Work Party: Tuesday 25th June 2024

Work Party: Tuesday 25th June 2024

There was an element of déjà vu about today’s gathering, as we met again at the Pontardawe aqueduct for another ‘railing care’ session. Our numbers were a little depleted by illness and summer holidays, although in the hot sun we could happily have said ‘Wish you were here’!

The aim was to complete the painting we started last week, and Mike F, Alan T, Paul, Martin and Bob were soon rubbing off mildew and scraping off paint on the two unfinished panels. Bob tried his battery-powered ‘multi-tool’ to chip off old paint, which worked well before the batteries quickly gave out! It was very technical work, judging by the concentration on their faces! Glandŵr Cymru (Canal and River Trust) dropped off more paint and brushes and the two panels were soon looking bright and clean! The look of the entire fence line is now very striking.

Gordon and Ronnie tackled the railing overlooking the Upper Clydach river, with the posts now looking good in black and the rails in white.

Gordon moved on to the overgrown canal bank near Herbert Street bridge and cleared much of the thick vegetation. As we’ve seen elsewhere on this stretch, the exposed wall is in poor condition and needs urgent attention. Meanwhile David G was doing his own clearing, ensuring that twigs protruding through the fence were neatly trimmed back.

Duncan cleared a pathway behind the canal terminus, which gave access to the second set of railings. Martin, Alan T and Mike F set to with more black and white paint (two tins!) and by 1pm the whole area was looking so much better. Several passers-by made complimentary comments on the improvements, which is always heartening for our hard-working volunteers!

Coffee and several lovely cakes were provided by Alan W and Jan, and very tasty they were too. As we finished our two weeks in Pontardawe we reflected on a successful job, which we shouldn’t have to tackle again for a few years at least.

As we left, Gordon, Martin and Alan T called in at the Buried Lock site to check on the 100+ tree saplings donated by the Woodland Trust. Their hessian ‘pots’ dry out quickly in the warm weather and Gordon proposed planting them alongside the towpath to give them a better chance of thriving. Martin, our resident garden expert, will give us his advice on this, as we noticed there are already several native species lining that edge.

All in all it was a great day in the sun, and despite the heat it was a good job done.

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