At last a rain-free day! The temperature was low but the spirits were high as the volunteers assembled to tackle tasks in Coed Gwilym Park and the Buried Lock site. First up, we cleared the area in front of the canoe store.

 Tidy1  Tidy2
 Tidy4  Martin1

Gordon and Alan T widened the gates leading from the grounds of St. Benedict’s Church to improve access for the heavy plant (see below!). The original doors were re-hung with the addition of a hinged door to bridge the gap. Anna was on hand (paw) to check that the job was done to the required standard.

 Gate5  Gate2
 Gate3  Gate4

John G cleared weeds and branches from the sluice entrance to the Buried Lock Site. A never ending job. He was joined later by CRT staff who worked from the walkway crossing the canal.

 JohnG1

Tea was taken with cakes provided by Alan W. Actually, they had been in the freezer since last week’s rained off session, but still tasted delicious. It was lovely to have the gang from Whitethorn’s join us for a cuppa and a chat.

 Tea3  Whitethorns2

Turning now to jobs that did not require much input from the volunteers, contractors secured the new roof to the walls of the canoe store. A photo of a pair of legs is not particularly illuminating, but it shows a job well done. Quite how and why the roof was not secured at the time of installation is anybody’s guess.

 Roof1

Saving the best ’till last, the Buried Lock Site restoration entered a new phase last Thursday with the arrival of James Daley, our contractor, and his men and machines. Their heavy duty diggers and dumpers have been working away since then to dig down along the new route of the canal to the required depth before inserting a deep shale bed on which a heavy duty butyl liner will be laid. This work will create a boat basin and then a by-wash.

The pictures show how much has been fully excavated to the required depth. The funding for this first phase of the restoration has come from “Brilliant Basics”, for which the SCS is very grateful. Once this work on the canal is done to the required standard, another tranche of money will be made available. Phase One restoration work will be completed by March 31st.

 Dig1  Dig2
 Dig4  Dig3

What a wonderful day, in cold sunshine and without rain. The work in the Buried Lock site is truly glorious to behold. It marks the start of our ambitious plans to make the lock buried no more. With volunteers and professionals working so hard, the Swansea Canal is unstoppable.