Work Party 10.3 (11)
We did so many different jobs last Tuesday and we were joined by so many of our friends that I thought I would give a longer account of our day. It’s a typical day, only with knobs on.

People who will not necessarily be joining us on the main work party drop in at Brownsters cafe from 8.00am for Wayne’s special tea and breakfast to discuss business, catch up with the latest news, or more likely just tell very poor jokes.  John Jenkins, our electrician, is there. He will spend the morning at the Canoe Store fitting the store out with sockets and trip switches and preparing it for the new security alarm that will give the store better protection. Richard Davies, the Community Parks Officer, arrives. He wants to know who from the Canal Society will be attending the ‘Friends’ meeting he has arranged for all the local charities so that they can the better assist one another. Andy and Gordon agree to represent us. Richard catches up with John and Gordon on the electrical work to be done on the canoe store as it is in Coed Gwilym Park. Our treasurer, John Gwalter, has driven in from Llanmorlais, to pick up receipts from members and discuss some changes to the forms for the canoe hire season which starts in April. Rhodri Bowen from the Canal and River Trust who has already moved bags of stone down to the Lower Trebanos Lock for us to use today, sits with his fry-up in splendid isolation as befits one who has already done a shift.

By nine the Work Party is ready to go. Some make their way direct to the work site at Trebanos Locks. Those who have tow bars on vans and cars leave for the CRT depot to hitch up trailers and choose tools. One of the Society’s founding fathers, Clive Reed, has donated an old wheelbarrow to the Society and brought it to our house so I call in home and wheel it down to the Locks. We resemble a leaderless rent-a-crowd setting off in all directions with no one aim but, against all odds, we end up…

Work Party 10.3 (15)….at Trebanos Lock where our  Over Lord and Chairman, Gordon, is preparing to build up the wall at the bottom of the Lower Lock by-wash.

Work Party 10.3 (19)Carl, whose commando fatigues work perfectly in blending him into the background, has been detailed to cut back the mud and silt from the edge of the canal nearby. His duck board appears to be about to take flight.

Work Party 10.3 (5)Rhodri, CRT mover of stones, has now arrived to lay the new courses of the bywash wall with Gordon and, looking at his moody expression, obviously means business. The stones cower behind the wall and Gordon edges a little further away with his wheelbarrow.

Work Party 10.3 (21)Downstream, Gypsy the sheep dog from Green Farm Riding Stables, is keeping an eye on Paul’s drag fork technique as he widens the canal on the tow path side opposite Carl. Behind them our Whitethorns Day Care Centre  friends from Morriston, join in (see the top picture for a glorious close up of them). Later, on the cry of Cwm By Ya, Gypsy will round us all up and take us home.

Work Party 10.3 (28)Back at the wall, Rhodri has decided that this is a two wheelbarrow job which is the equivalent of a red alert. Karen, Gill, Michelle and Paula use the mortar from wheelbarrow two to fix the existing retaining wall. Rhodri looks menacingly at wheelbarrow one. Thank goodness for Clive’s extra wheelbarrow.

 

 

Work Party 10.3 (38)Ah, here comes Gareth doing his occasional trick of walking on water, bringing the now essential reserves of lime mortar for the empty wheelbarrows. He and Alan work ceaselessly on the cement mixing using the trusty Youngman’s boards to ford the channel.

 

At eleven we break for carrot cake and a  Whitethorns special which has cinnamon and ginger in it but whose name Paul, the head cook, refuses to divulge. A team effort indeed.