Volunteers met at Coed Gwilym Park on a warm morning that just kept getting warmer and warmer! It was a glorious sunny day for the work party to tackle a range of housekeeping tasks along the cut.

With a bit of careful fettling, Gordon and Bob fitted an outboard motor to the large work boat and set off towards Trebanos. This was a successful test run of a boat we’ve rarely used, to assess its practicality as a platform for weed clearing, off-bank tree pruning and other tasks best undertaken, or only reachable from the water. The propeller also chopped up or disturbed some of the heavily weeded patches of canal en-route, an added bonus!

 Boat1  Boat4

Mike and Ronnie rubbed down the launch ramp railings and painted the rails white, with the posts ready to be painted black another day. Dai returned from prolonged furlough to repair the step edges to the ramp and re-secure several post mountings with mortar. Gill and John G joined in the fun.

 Rails3  Dai2
 Rails4  Rails5

The main business was again bagging and capping the canal bank edging, with Gordon and Steve mixing, Pete barrowing the cement bags and Alan T and Dave laying them, and/or capping stones, within the wooden formwork. This task is nearing completion on the current section under construction, with one more work party required to finish the job.

 Mix2  Bags1
 Wall3  Wall2

Kath watered the Hidden Lock garden in Martin’s absence, then joined Helen in clearing weed and removing drained piles which had been stacked near the towpath last week. Helen got the prize for the biggest item pulled from the water today – a massive piece of thick timber around 2m long which initial investigation suggests is a section of narrow boat planking! If confirmed, possible uses will be considered for this piece of our heritage, such as information signage or as a display piece?

 Weed2
 Weed1  Plank2

The 11 o’clock tea break came as welcome relief in the heat, with chance for the usual natter and catch-up, fuelled as ever by coffee and tasty cakes.

 Tea2

Work resumed afterwards to complete the few outstanding tasks, and plans for next week were discussed. The day proved tiring in the heat, but several important jobs were completed to the credit of all involved! We don’t expect such a glorious day next week, but we can always rely on our teams to turnout come rain or shine!