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ENews 2015-07

21st October 2015

ENews 2015-07 

Late Breaking News! The presses are still cooling down following the news that the Government's Home & Communities Agency (HCA) has approved a £2 million boost to help the Brimscombe Port redevelopment get under way. The investment will be used to make the former port a viable development site for housing, shops and other recreational uses.

For a fuller story please go to



Hello and welcome to ENews 2015-07. The headlines for this issue:


Updates on 1A show progress,  
A problem at Wallbridge to fix.   
You gotta be in it to win it,   
Find out more with just a few clicks.  
Stroud canals were honoured in London,   
For the restoration to date.   
Val is our Marathon Lady,   
Please sponsor her, it's not too late.   
Forty-five benches now installed,   
Along the canals in our stretch.   
The Logging Team's still very busy,   
Could do with some more wood to fetch.   




My thanks to SDC's Dave Marshall & to CCT's Les Morris (re Ham Mill Lock) for the following updates on progress with Phase 1A of the restoration.

Lodgemore Bridge: The contract for fabricating and installing a new lift bridge here has been awarded to ECS Engineering Services, based at Sutton-in-Ashfield, Notts. Unlike previous bridge contracts, the company will make the bridge and oversee the installation, rather than vice versa. Work should be starting almost immediately.
Wallbridge Lower Lock: First – the good news. With the help of visiting Waterway Recovery Group work camps, brickwork repairs are well underway. Around one third of the defective brickwork on the towpath side has been replaced already. Removal of defective brickwork on the offside has started, work has also begun on creating ladder recesses. A scheme has been prepared to shore up the failed wall at the bottom of the lock; this will permit removal of the old building. We are currently talking to contractors, as this is a fairly specialised job.
Second – the not-so-good news. Overnight on 18th August, water found its way under the concrete cill beneath the stop planks and emptied the pound above the lock. The sudden drop in level caused the bank on the towpath side to collapse into the canal. Fortunately, the area was already closed to the public. We are now working urgently with our engineer, the Environment Agency and contractors to find a robust permanent solution to this problem.
Bowbridge Lock: Lock gates were installed here on 18th August. Remaining work largely involves making good the surfaces either side of the lock, including the towpath. A major task is the rebuilding of the walls between the lock and the bridge; work on the towpath side is already underway.
Ham Mill Lock: Cotswold Canals Trust volunteers continue to make excellent progress with this lock. The chamber is complete and gated; remaining work is taking place above and below the lock. Above the lock, stop planks are in place and the old concrete dam is being removed, enabling stone/brickwork to be repaired. The spill weir, which controls the canal’s level, has been repaired, thanks to the adjacent landowner allowing access. Below the lock, stop plank grooves are being installed and brickwork and coping stones repaired to enable reprofiling of the towpath under the bridge. A solution is still being sought for the problem of the bridge offside wing wall which has failed, with a high bank above it.  On the offside, fencing has been installed, the retaining wall around the lower gate completed and the lockside levelled and topsoil spread to allow grass to be sown. 





The 300 Club October Draw took place at the Saul Junction Visitor Centre recently with the winners selected by Maggie Taylor, a volunteer at the Centre with over 10 years' service.

The prize fund this time round totalled £1063 and the 1st prize of £636 went to Mr S Hake of Wootton-under-Edge; Mrs J Saitch of Stroud picked up the 2nd prize of £318 and the lucky winner of the 3rd prize of £109 was Mr D N Harvey of Llandrindod Wells.

The 300 Club is the Trust's lottery and draws take place every January, April, July and October. The Club is open to all members of the CCT who can join at any time during the year. Annual subscription is £15 per stake and a member may hold up to 4 stakes; further information can be found on the Three Hundred Club page of the CCT website at 





The restored waterway between Stonehouse and Bowbridge came top of the Restoration and Historic Environment Category of the 2015 Living Waterways Awards.
This prestigious national competition is run by the Canal & River Trust and the ceremony was held in London at The Church House Conference Centre Westminster. Living Waterways Awards are intended to recognise the most inspiring and exciting waterway-based improvement projects across the UK. The judges come from the environmental, engineering, architecture and regeneration sectors.

Further information about the event and reactions to the success can be viewed at

The Cotswold Canals Trust is now leading a £15 million bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund, which, if successful, will lead to the next stage – restoration of the canal between Stonehouse and Saul Junction. Stroud District Council is working closely with the Trust in support of the bid. In the light of this Cotswold Canals Trust Vice Chair Jim White commented “This nationally recognised award really could not have occurred at a better time coming, as it does, so near to the submission of the Heritage Lottery Fund bid being prepared by CCT’s Val Kirby and her team." 





Not only is Val involved in all the paperwork associated with the 1B bid as mentioned above – she's also taking part in the Bristol to Bath marathon that's being held on the 25th October, to raise funds for the restoration!

