On a pleasant but not scorching day, there was an excellent turnout of volunteers in Coed Gwilym Park. We welcomed Stephen, another new recruit, Clare Parsons, Enterprise Manager for the Canal and River Trust Wales and South-West, and, later in the morning, the Ammanford Ramblers for their annual paddle and lunch. At one point, there were nearly fifty people on and around the canal. A glorious sight!

Work continued to cap the recently laid sandbag wall. Stones were selected and brought up from the Hidden Lock site by Alan T and Pete, concrete was mixed and bags filled by Andrew, Alan T, Gordon, Martin, Stephen. Dave cut back the bank to make wildlife steps into the canal and then he, Alan T, Andrew and Stephen laid the capping stones.

 Stones2  Mix1
 Mix2  Mix3
 Lay1  Lay8

Isaac and Rhys kept the workers well supplied with tools and concrete. Back to school next week – the boys will be sadly missed.

 Isaac1  Rhys1

Kath, Helen and David continued to trim back brambles.

 Trim1  Trim2

John G and Alan T made careful measurements for the new slipway.

 JG1  JG3

Mike repaired one of the kayaks.

 Repair1

The Ammanford Ramblers turned up in force. Here we see them receiving their safety briefing from Mike before taking to the water under the watchful eye of John G.

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 Canoe2  Canoe5
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Earlier in the day, Martin checked the garden in the Hidden Lock site that he and Liz had watered the previous day. Quite a lot of colour from red valerian, rape seed, purple loosestrife and crocosmia.

 BLG1  BLG2

Time for tea, and a chance to talk to Clare about the National Lottery Heritage Fund bid that she is preparing. She hopes to obtain funding for a community liaison officer to promote the canal. This week’s baker was Andy but the main catering for the Ammanford Ramblers was done by Gill, Ronnie, Nick and others. Sue managed the lunch and sale of craft items.

 Tea1  Tea2

After tea, Martin, Kath and Toby went to the Clydach Canal Centre. Martin writes “There has been much speculation as to what is beneath the overgrown, soon-to-be garden area in the Clydach Canal Centre site. We now know. Under a thick layer of composted leaf mould, blackberry and coarse grass, there are nicely laid kitchen tiles. Toby, Kath and I dug deep to reveal this archaeological wonder of late twentieth century Clydach. I expect these tiles were there long before the barge was built. They come tight up to the wall. It is possible that there was a house there that was demolished. Hence the breeze block wall. The tiles might well have been the floor of a small pantry.”

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 CCC3  CCC4

Two stalwarts of the canal were on parade. Clive brought some wonderful photographs to add to an article he is writing about the Squeezed Lock at Godre’r Graig and Mike did what Mike does best!

 Clive1  Mike1

And finally, today’s Nature Corner features Paul with his new rabbit friend and John Bryn with Percy.

 Rabbit1  JohnAndPercy

Yet another wonderful day on the canal. Much good work was achieved and even more fun was had by one and all. The secret of the canal’s success? Hard work and community, community, community!