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Enews 2012-12

23 November 2012
Hello, welcome to ENews 2012-12.
In case you are wondering, no you have not missed several issues; this is the first one since way back on the 18th September. I blame a stupendous start to the log delivery season for the 10-week gap!
The "Inverse" Headlines:
New faces are on the Top Table
The website's got pictures of all
Flutter away once a quarter
Draw held at Wallbridge or Saul.

There's good food on offer in Lechlade
In January twenty-thirteen
Canalware on offer for Christmas
At the VCs – know where I mean?

For a chance to obtain pristine firewood
Why not make a bid for some ash
To listen to Bruce Hall in full flow
Could set you back 5 pounds in cash.

A schedule of updates on 1A
To tell you what's been going on
There's a project afoot to sell ice cream
By Blunder Lock at Eastington.
Following the recent Annual General Meeting there have been some changes in the composition of the Trust's ruling body, Trust Council.
To put faces to names visit the CCT website at and follow the 'Contact Us' tab in the menu. There is a link there to the 'Trust Directors Page' where there is a potted history and picture of each member of this august body.
The Three Hundred Club is good news for Trust members who fancy a flutter with draws being held in January, April, July and October each year.  Annual subscription is just £15 per stake and a member may hold up to 4 stakes. 

Full details can be found on the CCT website by following the 'Three Hundred Club' link.


The annual Eastern Branch New Year Dinner has been arranged for Saturday 12 January 2013 at The Trout Inn, Lechlade. 
Menus for this event can be obtained from Ron Read, or from Liz Payne,
Replies are sought by December 28th at the latest please.
In addition to the perhaps more traditional books and Christmas cards available via mail order we have taken delivery of an exciting range of painted canalware. 

The stock is on display at both Saul Heritage Centre & Wallbridge Visitor Centre and because of its bulky and sometimes delicate nature it is not available via mail order. (Whilst talking about mail order, it is worth pointing out that if you are in the vicinity of either establishment during opening hours then you can fulfill all your requirements at the same time – without incurring mail order postage charges………..)

The Western Depot Logging Team have struck up a relationship with a local tree surgeon who does not have the facilities to handle core wood from trees that he fells for his clients. He has very generously offered this wood to ourselves. If you would like further information about him please email
This development coincided with an equally generous offer from a member who wanted a tree felled with the proviso that the wood came to us for the logging enterprise. So, by putting the two parties together, we now have a pristine 80 cu ft load of ash available for sale – to the highest bidder! Bids to be received, please, between now and Sunday 3rd February 2013.

As a guide, a standard "80" load of mixed logs suitable primarily for wood burning stoves is sold and delivered for a cost of GBP130 to a member of the CCT, GBP155 to a non member living within a 20-mile radius of either Maintenance Depot (Eastington or Eisey). If the customer asks us to stack the logs then we seek an additional discretionary donation. (Full details of the Log Delivery Service can be found on the Trust's website by following the – wait for it – 'Log Delivery Service' tab.)

The ash will be suitable for both open fires and log burners and as many of you will already know is regarded as THE ideal wood for burning. On this occasion the successful bidder can have free delivery AND free stacking if they live within a 30-mile radius of Eastington, Stonehouse; unless the bid is truly stupendous from someone outside this area then we need to reserve the right to consider a small additional charge to cover our transport costs.
I have already received one bid of GBP175.00! I will do my best to ensure the 'Log Delivery Service' page of the CCT website is updated on a regular basis (the objective will be daily) with the highest bid received.
Bids by email to please with the following information:
– Bid amount
– CCT member Y/N
– Name, address & postcode
– Phone number(s)
– Preferred delivery day (Monday or Wednesday to coincide with our volunteering days if possible, please)
– Preferred method of payment (cash, cheque or credit/debit card, payable on delivery)
– Comments/directions if address not straightforward
Retired CCT Chairman and all round good bloke Bruce Hall will be talking to Cirencester Archaeological and Historical Society on the history and future of the Cotswold Canals.

The meeting will be at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 28th November at Ashcroft Hall, Ashcroft Road, Cirencester GL7 1RA. Guests are welcome, entry fee GBP5 on the door.

