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ENews 2015-04

11th April 2015
Hello and welcome to ENews 2015-04.
First things first: Happy Birthday ENews……….9 years old on the 3rd April!
The headlines for this issue:
Webmaster needed for website,
The Office your first port of call.
Dave Marshall's report on Phase 1A,
Intended to update you all.
A survey to be undertaken,
Fancy some days on the cut?
Three more Three Hundred Club winners,
Not me (again) – tut tut.
A reminder for the Wycliffe Concert,
Being held on April 18.
The Hydro is churning out power,
A truly amazing machine.
Some ideas for when you go shopping,
Things you can do with small change.
Stroudwater Sessions – the future,
Somebody else to arrange.
One of the three hats I currently wear is that of Webmaster for Connect, the Trust's Database of Volunteers and Volunteer Activities. After nearly 9 years in the role I am standing down so that, as a politician might say, I can spend more time with my family and pursuing other interests. That should help to explain the following advert:
The Cotswold Canals Trust requires a volunteer to manage our Connect Website. Connect is an interactive management tool that enables:
~ Activity Leaders to publicise events to the wider membership as details will appear online
~ Roster Managers to compile rosters in an easily understandable format
~ Volunteers to record their own areas of interest, browse the current and planned activities and get involved.
The Webmaster’s duties include:
• Receiving and acknowledging new Volunteer Registrations
• Amend Members’ records (where they have not done so themselves)
• Recording and updating of Members’ competences
• Establishing new Message Boards and Rosters and removing expired ones
• Emailing Activity Group Members when requested to do so by Activity leaders
• Monitoring information placed on Message Boards.
It is expected that the Webmaster will work from home for an average 4 hours per week and be IT literate (high level skills not necessary).
For more information please contact CCT Administrator Justine Hopkins on 01453 752568 or email
Thanks as usual to SDC Canal Project Manager Dave Marshall for providing the backbone to the following updates:
Lodgemore Bridge: Design work on the planned new lift bridge is now virtually complete and the tendering process should begin shortly. It is hoped that the build will be undertaken during the summer holidays in an effort to minimise disruption to the large number of schoolchildren who use the bridge.
Wallbridge Lower Lock: Alun Griffiths (Construction) is now off site. The Tuesday and Thursday volunteers have moved in to install stop plank grooves at the top of the lock, and a concrete base onto which they can be bedded. This will keep water from cascading through the lock and bring the new fish pass into use.
A complication has arisen here in that McCarthy & Stone will not accept responsibility for removing the old slope below their site, but above the lock. Refurbishment work cannot proceed until this is removed, but access is very difficult. As a result the project will incur the extra burden of removing this bank – which needs to happen before Britannia Construction come on site to restore the lock itself. The process of drawing up the necessary documentation to obtain prices is under way.
Dudbridge: Repair work on the flood damaged bypass structure is now complete. Thanks to the sterling efforts of SDC volunteers the work has been done at half the expected cost. Two jobs remain. Volunteers at the CCT's Western Depot will be modifying the culvert inlet grille to make it more resistant to driftwood blockage and easier to clear, while SDC volunteers will be concreting over more of the original blockwork as a preventative measure.
Cheapside: Land & Water has now submitted a costed proposal for dredging a 5m x 1.2m channel through here. A couple of revisions are needed, but the proposal would appear to be within the available budget, which is encouraging.
Bowbridge Lock: The large deposits of limecrete behind the brickwork – believed to be from the original building of the lock – have been removed and replaced with reinforced breeze blocks, allowing facing brickwork to be replaced. With the help of a two-week WRG work camp over Easter, brickwork on the offside is almost 90% complete. On the towpath side, new brickwork has now started. At the same time all the lower level brickwork, which does not need repair, has been repointed using traditional lime mortar. Holes for the kingposts are also being cast, these support stop planks.
Ham Mill: Progress at this lock is also excellent, thanks to the efforts of volunteers from CCT Western Depot. Apart from rebuilding brickwork, the main task at present is to remove silt from the top end of the lock between the concrete dam and the temporary fabric dam. This will allow stop plank grooves to be installed and will give access to the paddle holes.
Landing Stages: As previously reported, landing stages will be installed at locks and swing bridges along the canal. These are being installed by a team of CCT volunteers led by Alan Jones. First will be two trial installations at Stonehouse Ocean and Ebley Mill. The landing stages have been designed in-house in conjunction with CCT and have been designed to accommodate canoes as well as ordinary canal traffic. The project has been launched thanks to a £10,000 donation from a local benefactor.
If you would like to help with this project then please contact Alan,
or phone 01453 752396 (evenings).
1. Would you like to help get evidence to support the Phase 1B bid?
2. Do you like talking to people?
3. Are you available for a training session on 1st May, plus at least 2 four-hour shifts between 3rd and 6th May? (Shifts will be 8 am to noon; noon to 4 pm; and 4 pm to 8 pm) 4. Are you 18 or over?
If the answer to these four questions is yes then please read on….
Completing the restoration of the Cotswold Canals between The Ocean in Stonehouse and Ham Mill near Brimscombe (Phase 1A) is only a few months away. Evaluating this phase is a key part of preparing for the next phase (Phase 1B). In fact the Heritage Lottery Fund has said that they will not accept a new bid unless it shows evidence of lessons learnt from Phase 1A.
Part of this evaluation is finding out what people think about the work to date. So we have designed a questionnaire that asks people about their use of the towpath and also what they think about the canal restoration so far.
