A slightly depleted team met at the Clydach Canal Centre on Hebron Road on a cool, bright morning for a spot of gardening and weed clearing. Martin joined us from his early start tending the Buried Lock garden, which looks resplendent in its spring colours.

Our itinerant volunteers soon set off in a variety of different directions!

Sharon, Chris, Stephen, Martin, Kath and Rees set to work to clear the walled garden bed which has become overgrown with grass and weeds. Having uprooted the weeds and raked over the soil, we were able to sow some meadow flower seeds which will encourage bees and butterflies. While this task was ongoing, Gordon and Alan T repaired the stone walls of the garden.

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Aled, Chris and Pete dragged more weed and branches from the cut, a dirty and smelly task!

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Mike Clarke discovered these burnt out palettes underneath and close to the stone seat next to Pont John Bridge last Tuesday. As we were working at Hebron Road today, Rees, Martin and Mike took a wheelbarrow and shovels up the towpath to clear away the mess.

Mike is a fast worker and chivvied Rees and Martin who were keen on having a Welsh vocab quiz which was slowing the spade work. They reluctantly desisted and the charred remains were soon in the wheelbarrow. Here are the before and after pics.

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We stopped at 11am for refreshments, a chat and delicious cakes, delivered earlier by Gill, all consumed in the sun on the Clydach Canal Centre stone barge.

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Alan T and Gordon started laying out the wall at the end of the Canal Centre, needed to make the building safe and secure.

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Mid-morning we were please to welcome Hannah Booth and Morgan Cowles from Glandŵr Cymru. Together with Gordon, John G and our president and historical consultant Clive Reed, seen here chatting with Martin, they headed to the Trebanos locks. The subject was restoration works planned for later this year by the Waterways Recovery Group; a good discussion was had and Morgan’s advice on materials and arrangements fed into our planning process.

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Here’s a shot of the fruit trees that were planted a few weeks ago. They have all survived and some are in full bloom.

It is great to have Rees’s youthful enthusiasm during the school holidays. Here he is digging the garden. He is so helpful and a great baker too!

 Rees

The results of a full mornings work were clear to see, with the flower border walled, weeded, raked and sown, a section of the canal (slightly!) less weedy, and the Pont John path cleared of unsightly fire debris.

And finally……………

Martin was quietly driving to Gill’s with four mostly empty hot water flasks when he applied the brakes rather sharply. The flasks overturned spilling some of the water. Not a disaster except that some of the water landed on his seed mat in the back seat. A seed mat is a thin paper folded roll impregnated with wild flower seeds. As they were now wet, there was an urgent need to get the mat planted. Having cleared up the mess, deposited the flasks in Gills shed, he raced to the Buried Lock site, cleared a corridor of pernicious weeds and rolled out the seed mat. The mat is about six foot long and now had a lovely repeated water mark along its entire length. It was, amazingly, a dead ringer, with a floral bent, for the Turin Shroud. No time for reverence though. Watered thoroughly and covered with top soil the mat is now in situ awaiting germination and growth.

The dull photo he took of the planting site gives little idea of the dramatic lead up to the race to get it in the ground. In order to give it some distinction he marked the spot with a wooden sign. Those flowers had better be good!

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