The Canal Beneath Our Feet (13): THE RAMPED RETAINING WALL: 29.6.17.

IMG_20170629_140734

The Canal Beneath Our Feet (13): THE RAMPED RETAINING WALL: 29.6.17.

IMG_20170629_140734While the contractors  who are demolishing the building over the buried lock have been away on other work, Gordon, Gareth the Elder, and Gareth the Younger, have been busy doing preparatory work for the new towpath and cycle path. The brieze block rubble from the demolished building can be used to build a retaining wall for the ramp which will be necessary to bring the new cycle path up from the canal level to the level of the restored lock. This is roughly the same height as  the existing plinth on which our portakabin stands. In 1973 everything was levelled off and the first five to six feet of the lock chamber wall was removed but the lock must be restored to its original height. So it will be a gentle climb for cyclists and walkers alike coming from the southern end of the depot. In the photo above Gareth Senior uses the ‘one block at a time’ technique for the downhill journey to the new wall. None of these new fangled inventions like wheelbarrows for him.

IMG_20170629_112434792   And here on the right he hands his block over to Gareth the Younger who will then pass it on to Gordon for the ‘laying in’ procedure. I think this was before the wheelbarrows arrived on site, to be fair to everyone involved. As you can see the wall is starting to take shape and the pile of brieze blocks for use in the bottom right of the photo are sufficient to keep Gordon busy. The plinth with the portakabin on top are both visible behind the workmen.

 

 

 

IMG_20170629_112504824_HDR   This is the side elevation. The drop down from the plinth level to the tarmac can be clearly seen. A lot of backfilling, pointing and cementing will be needed before the wall is  complete. As we have now procured a mini-tracter with a trailer  it is to be hoped that the back-breaking work of moving the raw materials will be lessened.  The enthusiasm of our three Society volunteers (four, counting Gill who arrived a little later) is obvious in these pictures and it is this ‘never give up’ spirit that will undoubtedly bring the vision we share with the Canal and River Trust of a restored canal through the old Council Yard to eventual reality.

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