28 December 2018

Blast from the Past 3

by: Bob Hallam

You may think, that when in 2018 SVCC sent the Boat Acquisition Team  (AKA BAT Squad) to Etruria to re-float the £5 workboat “Flea,” that that was our first attempt at such a venture.
Not a bit of it!

A short history lesson. During the 1970’s and ‘80’s, a number of work-flats were built by Trust members, with Tony Jones and Richard Attwood amongst others, plying their trade beneath the Railway Arches at Wallbridge. 

After sterling service, one of these work-flats ended up abandoned at Arundel Aqueduct when the Canal was infilled to build the Stroud Eastern bypass known as Dr. Newtons Way.
In 2011 (Feb 9th to be precise) a Western Depot Work Party under the self-same Richard Attwood, were asked to clear up a bit around Arundel, the rubbish tip was shortly to become the new route of the Canal!

We uncovered the long-abandoned work-flat, but a tree had grown right through the deck anchoring it to the bank! An valiant attempt was made to re-float and restore the flat, but we were beaten by rotten timbers and lack of a crane.
LtoR Richard Tanner Richard Attwood Brian Ward Ellison Mike Langford
Unable to free the work flat

Some time later, the contractor digging the new canal route must have lifted it. It was, and maybe still, on the bank towpath side, where the canal again passes over Arundel Aqueduct.