The Cotswold Canals Trust is committed to raising a further £5 million in its own right. We already know where some of that £5 million will come from, but quite a bit more will be needed to 'top up the pot' as it were. Every little helps, every pound will make a difference. If you would like to support Val in her endeavours then please visit her 'Just Giving' page at

There's more information about Val and the event itself at 





The Bench Installation Team led by CCT Western Depot stalwart Mike Langford has recently installed another canalside bench, this latest one can be found adjacent to Wallbridge Upper Lock. That brings to 45 the number of benches that have been installe
d so far since Vice Chairman Jim White had the initial idea for this project back in 2012. 

The benches are built using a recycled water resistant hardwood known as Greenheart. The timber is reclaimed from shipping wharves undergoing refurbishment around UK coastal installations. So far a total of 45 benches have been installed.

For further information about Mike's work and about the project itself, go to 





Demand for the Log Delivery Service operating out of the Trust's Western Maintenance Depot continues unabated – and that's great news for the Trust's coffers.

The small but dedicated Team has achieved over 750 sales since the idea was first mooted back in November 2012 and will have raised the somewhat staggering sum of just under £83,000 once all the orders currently outstanding have been delivered. Running costs and other overheads have been minimal in comparison, thanks in the main to the raw material being sourced from a combination of members, tree surgeons and of course the restoration itself – at no cost to the CCT.

The Team is always on the lookout for new sources of supply, so if you are having a tree felled and would like to donate the wood to charity then please contact the Logman (i.e. me) via the website, by email at or by phoning 07940 566758.

There is a Branch (ouch) Office at Eastern Maintenance Depot, Eisey that looks after customers in the east of our patch. Both divisions will deliver within an approximate 20-mile radius of their respective bases, route (ouch again) all enquiries through the website, please.

Further information about the service can be found on the Log Sales & Deliveries pages of the CCT website, see  





The first edition of ENews went out over 9 years ago, way back in April 2006, and I have issued a total of 191 editions since then. (This is No. 192.) It was started with the express objective of trying to improve communication between the Cotswold Canals Trust and its members, volunteers and supporters.

ENews runs in tandem with the members' long-established quarterly magazine 'The Trow' and latterly with the Trust's social media channels via Twitter & Facebook. It has the potential to reach a wider audience and can be used as a conduit for promulgating exciting news and developments more or less as and when they occur. (Witness the 'Breaking News' at the top of this issue.) Each issue currently lands in something like 4,500 Inboxes.

This will be the last edition for a while as I have been advised that the Trust's governing body, Trust Council, has decided to undertake a review of the Trust's current communications strategy. This is potentially good news, because as I mentioned in the last issue it is proving increasingly difficult for me to research sufficient stories of interest for publication in the time I have available to devote, not only to ENews but to my volunteer activities within the Cotswold Canals Trust as a whole. It is also important to remember the old adage that, to be successful, any form of communication must be a two-way exercise!

A few thoughts that spring to mind for you to consider:
– What do you think of the current ENews format?
– What, if anything, needs changing?
– Is there anything you would like to see included on a regular basis, assuming the information is readily available?
– Has ENews outlived its usefulness because of the growth in popularity of social media?
– Should ENews continue in some shape or form because not all of us use (or in some cases even like, maybe) social media?

If you have views on these or any other considerations on the future of ENews please email me on and I will see that your comments are passed on to Trust Council to hopefully assist them with their review process.

So it's goodbye from me……… 




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 Wednesday – East End meeting at the Trout Inn, Lechlade from 19:30
25th Sunday – Summit Work at Tunnel House Inn, Coates 10:00-15:00
27th Tuesday – CAG Meeting at Brimscombe Port 19:30

3rd Tuesday – Noggin & Natter at the Alehouse, Stroud from 19:30
10th Tuesday – Stroudwater Session at Fromebridge Mill, Whitminster 19:30
12th Thursday – Summit Work Party at Tunnel House Inn, Coates 10:00-15:00
18th Wednesday – East End meeting at the Trout Inn, Lechlade from 19:30
22nd Sunday – Summit Work Party at Tunnel House Inn, Coates 10:00-15:00
24th Tuesday – CAG Meeting at Brimscombe Port 19:30

1st Tuesday – Noggin & Natter at the Alehouse, Stroud from 19:30
5th/6th Thurs/Fri – London WRG/KESCRG (Joint Christmas Dig & Party)
10th Thursday – Summit Work Party at Tunnel House Inn, Coates 10:00-15:00
16th Wednesday – East End meeting at the Trout Inn, Lechlade from 19:30
22nd Tuesday – CAG Meeting at Brimscombe Port 19:30



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David Pagett
Editor, ENews