Given the appalling rain of the day before, the volunteers assembled with a degree of trepidation but, as it turned out, the weather was kind to us – rather overcast, but warm and dry. Following the pattern of the previous two weeks, we split into two groups – one in the Hidden Lock and the other in Coed Gwilym Park.

In the lock site, Alan W, Gareth and Andy busied themselves in the excavation made ready for the proposed boat basin. Alan and Andy burnt wood and weed dragged from the grid that prevents debris blocking the passage of water whilst Gareth prepared a slope to allow access for the motorised wheelbarrows. Mike the Rubbish called in too.

 AlanW1  Bonfire1
 Gareth1  Mike1

Sue rubbed down and repainted the metalwork on one of our trailers.

 Sue2  Sue1

Gordon used one of the motorized barrows to transport a load of stone up to Coed Gwilym Park. And no, he did not use the outboard engine in an attempt to zoom along in the water. It was just a means to transport it to our new, large work boat.

 Barrow1  Barrow2

Meanwhile, at the canoe store in Coed Gwilym Park, John and Ronnie started with an inspection of last week’s painting and made a plan for clearing the area behind the canoe store.

Gill painted the second coat on the bottom half of the wall facing the park. Alan and Mike, using a tall step ladder, tackled higher up. We ran out of paint so off to Home Bargains to buy more. Nearly there, but proper scaffolding will be needed to reach the very top.

 Paint2  Paint3

Bob brought the new, large work boat over from the offside bank, bailing out rain water. He measured up to build a tarpaulin canopy that should help to stop the boat from filling up again.

 Bob7  Bob6

Annette and John were working together, adjusting the slipway frame to launch kayaks into the water.

 Annette1  Annette3

John and Gordon tried the new boat under power – so far, so good.


David Morgan from the Canal and River Trust, recently returned from furlough, called in to check on our progress with resuming work after lock down. It was a pleasure to be able to chat with him and catch up with business started before the lock down.

All through the morning the volunteers discussed risk assessments for a possible return of the canoe hire. This would involve cleaning boats, paddles and buoyancy aids after every use. Distancing also would prove difficult. The manpower to implement this would need to be many. No decisions were made but perhaps we are drawing closer to be able to open the hire service later in the summer.


So another successful session. Many tasks, both large and small, were undertaken. The volunteers worked in small groups with social distancing and great care was taken to ensure that public were at no risk.