We need a team of volunteer interviewers to use this questionnaire, talking to people on or near the towpath on the early May Bank Holiday weekend and a couple of days afterwards. We plan to run 3 four hour shifts a day, in 6 locations, and we would prefer to have teams of two in each location for each shift. So we need quite a few people, who need to be available for a training session on the afternoon of 1 May and two or more four-hour shifts between 3rd and 6th May.
If would like to be part of the interviewing team please contact Val Kirby as soon as you can, and no later than 20th April please. You can email her on, ring her on 01453 753762 or ring/text her on 07969 789938.
The 300 Club Easter 2015 draw was made at Ham Mill Lock, Thrupp recently by Western Depot Maintenance Manager Ron Kerby. 3 lucky winners shared the pot of £1,046 this time round.
Mrs S Bayliss of Gloucester was the lucky winner of the first prize of £627.00, second prize of £314.00 went to Mr E J Lansdown of Leicester with the third prize of £105.00 going to Ms D P Abbott-Baker of Buckfastleigh.
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
A couple of issues ago mention was made of a Phase 1B fund-raising concert being organised by Keith Tibbitts where the Dursley Male Voice Choir and their supporting octet RhythmMix are appearing at Wycliffe College, Stonehouse on 18th April.
Tickets are selling well but there are still some available at £8.00 each (but will be £10.00 on the door). They can be obtained from Wallbridge Visitor Centre telephone 01453 752568, email – or from the Saul Visitor Centre.
The bar will be open from 19:00 with the concert itself starting at 19:30. Contact Keith if you would like any further information on 07864 272246.
The latest output figures for the Dudbridge Hydro Scheme reveal that 122,600 Kwh have been generated so far – meaning an income of over £30,000 for the Cotswold Canals Trust since installation. What a quite remarkable result.
What a shame there aren't similar installations elsewhere – at every lock weir on the River Severn, for example!
The following 3 items have been received from Volunteer Engagement Director Polly Fothergill:
Micro-volunteering …………….. supporting CCT from your desktop / fundraising with minimal effort It's very simple really – EASY PEASY, every time you shop online do your research as normal, and just before you actually add goods to your basket……….
1. go to 2. click on the Stores tab and select a category, or search for your preferred store / brand (3,800 stores including most of our favourites) 3. click on the store of your choice and then the shop now button 4. shop as you would normally and a % will be given to CCT (it may only be a few pence but it all adds up, especially if you are buying white goods, booking a holiday etc) 5. during the process select "COTSWOLD CANALS TRUST" as your charity – you may have to do this as a first step.
Stroudwater Sessions – May, Sept and November 2015 at Fromebridge Mill, Whitminster upstairs room.
Tues 12th May 7:30pm "400 years of Stroudwater Textiles" as the title suggests with references to Bowbridge, Arundel, Capels, Ebley and Stanley mills + the Wallbridge Painting. Speaker Ian Mackintosh.
Tuesday 8th September 7:30pm FUNdraising – The second in the series of the annual Water-based QUIZ. You have got to be in it to win it. £10 entry for a team of four and a superb trophy!
Tuesday 10th November 7:30pm A talk by Andrew Kerr from the Sustainable Eel Group. Come and find out all about the whole of Europe SEG initiative, the rationale for those Stroudwater eel passes together with some local stories.
At the end of 2015 Polly will be preparing for some long awaited retirement cruising – would someone please like to take over the organising of the Stroudwater Sessions. This is a fairly straightforward background volunteering job with 4 simple tasks.
– remember to book the upstairs room at Fromebridge Mill (4 times a year, 2nd Tuesday of Feb, May, Sept and Nov)
– engage 3 speakers of your choice who can provide talks relevant to the Stroudwater and/or Thames & Severn Canals
– ask the quiz master to come up with the next set of questions and engage the quizmaster for September
– organise a raffle for the evenings to cover any speaker costs Or you could reformat and do it your own way
Any queries or ques
tions on any of the above direct to Polly please,
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.
11th/12th – KESCRG at Bowbridge Lock or with prior arrangement and agreement at Ham Mill Lock. 
15th – Wildlife Walk Circular – start & finish at Church Lane, Stonehouse (near St Cyr's Church) 10:00 start. See 
15th – East End Meeting at Trout Inn Lechlade, 19:30. 
18th – Dursley Male Voice Choir concert at Wycliffe College, Stonehouse 19:30. Tickets £8 from CCT Office, Wallbridge and Saul Visitor Centres. 
19th – IWA Warwickshire Branch visiting Chalford – Daneway section.
26th – Work Party Summit Level. 
28th – CAG Meeting at Down Ampney Village Hall 19:30
3rd – Noggin & Natter at the Alehouse, Stroud from 19:30
12th – "Stroudwater Session" at Fromebridge Mill, Whitminster, 19:30.
18th – East End Meeting at Trout Inn Lechlade, 19:30
26th – CAG Meeting Brimscombe Port 19:30
2nd – Noggin & Natter at the Alehouse, Stroud from 19:30
17th – East End Meeting at Trout Inn Lechlade, 19:30
23rd – CAG Meeting at Down Ampney Village Hall 19:30
4th-11th – NWPG Camp, working at Bowbridge Lock
7th – Noggin & Natter at the Alehouse, Stroud from 19:30
15th – East End Meeting at Trout Inn Lechlade, 19:30
18th-25th – WRG Camp 1, (probably) working at Bowbridge Lock
25th-1st August WRG Camp 1, (probably) working at Bowbridge Lock
28th – CAG Meeting Brimscombe Port 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