The work today was split between two sites although, amoeba-like, the two bases swiftly splintered into several sub-sites. Though the weather was predominantly wet there was an excellent turn out and much was achieved. Sharon, Kath and Chris took drag forks from Base Camp 1 (the newly painted and re-roofed canoe store in Coed Gwilym Park) and headed south to clear Canadian pond weed from the canal towards Clydach town centre, whilst Mike F pulled yet more from the stretch near the canoe slipway. It is the water equivalent of Japanese Knot Weed. John G, Alan W and Martin D remained at the canoe store.

John and Mike took measurements for a proposed canopy for the front of the store to augment the recent repairs. Certainly, a canopy will add much needed protection, in bad weather and sun, for our wonderful canoe hire volunteers. Alan W and Martin worked on tidying up the still flowering canoe garden and the adjacent grassy bed which was badly in need of a haircut.

CGP3

CGP2

Base Camp 2 was back at Trebanos Lower Lock. Gordon, Alan T and Chris B, known collectively as the Heavy Brigade, cut a large stone block to size to fit the last remaining pocket in the lock wall, and also two facing stones for the locks’ south-side wing wall. The areas were prepared, so that the blocks can be fitted and mortared in when the weather is drier.

Lock1

Lock2

Having finished the canopy measurements, John G and Alan W went to Pontardawe Aqueduct to collect our maintenance boat ‘Nellie’ which has been stored there since we weeded the canal near Herbert Street a month ago. As that area has been cleared for the proposed new village green garden, the pair returned the boat to safe storage in our yard.

We were joined at our tea break (tasty cakes courtesy of Gill) by the staff and clients of Whitethorns Day Care Centre. Covid precautions meant that they have been unable to join us for over two years and we were delighted to welcome some of them back today. It was quite like old times! After tea Gill, Gareth and Kath cleared the steps leading from Pontardawe Road to the canal towpath, which were covered in six wheelbarrows’ worth of leaves and an amazing number of acorns, making them slippery and dangerous. This piece of public service has made that access point very much cleaner and safer. 

CGP1

Leaves1

So despite the weather we had yet another productive day with everyone present making their individual contribution. We look forward to more of the same next week when hopefully it will be drier.