The volunteers enjoyed warm sunshine as they gathered in Coed Gwilym Park. Rabbie and Jackie were welcomed back for the first time since lock down, both wearing excellent masks. We separated into a few, small groups and got on with various tasks.

First up was Annette with her “Can-Do-Canoe” construction du jour. She bolted together two floats that she described as being used by fishermen in America, strapped on a pommel seat and then added the finishing touch of a pedal powered propeller. Although there is a bit of tweaking required, her ingenuity never fails to impress.

 Annette9  Annette6
 Annette10  Annette3

Work continued on the retaining wall. Peter and Bob barrowed stone from the Hidden Lock site. Gordon had to deputise as cement mixer in the absence of the Gareths. He did his very best, but Alan was quick to point out inconsistencies in the mix. A bit more digging of foundations was required. The removal of a very heavy stone appeared to be not in Mike’s job description. Preparation done, Alan and Mike expertly laid stone and soon the wall was looking fantastic.

 Stone1  Barrow3
 Mix2  Mix3
 Wall7  Wall11
 Wall15  Wall1

Martin and Jackie worked hard to weed and tidy the flower bed. Jackie hadn’t realised that lock down was actually behind bars!

 FB2  FB5

Andy worked rather less hard to stretch out the sign on the off back. Unfortunately, his lack of camera focusing skills rather let him down.

 Sign1  Sign2

David, Martin and Rabbie cleared the steps and towpath by the bridge. You can see Rabbie’s luxuriant lock-down locks fluttering coyly in the autumn breeze.

Break time was once again with cake [gingerbread and Nigella Lawson’s artery-clogging peanut, Crunchie, chocolate confection]. Social distancing was observed.

 Tea7  Tea9

After tea, Martin and Ronnie went back down to the Hidden Lock site, where they added plants to the rock garden.

And finally, a couple of weeks ago the first-aid box was found empty and discarded on the off-bank. It had been stolen from the compound and emptied, possibly in a ludicrous attempt to find mind expanding substances. Gordon has now re-stocked it. Apparently, the Primapore dressing is suitable for use in chain saw limb amputations – let’s hope that it is never needed.


A grand day out was had by one and all and much was achieved. Nevertheless, we must not let down our guard. Current regulations in Wales permit outdoor gatherings of up to thirty persons but who knows if this will be the case next week? COVID infections are on the increase so we must all remain vigilant, cautious and courteous.