Work Party: Tuesday 7th February 2023

Work Party: Tuesday 7th February 2023

Though there was a frosty start to the day, the sun shone and by noon it was very pleasant to be working outside. The main job continued to be the clearance of weed, willow and silt from the canal north of the Buried Lock Site. Gordon was once again afloat on the offside of the canal cutting back the overhanging willow. Peter, Andrew, Alan W, John G and Martin helped haul the felled timber to the towpath side where it was cut and lopped into manageable pieces. Drag forks were also in use by the sluice to clear Canadian pond weed from the surface of the canal. Barrows, both manual and motorised, were filled with the heaps and Aled, Sharon, Gareth and Alan W ferried them to the Canoe store to be used as compost.

At Coed Gwilym Park Alan T and others took care of the weeds and sweepings delivered by barrow from further down the cut, forking and shovelling them into the towpath borders to fill in a low area and provide nutrients for the borders which will be created later.

The decorating improvements that started with the new sky blue canoe store continued. Ronnie, with much patience, completed the white lettering of the old weight restriction canal bridge signs, while the safety railings that will keep users of the new slipway diversion safe were given coats of black and white paint by Mike and Gill.

Moving between the Buried Lock site and the canoe store our colleague Dai noticed a build-up of earth and rotting leaves on the edge of the towpath, making it both narrow and slippery. In no time he and Alan T were scraping and shovelling the debris into piles, that Gareth later collected and took away. The worst stretch of around 150metres was cleared and the path brushed clean.

John G and Sharon retrieved a shopping trolley, that Sharon triumphantly wheeled away. She expertly steered a straight path, a most accomplished performance given that trolleys tend to have a mind of their own, as every supermarket shopper knows.

Very welcome developments also began today further down the canal at the Clydach Canal Centre site. The scaffolding planks have been delivered, some scaffolding itself has been erected on the canal side of the building and, when it’s all up, work to build a new roof on the building will start. We once again thank James Daley and his workers for all their efforts.

Eleven o’clock brought the usual coffee and cake-fest and a chance to enjoy the warm sun and the warm company. It was a great turnout of volunteers despite the chilly start, and there was something for everyone to do. It’s looking like more of the same next week, when we would also like to tackle a build-up of silt above the Buried Lock site that is obstructing the water flow. It will be another busy, and dare we say dirty day!

BREAKING NEWS: The next day, Wednesday, Martin reported on more action at the Buried Lock Site. The footings are now in situ and have been levelled. Gordon surveys the scene. Stone dust will be put on top, then the final two layers added; one, a thin white rock wool membrane and then the heavy duty butyl liner. These last two layers have now been delivered to St Benedict’s Car Park. All the James Daley men are working hard, as ever. And Gordon too, of course.

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