After a “firebreak” of just one week, the volunteers were back hard at work on the canal adjacent to the Riverside Community Space. The day was very cold, but not cold enough to deter anyone.

The first task of the day was to finish off clearing Bridge 8 by removing soil from the path and brambles overhanging it.

 Bridge1  Bridge3

The main job was to remove from the cut what proved to be a very substantial tree. The easily accessible branches had been trimmed before Christmas so today we tackled the trunk. “Nellie” was towed to site on her recently refurbished trailer: she was essential for access. The second photo shows the trunk still in the water. Most of the branches were gone but we had little idea what laid beneath the surface. Piece by piece, chunks were cut off and dragged to the bank. Eventually, we were left with the main trunk that was pulled up to and on to the towpath, using Gordon’s block and tackle heaved by at least seven volunteers. Gordon then sawed the trunk into manageable chunks that were stashed on waste ground. The final photo shows the result of our labours. Not a branch in site!

 Nellie1  Tree16
 Tree17  Tree20
 Tree22  Tree21

Gordon lead by example, ending up wet and muddy but pleased with a job well done, although perhaps he looks a little tired. What a man!

 Gordon1
 Tea1

Time for a break. We are currently asking volunteers to bring their own drinks but we welcomed the chance to chat whilst maintaining reasonable social distancing. It was particularly good to see Kath and John after far too long absences. We wish them both well as they continue their recoveries.

A very welcome return to work, even though it was a bit chilly. The tree proved to be much more substantial than we had expected, but we got it out. Nothing stops the Swansea Canal Society!