We are thrilled to announce that we have received a grant of £1,872 towards the purchase of a motorised mini-dumper.

The Society’s volunteers are involved with numerous restoration projects along the length of the canal including the repairs to the tow path and wash holes and restoration of locks and bridges.

These are examples of just some of the restoration projects to the substance of the canal or the structures along its length. The work may be endless but is most enjoyable. What has been achieved already has brought great benefit to residents of and visitors to the Swansea valley.

Most of the restoration projects undertaken by our volunteers – particularly those described above – require the movement of considerable quantities of very heavy material, such as sand, cement, stone, aggregate, filled sandbags, mixed concrete and mixed lime mortar. Significant volume and weight needs to be moved. The distances involved can be significant, 100 metres or further.Raw materials are delivered to locations accessible by lorry and then have to be moved to the worksite. Access along the canal is restricted to the width of the towpath that is typically one or two metres. At the moment, materials are moved by the use of simple wheelbarrows and much manpower.

The dumper will revolutionise our working practices. The intense labour currently used in transporting materials will no longer be needed although, of course, some manual labour will still be required to load and unload the dumper. However, there will be a net saving of time and effort that could be better spent in preparing the raw materials and executing the restoration at the work site.

In addition, removing the need to manually move heavy wheelbarrows will clearly have a significant health and safety benefit for our volunteers.

Over the years, we have been particularly pleased to welcome volunteers from the NPT Council for Volunteers, Whitethorns Intensive Day Service and from commercial organisations such as Virgin Media, Marks and Spencers and Lloyds Bank. Volunteers enjoy the opportunity to improve their health through strenuous work, learn new trades and simply to give something back to society. Their backs are safe with us now!