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Waterway Recovery Group at Wallbridge

Waterway Recovery Group volunteers work wonders at Wallbridge

A team of volunteers from the London Region Waterway Recovery Group (wrgies) attracted the attention of Saturday shoppers in Stroud.

People with garden rakes in the water

Passers-by were clearly intrigued to see two people with garden rakes deep down in the lock chamber outside Cotswold Canals Trust Visitor Centre and the Upper Lock Cafe. WRG Team Leader Paul Ireson and Emma Nurton can be seen busy about the business of clearing an accumulation of silt from the lower gates of the lock.Following dredging work in the Cheapside pound last year, silt settled against the timber mitre in the base of the chamber.
Consequently the lower gates were prevented from creating a water tight seal when operated after a recent routine maintenance task.

WRG Volunteers from far and wide

Paul Ireson is a British Telecom Administrator from Essex whilst Emma Nurton is a Support Worker from Bristol.

Paul explained… “We are ‘London wrgies’ but that really means we are administered by the London Region of a big organisation.
“People from all over simply sign up for various camps on a range of waterways.”

Other members of the team had travelled to Stroud from Devon, London, Warwick and Derbyshire.
Laura Gilmore revealed her occupation as a Civil Engineer with Network Rail and explained… “I am here, not so much because of my day job; it is just that I enjoy being out in the open air doing something to restore the canals. We do that all over the country. I also enjoy the social side. WRG people are good fun to be with.”

Job done — lock full

The gates successfully sealed against the mitre. The leaks through the planking are the result of a long period without water.
These will decrease as the timber swells back to the normal state.

Time to spare and energy to share?

Find out more about canal restoration volunteering

Click here, or on the icon below, to find out more about the Waterway Recovery Group
Looking for local involvement?
Click here, or on the icon below, to learn more about Cotswold Canals Trust volunteering

SDC’s Tuesday & Thursday Team
Click here, or on the icon below to email Stroud District Council Volunteer Coordinator Jon Pontefract