Here are some restoration updates on Phase 1A supplied by Dave Marshall at Stroud District Council to whom I am indebted – as usual. If clarification of the locations mentioned is required then have a look at the Trust's website page at described more fully in ENews 2012-11.
Ebley: Contractors are installing additional stop plank grooves adjacent to the Ebley flood gates. Grooves were installed when the flood gate chamber was built, but at an incorrect angle! Meanwhile, work has begun on laying a new section of towpath with a ramped section leading down to Ebley Mill.
Frome Gardens: An area immediately downstream of the confluence with the River Frome has been raised by volunteers. This will be planted with a couple of trees and will accommodate a public seat and a piece of interpretive artwork.
Dudbridge: Construction of the lower landing stage near Dudbridge Crane is complete, including 2 mooring bollards. The towpath beneath the bridge has been reinstated, giving access onto the towpath from Dudbridge Bridge towards Hilly Orchard. The base slab of the hydro-electric outlet chamber has been cast, with work on the walls and roof underway. The Ruscombe Brook is now being diverted on to its permanent&nbsp
;new alignment. 
Dudbridge Locks: Just upstream of Ruscombe Brook, the capping beam topping the sheet piled head wall has now been cast. Work continues on the Armaloc and Porcupine walls; both are intended to prevent erosion and retain the slope above. The main concrete works to the hydro-electric inlet have been completed. The contractor should be off site by Christmas, returning in the spring to refurbish the two locks and complete channel works between them.
Chestnut Lane: The new bridge here was officially opened on 5th October by the Leader of SDC. The owner of Cristie Electronics, one of the firms most affected by construction of the bridge, was the first to drive over. Brickwork under the bridge is complete.
Wallbridge: The Wallbridge project – Visitor Centre, Lock Keepers Cafe, Stroud Brewery Bridge and Wallbridge Upper Lock has won an award from the Gloucestershire Campaign to Protect Rural England(CPRE). The citation reads: “For bringing to life a derelict and badly damaged part of Stroud's Canal heritage, restoring a section of canal fully retaining its character, raising the profile of volunteer and community action, and providing an important visitor focus at the same time as resolving a long standing traffic problem. The project is an outstanding example of a creative partnership.”
Capels Mill: Nearly half of the 53 special ground anchors have now been installed. These tie the concrete bored pile wall into the bedrock behind and are up to 40m long. The operation is intricate and complicated by the poor ground conditions and the potential for clashes as the anchors reach their destination. Work at Capels Mill is expected to be complete in February/March.
Seats: The Cotswold Canals Trust is selling specially made bench seats at selected locations along the entire canal. These cost GBP650 each, inclusive of fitting costs and a commemorative plaque. They are made from recycled hardwood at the Trust’s carpentry shop at Alex Farm. The design is unique to the Cotswold Canals.
Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF): A request to pause canal restoration work at Bowbridge was made to the HLF. Completion of the bridge here would open up an additional 2km of canal, including two locks, to restoration by volunteers. The approach to HLF includes a request for an additional GBP800,000 to meet shortfalls, brought about by the fall in value of Brimscombe Port and additional works which were not envisaged in the original British Waterways’ cost plan.
The good news is that the Trustees of the HLF have agreed to this proposal, thus ensuring that full restoration of the canal between Stonehouse and Bowbridge can be achieved. In addition and as originally envisaged a towpath from Saul Junction to Brimscombe Port will be constructed.
Meanwhile, redevelopment of Brimscombe Port remains a priority and is being taken forward. The intention is to continue renting out buildings on the site and use the income from the estate alongside possible investment from the Homes and Communities Agency to fund the canal infrastructure. In the meantime, parts – or all – of the site can be regenerated if interested developers come forward. Interest from developers is now being sought for 5 separate parts of the site, rather than the whole of it. A brochure giving details has been produced recently.
The Trading Company has a reliable ice cream trailer now, thanks to the Stroud on Water Festival and Winstone’s Ice Cream. The $64,000 question is – how best can we maximise the use of this currently underutilised and undoubtedly money spinning asset during 2013?
One way forward is to identify a regular pitch (already done as it happens, at Blunder Lock adjoining the A419 at Eastington) where we can have a regular and guaranteed attendance every week between Easter and the end of September.
To achieve this would require a significant level of dedication and commitment from a couple (or maybe two couples working in tandem), ideally living within a 5-mile radius of Blunder Lock and who, amongst other criteria:-

~ Are in possession of a vehicle fit to tow the trailer unit
~ Between them would be available every weekend and Bank Holiday 1st April – 30th September
~ Individually hold a Basic Food Hygiene certificate 
~ Live in a residence suitable to store the trailer – off road & preferably under shelter
~ Are in close proximity to wash facilities for cleaning trailer interior, exterior and equipment
~ Are able to hook up to a 230v electricity supply to connect trailer chiller for 24hrs prior to every deployment
~ Have the ability to recruit, train and motivate a minimum of four other certificated staff for relief duties
~ Have the ability to recognise and maintain highest customer service and hygiene standards

Food hygiene training will be funded by the Trading Company and a payment structure would be agreed at the outset for the costs involved with storing, powering and towing the trailer unit.
Further information about this potentially exciting project can be had from Trading Company Chairman Clive Field, email or telephone 07798 551288. Similarly if you have any bright ideas about this project Clive would be delighted if you would share them with him.
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*
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 – 15:30: Volunteer sessions aimed at people new to volunteering; meet Bell House Wallbridge. CCT members also welcome.
27th – CAG Meeting Crown Inn, Cerney Wick 19:30*
1st/2nd – First weekend of this season's Santa Trips at Saul
8th/9th – Santa trips at Saul
9th – Work Party (Work Parties Stonehouse – Daneway)*
11th – Western Branch meeting Fromebridge Mill 19:30
15th/16th – Santa trips at Saul
19th – Eastern Branch meeting, Trout Inn Lechlade 19:30
22nd/23rd – Final weekend of Santa trips at Saul
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