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Our volunteers are of all ages, skilled and unskilled, young and old (though a few more of the former would not go amiss). After a few weeks of joining us, they find their favourite occupations and generally keep to them. Gareth, above, is a great hewer of wood and mixer of cement, and is not happy unless dripping with perspiration. Here he is, in his element, lord of all he surveys; keeper of the quarry of local stone, filler of bags, mixer of mixes dry or wet, traditional or modern. Put in your order and it will be done. Gareth  rarely misses a week.

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Walk a little way down the site, and we find someone who comes from a little further afield. Huw travels from Bridgend and has not been with us for over a year. But he arrives as if never away, picks up a shovel and starts to clear the huge bag of sand that has lain by the canal for longer than the year that Huw has been away. It has almost become an accepted part of the verge vegetation but by the time we finish it is decanted and gone. Welcome back, Huw.

 

Anothe fifty yards due south and we are in the canal itself. There is nothing quite like splashing about in the shallows and nobody likes it more than Gordon and Toby.

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Gordon, of course, has only just been re-elected as  councillor for the Clydach ward and we congratulate him for his work for that community. Toby, in the foreground, is a farmer and at lambing time we may not see him for a few weeks but he is passionate about canals in general and returns to help us, as keen as ever. Here, the two of them are digging silt out of the channel and moving it to behind a Nicospan membrane which you can just make out on the off side.

We thank them (and, of course the twenty plus other volunteers not illustrated this time) for all the work they do.