30 July 2017

Ebley action - Dave Irving

A busy day on Saturday here at Ebley. There are 4 boats in the photo: from nearest to furthest - Samson, our wide
beam piling barge; Wooky Hole, a workboat, Perseverance, our trip boat; and Goliath, our tug with tender Aquila. 

Perseverance was kept busy with many passengers and trips in both directions. She provides trips to the public every Saturday - it's an ideal way to see your canal from the water, and the fares go towards the restoration. Come and see us!

And it was a busy day for Kingfishers, too. We had 4 sightings, including one skimming the canal right next to the trip boat. 

28 July 2017

The WRGies @ Dock Lock update

Steady progress has been made on the two main tasks at Dock Lock.  Firstly, the steps at the western end are almost up to the top and I'm assured that they have every intention of going round the bend soon!

At the eastern end, the spill weir construction has really advanced.  Th concrete base was poured as planned on Wednesday and now the reinforced block work is well underway.  Their camp ends today, so further progress at this site will be noticeable by the colour of the hard hats changing from mostly red to green.

A few words from the DofE Award students informed me that whilst it had been hard work, they had enjoyed their time with the gang, especially meeting folk from all walks of life.

27 July 2017

Still Life

The resident Heron that regularly patrols the Ryeford pound was out fishing this morning.  If you peer into the water at just about any location along our canal just at the moment, you'll observe abundant fish life - there's plenty on offer. 

Despite a several humans and at least 6 dogs on the towpath opposite, he held his gaze.

26 July 2017

Bookshop news - Anna Watts

Another successful event at the Stroud Country Show in spite of a very damp start. Despite difficulties getting  on the site our very well drilled team soon had the two marquees erected and the books, records and CDs on display. Eventually the weather relented and a steady stream of  visitors kept our volunteers busy. In the meantime Janet and Roy Overall and their team kept the Brimscombe shop going with great results for the day. The show team managed to take down the marquees and reload the van in 15 minutes! 
The weekend showed the value of attending shows as well as maintaining the shop. It was also evident that having an experienced team organising outside events is desirable to take the load off those running the shop but it needs someone to take overall control - any volunteers? The next event on the calendar is the raft race in August, a good one to start someone off.

 David Drew MP buys an interesting book at the Stroud Country Show...

...and the town crier pays the CCT stand a visit

25 July 2017

The WRGies attack Dock Lock

Their one week camp, based at Brimscombe, commenced last weekend.  Today, they were in full swing under a strong sun working on the south side of the lock chamber.

The main activities were, firstly, the excavations necessary to create a new spill weir. This involves preparing the earth works ready for the weir construct and a pipe that will run along side the lock to the bottom end.  Rain is forecast for tomorrow & so is the concrete!

At the west end, the steps leading up to the top of the lock were being diverted around the quadrant so that you don't end up walking into the balance beam when the gates are open.  The WRGies team is supplemented with Duke of Edinburgh Awards students.
Much to do before end of camp Friday

23 July 2017

Augustus on the move

The Trust's dredger, Augustus Gloop, is on the move in preparation for a new phase of work along the stretch between Wallbridge and Dudbridge.  Here she is shown with workboat Annette II near Chestnut Bridge, resting before the real work starts!

Stroud & District Angling Club - Weed clearance at Thrupp
Here they are raking the canal to reduce weed before their introductory event for  juniors who would like to take up fishing.  The event will be held on the Stroudwater Canal (T&S actually....Ed.) at Thrupp from 10am on the 29th July. This is an open event for all juniors, there is no need to be members of the club.

A qualified angling coach will be on hand to give help & advise along with members of the club who will help out if needed. tackle & bait  for the event will be supplied by the club and a short match will be held with prizes for the winners.
Their web site is http://www.stroudangling.co.uk/

22 July 2017

Wallbridge dredging

Contractors were on site today scraping silt from the canal bed in the pound between Upper and Lower locks.  Silt from Slad Brook tends to settle out in this section.  Also, the scaffold has bee erected along the old brewery wall in readiness for restoration work.

There  was also much activity down at the Canal Bookshop this morning, including the WRGies in a changeover phase, getting ready for a weeks work on Pike Lock.

