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ENews 2014-02

18th March 2014

 Hello and welcome to ENews 2014-02.

 The headlines for this issue:-

 The harvester soon will be ready
 Earning its keep shifting weed
 Update on what has been happening
 Solution for the Cheapside screed?
 Trees have been felled around Wallbridge
 The Logging Team gathered them in
 Saul's hosting a Pageant in August
 New venture – so where to begin?

 Now, please read on for the stories behind those headlines.



The weed harvester is getting to the point where the mechanicals are done and it's time to turn to the equipment it needs.

Now – some of the required items are specific to boating whilst others are more generic and may be be lying around unloved in sheds/garages.

As you will see from the list the requirements are varied and cover safety, navigation, maintenance and operational needs – such as hauling out motorbikes, shopping trolleys and the like – as well as coping with stray vegetation.

The list looks like this:

 – 2 x mooring ropes, 10 to 12 metre
 – Wooden pole, 10 to 12 foot (metric sizes also acceptable…)
 – Boat hook
 – Pitchfork/garden fork
 – Long-handled slasher
 – Wire cutters/bolt cutters
 – Long-handled brush/broom
 – Gardening knife
 – Air horn, hand-held, aerosol type
 – Fire extinguisher, 1 kg powder, ABC rated (needs to be "in date")*
 – Grease gun
 – Jerry can, 10 to 20 litres, suitable for diesel
 – Holdall, big enough to hold three lifejackets plus a few other bits and bobs

(*With the noted exception of the fire extinguisher the condition of the items is unimportant as long as they are functional.)

The Harvester-in-Chief is Ian Moody. Ian would be delighted to hear from you if a search of your shed/garage reveals any of these items that are surplus to your requirements. Ian can be contacted by email,



For those of you who may be new to the area or indeed to the restoration, all the locations referred to below are within what is know as Phase 1A of the restoration. This is the stretch of the Cotswold Canals that lies between the Ocean (behind Stonehouse Court Hotel) in the west to the Bowbridge area on the eastern side of Stroud on the A419.

 A map of the whole 36-mile route can be found at

My thanks to Stroud District Council's Dave Marshall for most of the following update.

Dudbridge: Work to rebuild the collapsed part of Dudbridge Lower Lock was completed last month. Since then CCT volunteers from Western Depot and the Tuesday & Thursday Groups have successfully completed the laying of well over 50 tonnes of concrete. (For more on this story see )

 Wallbridge Lower Lock: Three contracts have been put out to tender:-
– construction of the lock bypass/fishpass (and dredging above the lock)
 – restoration of the lock itself
 – the dredging of the canal below the lock.
 Tenders need to be in by the 27th March and contractors have been invited to make their own suggestions on sequencing and timing in order to carry out the work in the most cost-effective way. In the meantime, Waterway Recovery Group volunteers from across the country have felled trees on the site and these were removed by volunteers from the CCT's Western Depot to supplement their successful log sales operation. (See story below)
 After further examination and discussion with the Heritage Lottery Fund, the channel between the two locks will be dredged to 1.2m; any deeper would risk destabilising the slope on the offside.

Cheapside: Discussions with the Canal & River Trust have revealed a possible solution to the problems of getting the canal through this section, where landslips have occurred in the past. A product known as Nicospan involves a textile membrane, anchored by posts and ropes. Material from the canal is then deposited behind the membrane. This may prove to be a very cost-effective solution.

Capel’s Mill: Planting work is well underway in a joint scheme between SDC and the Stroud Valleys Project (SVP). External funding has been obtained by SVP and a Volunteer Manager appointed. SVP will be delivering an integrated environmental improvement and training package.

Bowbridge: Work on building a retaining wall below the vets’ surgery is due to start shortly. Once the concrete has been poured by the contractor, volunteers will finish the job with interlocking ‘porcupine’ blocks as used at Dudbridge. Once completed, SDC-led volunteers will begin restoring the lock itself.

The Search for a Sculptor competition referred to in ENews 2014-01 resulted in 28 entries being received. The winner will work with Pangolin Editions based at Chalford to design and make a sculpture, which will be fabricated using recycled bronze and other materials. The winner will receive a £2500 bursary from the company. Judging will take place this month and the winner should be announced on 28th March.



As you will have gathered from the piece above on Wallbridge Lower Lock, rather a significant amount of sycamore was felled into the hands of the Western Depot Logging Team recently.

Sycamore is considered to be one of the better woods for burning so the WDLT are currently busy cutting and splitting this into suitably-sized logs for their Log Delivery Service.

THE WOOD IS UNSEASONED. Nevertheless it should be ready for burning by the Autumn………….so why not consider having a delivery and laying some down now in readiness?

For further information and details of the pricing structure, load volumes, delivery dates/options etc please go to

Deliveries from both Western Depot at Eastington and Eastern Depot near Latton will continue throughout the summer months, although not on such a regular basis as they are over winter.



The IWA has announced a boating event to be held at Saul Junction over the August Bank Holiday weekend this year, running from Saturday 23rd – Monday 25th August.

There's more about what is referred to as the "Saul Waterways Pageant" on the CCT website at



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.

19th – Wildlife Walk from Saul Visitor Centre, 09:45. CCT Members £2, non members £3. Not suitable for dogs!
19th – Eastern Branch meeting Trout Inn Lechlade from 19:30. Talk by Lou Vertessy "Exploring Southwest France by Boat"
25th – Construction Action Group meeting at 19:30 at Down Ampney Village Hall.

6th – Work Party at Dudbridge Locks* (Work Parties Stonehouse-Daneway Message Board)
8th – Noggin n Natter at the Ale House, Stroud from 19:30 
16th – Eastern Branch meeting Trout Inn Lechlade from 19:30
20th – Work Party at Dudbridge Locks* (Work Parties Stonehouse-Daneway Message Board)
22nd – Construction Action Group Meeting at Wallbridge Visitor Centre, 19:30

4th – Work Party at Dudbridge Locks* (Work Parties Stonehouse-Daneway Message Board)
6th – Noggin n Natter at the Ale House, Stroud from 19:30 
13th -'Stroudwater Session' at Fromebridge Mill Whitminster 19:30 
21st – Eastern Branch meeting Trout Inn Lechlade from 19:30 
25th – Work Party at Dudbridge Locks* (Work Parties Stonehouse-Daneway Message Board)
27th – Construction Action Group Meeting at Down Ampney Village Hall, 19:30


 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