There was an excellent turnout of volunteers this morning in The Hidden Lock site in Clydach. The weather was warm yet overcast, with a bit of drizzle just as the work was closing. Most of the hard work was actually performed up- and down-stream of the site.

Downstream, close to the Clydach Mond lock, the weed dragged two weeks ago was barrowed to the new compost heap. More weed was also dragged out. These piles will be left for a while so all the wildlife can return to the water. One of the volunteers, who shall remain nameless, stopped for tea and mince pies generously provided by a resident of one of the canal-side houses.

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Meanwhile, Andy & Sue removed the piles of weed from upstream of the lock. Manual labour this time. They also dragged out more weed once the piles had gone.

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Gordon repaired the fence between the towpath and the derelict remains of the council yard.

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Sue helped Dave to sweep up leaves, thereby making for safer walking along the towpath.

Martin continued to care for his beloved garden.

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Alan T & Bob collected a speedboat that has been gifted most generously to the Society. Anyone for water skiing?

Meanwhile, in Coed Gwilym Park, after John had had a go on Annette’s catamaran he had to do a rescue on the safety signs that had been thrown into the canal by the usual lot of jokers. Success! By way of information, the signs are there while the towpath from the park to the Neath Port Talbot boundary is resurfaced.

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But by far the most important part of the day was teatime, where we celebrated Martin’s 75th birthday. Jan baked a lovely cake for him and he huffed and he puffed until he blew the candles out!

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This is what volunteering is all about. Lots achieved by dint of very hard work, plus the chance to have a bit of fun with friends. Apologies to the many volunteers on site – Owain, Ronnie, John A, Mike C and others – whose magnificent efforts were not recorded on camera. Thanks to Annette and Paul for providing many of the photos.