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ENews 2015-01



Des's funeral will be held on Friday 6th February 2015 at Cheltenham Crematorium (South Chapel),Bouncers Lane, GL52 5JT starting at 13:15.   Afterwards, from about 14:30, there will be a reception in the main hall of the Pittville Pump Room, East Approach Drive, Cheltenham, GL52 3JE.
CCT members are warmly invited to attend both, but please let Jack Telling ( or 01453 825709) know if you are planning to attend the funeral itself.
There is more space available in the Pump Room so no need to manage numbers.  For further information contact Alexander Burn Funeral Directors on 01242 245350.



18th January 2015

Hello and welcome to ENews 2015-01.

The headlines for this, the first issue of the New Year:

News of work on 1A to bring you,
There is quite a lot on the go.
Three lucky winners are smiling,
From the 300 Club draw don't ya know.

If you want to hear some good singing,
The D M V C are in town.
For tales about Coast and the filming,
Mark Horton's in Lechlade – come down.

The hydro is pumping out power,
Up by a third since last time.
The Brimscombe Port role is still open,
Could you hold the key to this rhyme?

There's a Stroudwater Session at Fromebridge,
About the Stroudwater itself.
Pontoon for boats – not the card game,
Hope Alan is not by himself.



My thanks as ever to David Marshall, SDC's Canal Project Manager, for the following update.

Lodgemore Bridge: A planning application has been submitted for the installation of a lift bridge at this location, rather than a swing bridge. A decision will hopefully be made at the end of this month. Meanwhile, the council is about to make a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) in respect of the bridge and will be submitting it to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for confirmation. The Order will remove existing rights of way over the current bridge and enable the Council to replace them with new express rights of way over the new bridge.
The new lift bridge is an exciting design, produced by local company KGAL who are based in Frampton on Severn. It will be operated by hand and assisted by a hydraulic mechanism. Depending on the CPO process, work would reasonably be expected to take place during the summer.

Wallbridge Lower Lock: The new concrete bypass/fishpass, which will carry the flow of the Slad Brook around the outside of the lock, is about 75% complete. We expect the contractor to be off site by the end of next month. As mentioned previously, excavations have been delayed by the need to breach the large brick buttress walls that are part of the original lock structure.

Dudbridge: Local company Cristom Construction will begin repair work here shortly. The bypass channel was severely damaged by last year’s floods. Essentially, the work will entail the replacement of displaced ‘Armorlok’ blocks with concrete. We will also be taking the opportunity to bed lumps of stone into the concrete in order to reduce the water velocity. The work will entail the substantial involvement of volunteers partly to minimise costs and partly to carry out clearance work – site access being difficult with little prospect of gaining access for machinery.

Capels Mill: Volunteers have now installed directional finger posts to improve pedestrian navigation around this area. These signs are painted in a distinctive black and white scheme and use a lettering font based on that used for original Thames & Severn Canal milestones. Drainage channels have been installed to prevent towpath erosion by surface run off. These have so far been extremely successful.

Bowbridge Lock: Stripping of defective brickwork on the offside is virtually complete. Around 2' of concrete which was supporting the gas main beneath the bridge has been removed, exposing the original metal sockets for the wooden fence posts under the bridge. Work both here and at Ham Mill Lock was assisted by a visiting Waterway Recovery Group working party over the Christmas/New Year period.

Ham Mill: The lock is now fully scaffolded and volunteers from CCT's Western Depot have all but completed removal of defective brickwork on the towpath side. Laying of new bricks will begin as soon as weather permits and we can be sure that are no substantial voids behind the remaining brickwork. There is still a lot of work to do on the offside wall and both walls need to be cleaned off and repointed. The team has now extended its operations from two to three days a week in order to maintain progress, further information on this can be found on the Connect website at

Towpath: Volunteers have been working on the final length of towpath upgrade – between Gough’s Orchard and Hope Mill. So far, the gravel boards have been installed in preparation for the gravel sub base. A group of pupils from Thomas Keble School will be helping with this work on alternate Mondays.

Bank clearance: You may have noticed that a team of CCT volunteers has been hard at work clearing reeds and scrub along the banks of the canal from Stonehouse to Lodgemore, using the work boat Wookey Hole. As a result, the canal is looking fantastic.


The 300 Club Quarterly Draw took place on Monday 5th January at the Trust’s Wallbridge Visitor Centre. Once again the prize fund exceeded £1,000 and a total of £1,049 was shared by the 3 lucky winners.

The first prize of £629 was won by Ms J Kirby of Stroud, the second prize of £315 by Mr P Cruttwell of Symonds Yat, and Mr I Haddon of Wiveliscombe scooped the third prize of £105.

If you would like to find out more about the 300 Club and would like to join or just increase your existing stake, please visit



Keith Tibbitts advises that the CCT is organising a concert in support of Phase 1B of the restoration.

This will be held at Wycliffe College, Stonehouse on 18th April in conjunction with Dursley Male Voice Choir and their supporting octet, RhythmMix.

Tickets are £8.00 each and should be available by the end of the month from the Trust Administration Team at Wallbridge Visitor Centre, Stroud telephone 01453 752568, email – or from the Saul Visitor Centre. They will be able to tell you the start time by then, too!



Professor Mark Horton, Vice President of the Trust and renowned contributor to the BBC’s popular ‘Coast’ series, will be presenting an evening of anecdotes about the filming of the series at a fund raising evening for the CCT.

This will be held on Friday 6 March at the Memorial Hall, Lechlade; doors open at 7 p.m. for refreshments with a 7.30 p.m. start. Tickets cost £5 and will be available shortly from the Trust Administration Team at Wallbridge Visitor Centre, Stroud telephone 01453 752568 email Saul Visitor centre or from Liz Payne 01367 253121 email

There will also be an opportunity to hear news of the restoration of the Cotswolds Canals, particularly in the Lechlade area.



