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Ham Mill Lock Restoration – Third Report

Lock restoration update from Les Morris

Cotswold Canals Trust Western Depot Volunteers have completed the messy job of removing some 300 tonnes of silt from the lock chamber.

Interesting artefacts found

Passers-by often enquire of the volunteers, ‘Have you found anything interesting?’

The stolen safes, referred to in Report Two, provided some early interesting answers. Since then a George III penny and an 1854 Napoleon III five centime coin have been recovered from the silt.

The scratched and twisted condition of the five centime piece indicate that it may well have had its collectable value much reduced through having been placed on the nearby railway line to be run over by a train. It has been reported that this practice provided entertainment for local children at some time in history.

The chamber has been jet washed to expose the stone built invert (floor) of the lock. No further coins were found!

Spill weir & by-wash blockage

The lock spill weir at the upper end of the lock can be seen from the towpath. The by-wash leading from the spill weir allows excess water from the pound above to flow around the lock. It would appear that the by-wash is blocked with silt that has backed up into the culvert.

Staff welfare provided for

A Welfare Unit, supplied by Britcab, has been installed on site.

The unit includes a large diesel generator which will provide power for the washing and welfare facilities inside.

It will also provide power for tools and site lighting as required.

Scaffolders aplenty on site


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Click here to view Mike Gallagher's Ham Mill Album

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A team from local firm Gloucester Scaffolding have begun to fit two working levels and a roof into and over the chamber. It is hoped that this will allow brickwork repairs to be carried out right through the winter. A second scaffolding team has also been on site. Gloucestershire Highways have contracted Cotswold Scaffolding to erect scaffolding around Ham Mill Bridge to enable contractors to conduct maintenance on the bridge.

New volunteers welcomed

Western Depot volunteers will continue with site preparations to enable work to start on restoring the lock walls on Monday 15th December.

Western Depot Manager Ron Kerby explains… "This is an enormous volunteer project and new volunteers are always welcome. Further details can be obtained by calling the CCT Administration Ofice on 01453 752 568".

Alternatively, click here to email your interest.

Click here, or on the icon below, to register your name, skills and interests on Connect. This is the CCT Volunteer management website which connects the people to the jobs to be done