This week a fifteen-strong volunteer team headed up to Ynysmeudwy Upper Lock to continue work on the by-wash.

Volunteers Gareth and Martin got to work cleaning up the pointing on the by-wash walls. This lock is a typical example of the fine workmanship carried out around 1796 when this canal was constructed. We have in our care a marvellous piece of heritage infrastructure. It is our duty to hone our skills and ensure the future of the canal’s infrastructure for the next 220 years.

 cleaning pointing1  cleaning pointing2

The floor of the by-wash, at the entrance, has sunk in places. This is due to water seeping under the stone setts of the floor and slowing washing away the foundations. Michelle and Mike carefully extricated one or two stones to expose the voids.

 by-wash01

Volunteer Andy continued his efforts to remove a massive tree root that is partially blocking the lower end of the by-wash. This tree was identified as an alder by Oda who is the environmental officer of the Canal & River Trust. Nearby to where Andy was working there is a section of the by-wash wall that is in a dilapidated condition and needs to be carefully re-built.

 clearing root  pointing03

Meanwhile Gill and Ronnie managed to do a bit of topiary on a farmer’s hedge, and Martin and Bryan got some Hostas potted

 topiary01
 tea break

Time soon came around for a break for tea and coffee.

Volunteer Michelle was able to photograph a crack that has appeared on the bottom wall of the Ynysmeudwy Lower Lock. The 38mm wide crack was not evident when the same position was photographed five years ago. She will monitor the site over time and be an the lookout for changes or acceleration of the movement.

 lower lock 30-04-19

This was another very productive work party with great progress being made toward the restoration of the by-wash. Several other small but important tasks were accomplished too. Thanks everyone.