IMG_20170810_095311355Having made an application to the Gower Society earlier this year for funding to help repair the Clydach (Mond) Lock, we were delighted to welcome Audrey Frank, Jeremy Kingham, and Maggie Cuthbert from the Gower Society Committee to the Swansea Canal for a site visit yesterday. Andy, our funding officer, and John Gwalter, our treasurer and acting secretary (second and third from the left, above) welcomed  them to Coed Gwilym Park where we displayed Michelle’s fine scale model of what the lock will look like when fully restored.

The Lordship of Gower covered a much larger area than the present Gower Peninsula. It included the area from the tip of the Peninsula in the west, to Ystalyfera and Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen in the north and was bounded by the rivers Loughor, Amman, Twrch and Tawe. The Gower Society uses these  ancient boundaries in determining the limits of its own charitable work.

 Having been joined by Rhodri Bowen from the Canal and River Trust, who own the Lock, we then walked down the canal to Clydach.

18-lock-by-the-mond-clydachThis is how the lock looked in the 1960s looking south.  It is not much changed today. The immediate repairs we need to do are the repointing of the wing walls and lock chamber, the complete replacement of the sleepers along the top of the right hand side of the chamber and the addition of new stop planks at the bottom end of the lock. These repairs will not fully restore the lock but they are the first stage in that restoration. The repairs will prevent further deterioration.

We returned to the Clydach Heritage Centre which Meryl had opened especially for the visit  where we were shown a timeless DVD of the canal as it was in 1986. It was one way of showing our visitors the parts of the canal that they would not have time to see in person. Even so, they took the time on theirreturn to the Gower to stop off and see the Grade 2 listed Clydach Aqueduct. We thank them for their interest in all aspects of our canal.

We are delighted to say that today the Gower Society has informed us that the Swansea Canal Society has been awarded a substantial grant towards the repairs listed above. We  are very grateful to them. The restoration of Clydach Lock is just one the projects along the Swansea Canal that will bring closer the day when boats will enter and leave fully working locks from Clydach to Trebanos. The ultimate aim will be to take the canal back into the Swansea Docks via the Fendrod and Tawe rivers. In the latter instance we will be using one boundary of the ancient Lordship of Gower.