21 July 2017

Paving a way to the future

Shortly, there will be launched a number of initiatives for fund raising to support our activities in working towards our ultimate goal of Stroudwater Connected.

Just one of them will be the opportunity to purchase sponsored bricks, engraved with your own message, which will be incorporated in the pathways at Capels Mill. Details will be announced shortly on the CCT web site and in the Trow.

19 July 2017

Job done

The scaffold came down on Monday as planned and the area is now clean and tidy.  Your scribe spent some time attempting to photograph the wonderful display of Dragonflies around Bonds Mill Bridge, but they dart around and are very difficult to catch - anyone else had a go?  There are at least 4 species, if you count Damselflies as well.

Of a lunch time, the canal is used extensively by folk escaping from the offices and factories for a top-up of R&R, either resting on one of the many benches, astride a balance beam or just wandering the towpath.  We're so fortunate to have such an environment right on our doorstep.

18 July 2017

'HGV' Training

Tug trainer David Pashby completed his training today, and has been approved to skipper our tug Goliath, and to move our barges and mud hoppers along the canal. You see him here, on the right, bringing barge Delilah in to moor at the end of the day. David and our other skippers will be much needed as dredging work gets under way in the near future. 

If you'd like to see what Tug work is all about, to experience the satisfaction of safely moving these large vessels along our canal, and maybe train to be a skipper yourself, please email dave.irving@cotswoldcanals.com and/or myron@hamshill.co.uk

17 July 2017

Traffic Report!

It's a busy day in Ryeford locks as workboats Wooky Hole and Annette II pass Goliath. 

16 July 2017

Bonds Mill Gate House - makeover

Yesterday saw the completion of the exterior painting activity.  The interior also saw an upgrade in the form of a fine covering of new carpet tiles, which has much improved the acoustics and ambiance of the interior.

By Monday, the scaffold and all the fallout from the job should have disappeared, so it will be visible to enjoy in all its splendor!

15 July 2017

Goughs Orchard Feed - Progress

In order to establish an improved water supply for the Wallbridge - Brimscombe section of the canal, a creative plan to siphon water into the canal at Goughs Orchard Lock is underway.  On site, there is an information panel with a detailed illustration of the engineering solution.

The pipe does not yet quite dip in the canal, but when working this innovative solution will provide a low energy solution to the water supply issue.  Water abstraction quantities are the subject of EA approval.

14 July 2017

Heritage  - Communications

At Ebley stands a reminder of a once significant communications trunk route that once ran alongside our canal.  This sole remaining pole and a few sawn off stumps in the ground at Lodgemore are all that remain.  Old photo's capture the full splendor of this once important piece of telephone infrastructure.

Pairs of tensioned hard drawn cadmium/copper wires once spanned between the poles. Canals, like railways, were an ideal place to run such routes.  The Shropshire Union Canal has a unique example just north of Norbury Junction

Back in 1985, the last reaming open wire pole route in the area could be seen running up Chalford Vale alongside the main line railway.  It too, has long gone.  The Ffestiniog Railway, in North Wales, still operates and maintains a substantial heritage pole route, keeping alive the skills and practical knowledge of a once common sight.

13 July 2017

The high & dry Mud Barge near Eastington.

The mud barge that had languished for some time on the south bank above Pike Lock has now been moved to the towpath side and fencing erected around it in preparation for some TLC.  Named Leviathan, it is just 90 years of age.

The volunteer run plan is to present it in a similar livery to our Warp & Weft barges which are now in service further up the canal.

see:  http://stroudtown.gov.uk/2016/08/23/mud-boats-officially-launched/

12 July 2017

Reflections at Upper Mills Trading Estate.

On Friday, the latest modification to try and address the towpath/access road safety issue materialised in the form of a post mounted mirror.  Prior to that, a staggered barrier on the Ocean side of the junction had been tried, but actually made matters quite difficult for those on two or more wheels negotiating the steep slope.  This new mirror, installed by SDC, works quite well and addresses the very poor sight line from the estate entrance to the Ocean towpath approach.

11 July 2017

Bonds Mill

The Gate House at Bonds Mill has received further volunteer attention.  Last Saturday the exterior painting commenced and has made good progress.  Most of the first coat is on - more to follow.