Today saw our first, tentative steps towards resuming volunteering in earnest. The last work party was on 8th December 2020! We decided to organise ourselves according to the rule of “Up to six people from no more than two households may meet outdoors” so four small groups were able to operate:

Clydach Canoe Centre, Hebron Road: Gareth Snr., Gill & Martin

The trio continued with the initial clean up of the Old Timber Yard which is to be the new Clydach Canal Centre. Gordon arrived (and departed!) before them to start a bonfire of rotten wood which proved that the original chimney, if nothing else, was still working. Gareth was busy filling the trailer full of material that just cannot be recycled while outside we filled six bags of rubbish and two of recyclable cans and bottles. Gordon had previously repaired the double sliding doors which are now working well.

 CCC Chimney  CCC Gareth
 CCC Gill  CCC Recycling

Hidden Lock Site: Alan & Gordon

The dynamic duo continued using recycled stone to build the low wall around the flower garden, with Gordon mixing and Alan laying.

The stone has been recovered from spoil excavated during preliminary work on a long-term project to expose the hidden lock, reinstate that section of canal and restore navigation between Coed Gwilym Park and Clydach Canal Centre.

 HL Wall 3

Coed Gwilym Park: Annette, Mike & Ronnie

In the lovely sunshine, at the canoe store, Annette worked on her latest idea, to put outriggers on canoes, to improve their stability. Mike checked over the single kayaks, making repairs and signing off for use. Cleaning the leaves and mice debris, one Hi-Viz was nibbled to make nests.

Ronnie enjoyed weeding the garden, sweeping out the shelves, collecting paperwork for updating. The PPE box was checked, with items listed to replenish.

 CGP Annette and Ronnie  CGP Canoes
 CGP Ronnie Gardening

They spoke with towpath users, explained that we were just clearing, repairing and updating in the hope the restrictions would be lifted soon. But for now, we will continue to work independently, supporting each other by following the Covid rules.

Council Yard Buildings: John & Gareth Jnr.

The remaining shelving was removed from the abandoned buildings, loaded onto the flat-bed trailer and taken to the CRT store in Hebron Road.

   

So that completed the first volunteering session for a very long time. Relatively few volunteers were at work but they achieved a great deal whilst observing COVID regulations.

 

Canoe & Kayak Hire

A regrettable consequence of the pandemic is that we will not be able to open on Easter Sunday as we originally hoped. To enable the hire to open, the COVID regulations need to relax to allow up to 30 people to assemble outdoors. Currently, the Welsh Government expects that this will not happen until mid-May.