There was a late change of plan for this morning’s volunteer work party. The intention had been to again split the team onto several different tasks: to continue rebuilding and pointing work at Trebanos lock, to clear and clean out the canoe store in Coed Gwilym Park, and to clear the towpath and surroundings areas at our site in Hebron Road.

However conflicting commitments for Gordon made it impractical to attempt the work at Trebanos in the time available. The whole group therefore met at Coed Gwilym Park, where the canoe store became the main focus. With no roof for eight months the internal structures, canoes and kayaks are in a sorry state. Mike, Ronnie, Alan, John G, David and others set about removing the crafts, paddles, other equipment and sundry items until the building was completely empty. Laid on the ground outside, it’s amazing how much stuff we have, and the photos don’t include our eight Canadian canoes!

 Store1  Outside1
 Outside2  Store2

After a thorough sweep out by Martin to remove mess and standing water, equipment was sorted and replaced on its racks. We took the opportunity to dispose of unnecessary items, freeing space for the things we actually use. The new roof should be fitted this week, so hopefully our cleaning efforts will not be in vain, but canoes were replaced inverted and kayaks were covered with sheeting for added protection.

 Store3

Another urgent job was to retrieve our green work boat from the off-bank at the park. Recent heavy rain had filled the cockpit to the point where the functional drain hole was below the surface, allowing yet more water in and submerging the hull to the level of the gunwales! Gordon brought the boat to the slipway where it was bailed out and drained, and later returned to its mooring with a new drain hole bung.

 Boat3  Boat1

Sharon manned a table on the towpath selling the Society’s 2023 calendar, before heading to the grating at the Buried Lock site with Chris Grav and Kath, to clear a major blockage of logs, branches and leaves. The chaps chipped in to pull out weed upstream of the grating.

 Sales1  Weed1
 Weed3  Weed4

Ronnie provided the elevenses today, and Chris Grav the wonderfully light sponge cake. Gordon returned from a useful meeting with the Inland Waterways Association, and Andy and Sue, John A, Mike C and John D all made it in time for a cuppa.

 Tea2

It was a good morning’s work all round and a key achievement in preparation for Halloween celebrations on 30th October.