeting at Eisey
It’s DIY – so it’s free.
News on whats happening with 1A
Lots going on as you’ll learn
300 Club winners are happy
Next time it may be your turn.
Trip boat is back in the water
Now that the work has been done
Not only that there’s a workboat
Restoring that’s gonna be fun.
A couple of years ago now, local author and CCT Member Graham Hobbs compiled “The Story of Brimscombe Port” (available from Wallbridge Visitor Centre, Saul Heritage Centre and via mail order –
Well, never one to rest on his laurels, Graham is now in the process of producing one on Sapperton Tunnel where he will again be aided by children from the local school.
Graham would dearly like to hear from anyone who may have any unpublished photos, anecdotes or memorabilia which may help with the research, he can be contacted by phone on 01453 884778.
The historic Grade II listed Roundhouse at Chalford is up for sale – with the price tag set at a cool GBP375,000.
This report from Martin Turner, Stroud on Water Festival Head Honcho:
“The Stroud on Water event was a major success for the Trust. Some 11,000 people came through the gates and the overall reaction was WOW what a great time.
“The canal of course was the greatest success with boats on a long length. These created a huge interest and at times you could not get along the Towpath. The boat trips were a great success as well and we could have sold lots more tickets.
“Children’s entertainment was superb and the stage entertainment was compared favourably to much larger festivals. The overall reaction of the visitors was that this was the best event to hit Stroud in 10-15 years.
“For the Trust we obtained massive publicity. Television, Radio, Radio News, live programmes from the site plus blanket coverage in the main newspapers. All of this means that our profile was increased considerably and the support for the canal consolidated. Many said just get on with it! Stroud Council and Land and Water restored 2km of canal in 10 days some sort of record I think, we should all thank them.
“Lastly we should thank the army of volunteers who turned up on the gate and helped before and after the event. We ordered 300 T shirts and issued around 290! So thank you all for a great event.”
The Trust’s website at contains a fuller report and pictures can be found on photographer Nick Bird’s site at
If the following looks familiar then that’s because it first appeared in a similar format last October. Due to an unexpected change in the present jobholders’ circumstances we need to readvertise the role.
Are you retired and/or bored and looking for a way to volunteer to help the Cotswold Canals Trust without getting involved in the heavy or mucky stuff?
If so please read on……………
The Trust’s 2 Maintenance Depots, namely Western Depot at Eastington (just east of Junction 13 of the M5) and Eastern Depot at Alex Farm, Eisey (off the road that runs from the A419 at Cricklade to Kempsford) are in need of paperwork Kings or Queens – equal opportunities rule at both Depots – who would be happy to come along just one day per week to undertake a variety of interesting duties.
Volunteer Days at Western Depot are Mondays & Wednesdays, at Eastern Depot on Tuesdays & Thursdays.
The workforce is notoriously bad at paperwork, let alone keeping it up together. For example there are timesheets to collate, risk assessments/method statements to download and prepare for the job in hand (yes, there is a computer link), vehicle records to maintain (when used, what for, mileage, annual servicing, MOT dates etc) and we are thinking that we need a system to keep an eye on who takes what tools where and when. If tools are “borrowed” are they returned?
Vital kitchen supplies could also do with monitoring on a regular basis, i.e. tea/coffee levels, washing up liquid and so on.
If you would like to be considered for the opportunity to wield unimaginable powers over us lesser mortals by exercising your office skills or for further information about what the role is likely to entail please contact Depot Manager Ron Kerby by email in the first instance. Ron will then be able to arrange a day and time for you to come and have a look round either Depot to give you some idea of what the job could involve. The successful candidate(s) will have ample opportunities for some lateral thinking, too.
4Cs 4Cs HIGH Cs
A Cotswolds Canal Cruising Club has been formed.
The Club
is affiliated to, but not part of, the Cotswold Canals Trust and has been established to promote the activities relating to the restoration of the Cotswold Canals and other canal restoration societies around the country.
Whilst still very much in its infancy the Club has ideas for some tidal cruising routes in the future along with others based on the UK canal network.
It is hoped that a website will be set up soon, in the interim contact Commodore Wendy Beamont by telephone 01235 764172 or email or for further information and membership details.
The regular monthly Eastern Branch meeting is changing location on the 18th July – for one night only.
What is being termed a DIY BBQ will be held at Alex Farm, Eisey starting at 6.30p.m. Party Planner Wendy Read tells me:
“This is a ‘West meets East’ event – no passports required – in the friendly environment of the Trust’s Eastern Depot. We will provide a variety of salads, breads sauces etc. and a hot drink and slice of cake to finish the evening. You bring your own selection of meat plus your drinks (plates and cutlery too if you wish as we only provide the plastic variety).
