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ENews 2013-11

December 31st 2013

Hello and welcome to ENews 2013-11.
This is the last ENews for 2013. So, having missed the opportunity to offer Festive Felicitations may I wish all readers a hassle-free, successful and enjoyable 2014 instead –  especially all of those directly involved in volunteer activities! 
The headlines for this issue:-
Work Parties are back at the summit
A while since they were last seen
Progress on 1A's progressing
Much more in twenty-fourteen.  
Santa's already a memory
His presence at Saul was enjoyed
He chose the raffle prizewinners
So my chances are now null and void.
Now, please read on for the stories behind the headlines.
After quite a long period of inactivity I am delighted to be able to report that work parties based on the Coates Portal of Sapperton Tunnel (or the Tunnel House Inn if you prefer, grid reference SO966 005) are likely to get going again early in the New Year.
The first of these will be held on Sunday 19th January and the plan is to hold these every few weeks. They will be led by Paul Rutter, better known to some as the Trust's Biodiversity Director, and start time is around 09:30. . The initial challenges will involve the removal of trees from the canal bed and banks, with a longer term objective of restoring a navigable section into the tunnel itself – so that the trip boat operation can resume! Yes we've been there before but………….
Contact Paul for further information if you would like to become involved, email or phone him on 01452 812005, mobile 07597 740070.
The December update from Stroud District Council's Dave Marshall  provides the following information.
~ Ocean (SO 798 050). The decision has been taken to accept the problematical swingbridge at this location as is.
~ Dudbridge Locks (SO 836 048). Both locks are all but complete and the workboat undertook a successful passage through the lower lock recently.
~ Wallbridge Lower Lock (SO 846 051). Work on the lock cannot start until our piscine friends have stopped doing what they like to do at this time of year to increase their numbers, assumed to be the end of May. We are also dependent upon the developer of the proposed new retirement home (the one up on Cainscross Road on the site of the old garage) completing the piled retaining wall above the lock. Construction of the bypass channel can go ahead as it does not affect the existing water course. Tenders for the work should be going out in January.
~ Capels Mill (SO 853 047). Work on planting here is proceeding apace, there are plans for a total of 60 mature native trees being planted in the area. The Stroud Valleys Project has secured external grant funding for the planting of further trees and wild flowers together with some interpretation features. What a wonderful area this is going to become!
~ Cheapside (SO 849 050). Tenders are going out for ground investigations here – boreholes and trenches – to check on the stability of the underlying ground in view of the previously experienced landslips. If the outcome is positive then it just may be possible to restore the canal to its original width…..eventually.
~ Bowbridge (SO 857 042). In an effort to produce some significant savings, SDC have produced their own design for the required retaining wall at this location, using leftover materials from a similar exercise at Dudbridge Locks.
~ The Tuesday Volunteers have completed the installation of Dog Control Zone notices, along with 20 "What's This" panels. These briefly explain a feature that does not warrant a full interpretation panel. Thames & Severn Way markers are starting to appear, too, and eventually they will show the pedestrian route all the way from Saul to Lechlade. 
~ The Thursday volunteers have been seeing to the towpath between Capels Mill and Griffin Mill (SO 858 036) and at the same time are getting to grips with a mechanised roller. Jubilee Bridge (SO 858 034) has received a much-needed coat of paint or two and cycle barriers have also started
popping up.        
Probably because of his ever-increasing workload, Santa could only spend 3 weekends at Saul this year. Despite this and everything the weather offered during December – including trashing the 'welcome' tent/ticket office – record numbers came to see him, raising well over £2,500 in the process.
There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to make the Santa Trips so successful and such an integral part of so many parents' and granparents' Christmas planning – from organising the rosters and enthusing the volunteers to buying a tremendous range of presents for the children on a limited budget. Congratulations and well done to all involved.
Whilst he was in residence, Santa was called upon to make the annual Christmas Draw at Saul on his last day (22nd December). 
Once again the raffle was highly successful and raised nearly GBP6,700 after expenses.
The lucky winners were:-
1st prize – £1,000 B Hall, Nailsworth (now where have I heard that name before?)
2nd prize – £500 – D Benton, also of Nailsworth.
3rd prize – £250 – J Burbery, Taunton.
4th prize – £100 – J Rolfe, Stourbridge.
And a further 5 prizes of £50 each were also drawn.
For further information (including contact details) about any items marked by an asterisk, please go to and the Message Boards that can be found on the Activities and Rosters page. To become a registered volunteer follow the Register Me Now link.
Mondays and Wednesdays from 09:00*: Maintenance activity at Western Depot Eastington.
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 09:00*: Maintenance activity at Eastern Depot Eisey.
Tuesdays from 10:00: Work Parties at Griffins Mill Lock.
Thursdays from 10:00: Introductory volunteer sessions aimed at those new to volunteering. Meet Wallbridge Visitor Centre. Existing CCT volunteers more than welcome.
14th – Noggin n Natter at The Alehouse, John Street, Stroud from 19:30. An informal chat over a pint.
19th – Relaunch of the Summit Work Parties at Tunnel House Inn, Coates.
(See first story above).
28th – Construction Action Group meeting at 19:30. Down Ampney Village Hall.
11th – "Stroudwater Sessions" meeting at Fromebridge Mill, Whitminster from 19:30.
25th – Construction Action Group meeting at 19:30. Wallbridge Visitor Centre.
11th – Noggin n Natter at The Alehouse, John Street, Stroud from 19:30. An informal chat over a pint.
25th – Construction Actio
n Group meeting at 19:30. Down Ampney Village Hall.
If you have any item you consider newsworthy then please send me an email, although I would ask you to bear in mind that I always look for a connection with the Stroudwater, Thames and Severn or the CCT before considering any article for publication. 
Any and all feedback – preferably good, but bad as well – is more than welcome.
PLEASE NOTE. We keep your email address on an electronic database for the sole purpose of contacting you in this way. We will never pass it on to any third party.
David Pagett
Editor, ENews