CLIVE REED

 Clive

Clive has kindly agreed to become the first president of the Swansea Canal Society, in recognition of his exceptional service to the Swansea Canal.

Clive has worked on, and campaigned for, the restoration of the Swansea Canal for over forty years. When in 1980, aged 37, he moved to a canal side cottage, the waterway was in a bad state. Of the original sixteen miles, only the middle five remained in water, and even these were derelict.

In 1981, canal enthusiasts formed the Swansea Canal Society. Clive joined them. He organised weekly work parties using his skills and contacts as a craftsman in the Swansea Dry Docks to borrow, buy or hire tools. Every Sunday from 1983 he worked with parties of 12/14 volunteers. With funding from the Prince of Wales Trust and assistance from the Community Work Programme, Clive organised the transformation of the canal between Clydach and Ynysmeudwy into a public amenity.

Five miles of towpath were rebuilt, aqueducts on the canal restored and, at Ynysmeudwy, the only surviving lock-keeper’s hut on the canal was rebuilt. Clive facilitated access for necessary heavy machinery using cleared trees to create a track way.

In 1992 British Waterways donated a canal mud-hopper hull to the Society and, together with a small group of Society members, funds from many other members and two years’ hard work, the hull was transformed, by Clive’s design, into the trip boat ‘David Papa Thomas’. Between 1991 and 1993 he organised dredging of the canal from Ynysmeudwy to Pontardawe so that, by 1994, the boat could travel this stretch with passengers. Clive trained six members of the society as skippers.

Although no longer able to participate in the physical activities of the Society’s volunteers, Clive remains a very active member of the Society, acting as our Heritage Officer. He has accumulated an exceptional archive of papers and artefacts that provide an unparalleled record of the canal. He is always willing to support the Society by providing information from his archive and being a thorn in the side of anyone having the temerity to question the value of the canal.

It is certain that without Clive’s enthusiasm and dedication, the canal would not have survived and developed into the beautiful green corridor that it is today.

This brief photographic record shows Clive hard at work in years gone by and chatting to the current batch of volunteers.

 Clive1  Clive2
 Clive3  Clive4