Clydach Lock Phase One Opening Ceremony, 6th October 2023

Clydach Lock Phase One Opening Ceremony, 6th October 2023

The day had finally arrived for the official opening of Phase 1 of the Clydach Lock restoration. The weather was somewhat against us with occasional hard showers but our enormous marquee provided excellent protection for our guests as they arrived. Here we see Tonia chatting to Canon Pelosi and John Andrew Davies talking to Sherryll Sobie Cooke, VALE. [Click for full Guest list]

Our Master of Ceremonies, Alan Tremlett, gave an outline of the order of events. He told us that the actual opening ceremonies would be performed first, as Jeremy Miles had limited time with us. He asked our chairman, Gordon Walker, to welcome our guests and to say a few words about the Swansea canal, our Society and our plans for Clydach lock and elsewhere.

The first opening was the lifting of a stop plank to allow passage of water into the boat basin. As usual, Gordon had come up with an ingenious mechanism that required some dexterous axe-wielding by Tonia. Whatever was said caused great amusement for our guests!

Next, the boat basin and portage ramp were declared open by the cutting of a ribbon by Rebecca. No gadgets here – just a lovely pair of golden scissors.

We had a beautiful cake in reserve just in case the weather had turned out to be so awful as to preclude any outdoor activities. This was duly cut by Tonia and Rob.

Next it was time for brief speeches by Rebecca, Mark, Rob and Tonia. They were all kind enough to thank the Society for it’s dedication to the restoration and maintenance of the canal in order to provide a community resource of which we can all be proud. The Society is so grateful for the continuing encouragement from them and all our many friends, funders and supporters.

Time for refreshments and the chance for further, informal chats. Gordon took a small number of our guests to Hebron Road where he outlined progress to date and plans for the Swansea Canal Centre.

As a very successful day drew to a close, we were able to reflect on what has been achieved with the “Hidden” Lock. Michelle’s model shows our vision for the lock and the final two photos are the boat basin in full water flowing into the by-wash and our canoes and kayaks at the portage ramp.

With the continuing support of our friends, our funders, our contractors and our volunteers, we have made a phenomenal start to this project but the best is yet to come. We cannot wait to get stuck in to the lock itself.

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