On a day that started out a bit chilly but warmed up nicely later on, sixteen eager volunteers headed up to Ynysmeudwy Upper Lock to continue work on the by-wash.

This is Lock No. 13 on the Swansea Canal and a nearby canal milepost gives a distance of 9¾ miles from Swansea. The lock is going to be the subject of a week-long WRG (Waterway Recovery Group) work camp this August. The task now is to repair and repoint the by-wash so that it can safely handle the full flow of the canal while the lock chamber is made dry.

A perfect pointing mix of lime mortar was soon prepared and the team, consisting of Ellie, Bryan, Martin and Alan T. & Alan W. got to work. Alan T. is a seasoned pro at this game and he led the team as they managed to re-point an impressive eight metres of by-wash wall.

 Tuesday 03

alan 07-05-19

gareth 07-05-19

It has been observed for some time that water is seeping through the canal wall at the entrance to the by-wash. Rather than flowing down the by-wash as it should, it is getting under the stone setts of the floor and slowly washing away the foundations. Volunteers Gareth, Gordon and Mike were busy digging away the accumulated silt at the by-wash entrance to expose the stonework. They then proceeded to re-point all the stonework below the sill. The exact location of the leak is unclear but it is hoped that the re-point will rectify the problem.

 Tuesday 01

by wash 07-05-19

gordon 07-05-19

Further down the by-wash there is a section of the wall that is in a dilapidated condition and needs to be carefully re-built. That will have to wait for another work party. All these tasks have to been done properly to withstand the test of time and the flow of the approximately 900,000 gallons of water that pass through this canal in a 24 hour period.

pointing03

 Tuesday 02

And finally, take a look at Gordon’s all new super-dooper silt scooper. Not deployed today but standing by for heavy action in the very near future.

This was another productive work party with a great deal of skilful work being carried out. This 200 year old lock is safe in the hands of our dedicated little band of volunteers. Thanks everyone.