“There  may also be an opportunity to look at the work on Eisey Lock, Rucks Bridge & the canal clearance westwards
“This is a great opportunity to come and see what’s going on at Alex Farm. Pre-booking is important, rather than just turning up on the night, so please let me know if you are coming by 12th July or if you need directions; email or phone 01367 252352. All are welcome!”
(With OS Grid References to help identify locations, if needed)
Stonehouse Ocean SO797050: Work to slightly adjust the alignment of the bridge to take traffic away from the adjacent bungalow, will begin shortly. This work will take priority over the problem of the difficulty in operating the bridge mechanism that is both too high and requires too much effort.
Oilmills Sewer SO825045: Work here to bore in 200m of new sewer has now been completed.
Ebley Mill SO829046: The water level here is being kept lower than normal for several reasons. One is to permit the developer to construct the brick wall bordering the far side of the canal, using a floating pontoon. This work is ongoing. The second was to allow removal of the steel sheet piles which had been part of the temporary works at the overflow weir. This work is now complete.
Hilly Orchard – Lodgemore Bridge SO833047 along canal to SO843050: The towpath here remains closed to allow construction of a landing stage just below Dudbridge Bridge. Concrete for this has been poured. Full reopening is expected in August/September.
Dudbridge Locks SO835048: Contractors digging the channel for the hydro-electric scheme broke into the old culvert carrying Ruscombe Brook in a siphon under the canal. The culvert was blocked in the late 1950s when the brook was diverted into the canal. Investigation revealed that river water being carried in the canal was leaking through the bottom of Dudbridge Upper Lock into the culvert. The culvert has now been blocked, but the lock bottom still needs to be repaired, which will involve over-pumping the river flow. Work can then continue with the hydro pipe and bypass channel. Meanwhile, the concrete base has been poured for the turbine chamber.
Chestnut Lane SO840050: The towpath side landing platform has been cast. Steel is now been fixed to the offside pintle slab, which will allow concrete to be poured shortly. Foundations for the new bridge and the machinery building are virtually complete. The new bridge will be electro-mechanically operated and capable of carrying 44 tonne vehicles. Work is expected to continue until September.
Capels Mill SO852047: Piling is well underway here. Most of the sheet piles have been driven in; these will retain the towpath. Concrete bored piles are now being inserted, which will retain the landfill slope, allowing excavation of the canal channel. A public open day should place here in September.
(I am indebted to David Marshall of Stroud District Council for these updates.)
The 300 Club July draw was made at the Heritage Centre, Saul on 1st July.
This time round the prize fund was GBP1,000 and was shared by:
– R Wilson of Cirencester (GBP600)
– C Martin of Stroud (GBP300)
– R Thomas of Thornbury (GBP100)
If you would like to become a member of the Club you will find all the information you need at
Our trip boat ‘Annette’ has been relaunched, following repairs to its twin hulls. Thanks are due to the residents of Boakes Drive, Stonehouse who have put up with the situation whilst the remedial work was undertaken.
The Trust has also been granted use of an ex-BW workboat called ‘Wookey Hole’. This is currently moored to the west of Oil Mills Bridge by kind permission of JayBee Plant Sales.There is a picture in the Connect Photo Gallery.
The boat is in dire need of some TLC and a team of enthusiastic Western Depot Volunteers, led by Paul Rees, will be rising to the challenge.
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.
7th – Evesham River Festival (Roadshow Activity)
9th – Western Branch meeting Fromebridge Mill 19:30
14th – Work Party Wallbridge area from !0:00
18th – Eastern Branch meeting; BBQ at Alex Farm, Eisey from 18:30
21st – Stroud Country Show (Roadshow Activity)
22nd – Newbury Waterways F
estival (Roadshow Activity – attendance to be confirmed)
24th – CAG Meeting Crown Cerney Wick from 19:30*
28th – Work Party Wallbridge area from 10:00
3rd-5th – Steam Extravaganza South Cerney (Roadshow Activity)
6th – Western Branch meeting Fromebridge Mill 19:30
11th – Work Party Wallbridge area from 10:00
15th – Eastern Branch meeting, Trout Inn Lechlade 19:30
25th – Work Party Wallbridge area from 10:00
28th – CAG Meeting Bell House Wallbridge from 19:30*
8th – Festival of Nature, Stroud (Roadshow Activity – attendance to be confirmed)
8th – Work party Wallbridge area from 10:00
8th/9th – “Gloucester Lock 200” event, Gloucester Docks (Roadshow Activity)
10th – Western Branch meeting Fromebridge Mill 19:30
15th – Queen’s Jubilee event at Slimbridge (Roadshow Activity)
19th – Eastern Branch meeting, Trout Inn Lechlade 19:30
22nd – Work Party Wallbridge area from 10:00
26th – CAG Meeting Crown Cerney Wick from 19:30*
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