Our Water Busman’s Holiday
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Never let it be said that we are parochial out here in South
West Wales. We are prepared to travel miles in search of
new ideas for the restoration of the Swansea Canal. Suez
and Panama were mooted as destinations but by a narrow
majority we voted to have a day trip to the Herefordshire
and Gloucestershire at Over Basin and the Cotswolds
Canal at Stroud.
We were indeed impressed by the ‘kit’ at the Over basin.
The new tractor was in operation cutting the tow path
verge of the stretch of canal which has just celebrated its
first anniversary. It has a digger, a flailer and a cutter
attachment for both grass and hedges so a pretty
impressive weapon. We ordered two.
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We were equally in awe of the Model Boats that were
using the Basin. Michelle who is no mean modeller herself
was soon on her fourth notebook and her second biro by
the time this photo was taken. She will be making her own
remote-controlled four foot barge for the Swansea over
the winter. It will be quite an attraction.
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Melinda allowed us on board one the four boats that are
moored at the basin. They look sparkling in the H&G
colours of red and yellow which she had painted on
herself. Although they can only go 600 yards on water at
present, when the canal is extended south into the Severn
and north towards Newent they will come truly into their
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From Over we drove south to Stroud and the Dudbridge
Locks. A big, big project with grants totalling over £20mill.
We were not dismayed as we are working our way
towards that total for the Swansea Canal and had brought
our own sandwiches and flasks in order to boost our own
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The hydro turbine scheme was right up our street.
We would love to have something like this on our locks.
There were originally 36 locks in our 16 mile canal so the
water is positively racing down the by-washes of our three
locks that remain just waiting to be harnessed.
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We wish both the Cotswold Canals Trust and the
Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal Trust every
success in their endeavours. We learned a lot and
sincerely thank both Trusts for their hospitality.