Work Party: Tuesday 28th February 2023

Work Party: Tuesday 28th February 2023

Another mild and sunny day encouraged a grand turnout of volunteers in Coed Gwilym Park, where the majority of work took place. But first, following a comment from a local, Chris M, Sharon and Alan T spent the morning having a final tidy up at Trebanos. Most of the stones left over from recent lock repairs were removed last week: today the remnants of mortar, timber, fencing, empty bags and tarpaulins were collected in two trailer loads and brought to Coed Gwilym Park for storage

Most of the volunteers continued to build the retaining wall around the extended garden. Rough concrete was chiselled away and new stones were laid. A bit more to do later, but already the wall is looking splendid.

Helen and Mike tidied the canoe store, in preparation for opening the hire season on Easter Sunday.

Sue came armed with strong patio cleaner that she used to spruce up the plaques at the entrance to the park.

Malcolm retrieved plants from the Buried Lock Site that Martin replanted in the new beds in the park.

Dave G made a very welcome return to volunteering with us, having cadged a lift from Yun Yun who was also back after a long gap, checking out a boat that we are donating to her Ty Bank Canal Group that works so hard to maintain the Neath Canal. Dave was soon hard at work dragging branches from the cut.

Time for tea, with a delicious selection of cakes baked by Chris G. Our chums from Whitethorns joined us and Paul took the opportunity to hone his dog whispering skills. Anna and Cerys voted him “Best in Show”.

After tea, Gareth {who seems to have shrunk in this photo} and his labourer Malcolm embarked on the mammoth task of removing the silt build-up. Gareth reminisced about his dad getting him to collect sand from the same spot, that was used to create concrete paths around their house. The paths are still in everyday use, some sixty years later – a testament to the quality of the sand or Gareth’s dad’s prowess or both!

Update from the Buried Lock Site: Yun Yun, Malcolm and Gordon retrieve and stack carefully some of the potentially useful timber. Work continues to line the temporary by-wash with breeze blocks. More cement blocks arrive looking en masse rather like an old WW2 snipers hideout. Don’t tell them your name, Davies. The Man in Charge, James Daley. watches the digger preparing what will be the new green corridor through the site.

And finally, in the coal mine whose entrance is in Annette’s poly-tunnel, she and Sue were hard at work hewing lumps from expanded polystyrene foam. These will be sealed with PVA glue and painted to make coal for the 225 exhibit in the National Waterfront Museum. Fifty done, fifteen hundred needed – keep up the good work!

What a busy and varied day. If we keep up this rate of work the canal will be fully restored and finished before you know it!

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