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Restoration Roundup — January 2017

1 — Wallbridge Webcam back on line

The waterside webcam focused on Wallbridge Lower Lock has been reactivated by Farson Digital. The views come to us courtesy of Stroud Beautician ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ of Bankfield House.

The image, which refreshes every ten minutes, reveals that the towpath upstream of the lock has now been laid. This is good news for the new tenants of Bankfield House. Their reception door opens out onto the towpath.
The towpath beyond the new access into Bankfield House will remain closed until work is completed on the restoration of the western end of the lock chamber.

SDC Canal Project Manager Dave Marshall explains… “Our plans to further reduce the height of the embankment above the lock are dependent upon the transfer of ownership of that land from McCarthy & Stone to the Stroud Valleys Canal Company. The removal of material from the embankment will allow us to implement the repair scheme on the lock wall.

“When that is complete the towpath can be completed by the SDC Tuesday & Thursday volunteers. 

“With a revised bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to be submitted in November, it is important that volunteer-led restoration momentum is not lost.”

2 — Ryeford

Work by SDC’s Tuesday & Thursday volunteers continues on upgrading the Ryeford Causeway towpath where bank stabilisation work is being completed by Cotswold Canals Trust (CCT) volunteers. CCT’s piling team continue to work at Ford’s Wharf, immediately adjacent to Ryeford Bridge.
The project to strengthen and widen the the towpath is expected to continue for another couple of months. Periodic towpath closures will therefore be necessary.

3 — Bowbridge

Work on the lock, and on the wall between the lock and bridge, is virtually complete. Just a few bricks remain to be laid and the level brought up behind the new wall. Volunteers have also surfaced the towpath and sides of the lock.

Further legal delays mean that Gloucestershire County Council contractors Britannia Construction are now expected to return to site on 23rd January. This is likely to push back completion of the bridge project until April.

4 — New opportunity for canalside living

Newland Homes — Hollands Row Show Home at Bowbridge Wharf is now open.
The sales office and Show Home is now open seven days a week from 11am – 5pm.

5 — Santa Cruises on the Stroudwater

News of restoration travels well. Santa has obviously now heard what has been achieved and decided to charter Perseverance on the Stroudwater.
December 2016 weather did not exactly create a ‘winter wonderland’ though. It brought us freezing conditions, ice on the canal, torrential rain and finally… storm force winds.!

Despite all that, it was a record-breaking season for the Santa Cruises from Ebley Wharf. Cotswold Canals Trust volunteers, (as well as Rudolph & Santa,) persevered for 253 hours to make 64 trips carrying 324 adults, 279 children and 12 babes in arms on board the CCT Trip Boat Perseverance.