The latest information I have about the output from the Dudbridge Locks hydro scheme is that it has now generated in excess of 95,000 kWh, a truly remarkable figure.

Project Manager Keith Tibbitts advises that SDC's chosen contractor is due on site next Monday (January 19th) to start the bypass channel repairs …… weather permitting of course. The Hydro Team will be on site on Tuesday to assist with removing tiles and new volunteers are more than welcome to join them on the 20th, from 10:00 onwards.

In addition, Keith is looking to set up a small team of volunteers prepared to carry out a daily inspection of the bypass channel screen so as to ensure it is kept clear of debris.

If you would like to help or would like more information, Keith is your man on 07715 104117 or email



A revamp of the advert that appeared in the last issue back in November – as the opportunity remains available!

SVCC Director & CCT Chief Executive Ken Burgin is looking for one to two people to help look after the Thames & Severn HQ building at Brimscombe Port. The building, which belongs to SVCC, is used by various canal related groups including CCT for meetings and accommodating visiting WRG groups when they are working on the canal.

Ken says "We need volunteers to help manage its use and to maintain/improve this valuable facility. We would particularly welcome help from someone living close by who would be able to keep an eye on the building."

So if you feel able to manage keys, carry out repairs or even just do a bit of cleaning from time to time, please contact Ken, phone 01453 827414 or mobile 07525 900374



The next Stroudwater Session at Fromebridge Mill, Whitminster will be on Tuesday 10th February, commencing 19:30.

The speaker will be Michael Handford and his subject is 'The Unknown History of the Stroudwater Navigation'. Michael has long been considered an authority on this waterway, given his long association with it as a founder member of the Stroudwater, Thames & Severn Canal Trust. More information can be found at

Do come along to what promises to be a fascinating evening.



There's a challenging project about to get off the ground – actually, to help get off the canal if you think about it – and that is to construct and install around 20 pontoon lock landing stages varying in length between 65/70ft – and all before the end of 2015…

These landing stages will be constructed using reclaimed, galvanized motorway crash barrier steel sections bolted together rather like a meccano kit, forming a front and back row of driven ‘piled’ supports with steel section horizontal struts transmitting the impact loads to bankside ground anchors. The walking surface is self supporting glass re-enforced fibre latticed mat which is non-slip and used on slipways in many marine jetties and piers. A small amount of pressure treated timber will be used in the structure that will have a reasonable life, but is easily replaceable.

The project is in its infancy although recently retired volunteer stalwart Alan Jones has already agreed to lead the team. He is currently formulating plans, but one important element of them is bound to be the need for some volunteers prepared to help specifically with this project, especially in view of the timescale.

More information will be available soon and will appear on the Trust's website. Once it does then Alan and I shall contact the existing relevant Connect-registered volunteers accordingly. If you are already excited by the concept and think you would like to become involved at this early stage please email Alan in the first instance, or 01453 752396 (evenings).



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 & Wednesdays from 09:00: Maintenance activity at Western Depot*
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays from 08:30: Ham Mill Lock restoration*
Tuesdays & Thursdays from 09:00: Maintenance activity at Eastern Depot*
Tuesdays & Thursdays from 10:00: Volunteer sessions aimed at people new to volunteering; meet Bell House Wallbridge. CCT members also welcome.

21st – Wildlife Walk Bond's Mill Café to Ryeford 10:00 start. See
21st – East End Meeting at the Trout Inn, Lechlade from 19:30
27th – CAG Meeting Brimscombe Port 19:30

3rd – Noggin & Natter at the Alehouse, Stroud 19:30
4th – Wildlife Walk Brimscombe Port (Ship Inn) to Bagpath 10:00 start. See
10th – Stroudwater Session at Frombridge Mill, Whitminster. See
18th – Wildlife Walk Lavender Café Chalford to Frampton Mansell 10:00 start. See
18th – East End Meeting at the Trout Inn, Lechlade from 19:30
21st/22nd – NWPG at Bowbridge Lock or with prior arrangement and agreement at Ham Mill Lock
24th – CAG Meeting Down Ampney Village Hall 19:30
28th – London WRG at Bowbridge Lock (until 1st March)

1st – Last day of London WRG weekend at Bowbridge Lock
3rd – Noggin & Natter at the Alehouse, Stroud 19:30
4th – Wildlife Walk Wallbridge to Thrupp 10:00 start. See
7th/8th – KESCRG at Bowbridge Lock or with prior arrangement and agreement at Ham Mill Lock
18th – Wildlife Walk around Tunnel House Inn, Coates 10:00 start. See
18th – East End Meeting at the Trout Inn, Lechlade from 19:30
21st/22nd – NWPG at Bowbridge Lock or with prior arrangement and agreement at Ham Mill Lock
24th – CAG Meeting Brimscombe Port 19:30
28th/31st – WRG Canal Camp (to 4th April)

1st – 4th – WRG Canal Camp (cont'd)
1st – Wildlife Walk around Saul Visitor Centre 10:00 start. See
4th – 11th – WRG Canal Camp (2)
7th – Noggin & Natter at the Alehouse, Stroud 19:30
11th/12th – KESCRG at Bowbridge Lock or with prior arrangement and agreement at Ham Mill Lock
15th – Wildlife Walk Bond's Mill Café to Eastington 10:00 start. See
15th – East End Meeting at the Trout Inn, Lechlade from 19:30
28th – CAG 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 t
o any third party.

David Pagett
Editor, ENews