08 November 2019

Another attempt at correcting stop planks at Dudbridge Lower 

by: Andrew R.

The ongoing issue with stop planks.
After two attempts and revisits to assess I was asked to lead a team to try again to reset the Stop Planks at Lower Dudbridge. 

A tug crew of 4 plus Myron agreed to help Ian and Myself. 
Armed with a range of equipment I met the tug crew at Dudbridge. The tug had to pass very carefully the sad Annette2 to ensure no disturbance to hydraulics.

We set to and with great team work after the first couple of lift all worked well to remove 8 planks. These we measured and were 3 found to be slightly different in length. Initially putting nails for numbers then renumbering with shallow saw cuts 1 to 8

This was discovered not to be the main issue but contributed to the problem. With a range of tools and poles we cleared a 5 inch pile of waste brick material etc from the bottom of the vertical channel slot and then with a long scoop tool scraped the bottom to remove other small objects and sand / silt from the seating position.

Then the task of replacing after most managed to get some lunch.

Not seen in picture but 3 people were working together with sequential calls to lift on the ropes, each time 4/5 big efforts to raise the plank so it would fit into the tow path side where two people lifting slightly to get in slot.  Another volunteer on the scaffolding roping up each plank.

All the time two are on the water helping reroute on the other end another rope and position each plank.  A massive effort by all because of the height of the walls.

In the next days we will see if it has worked but all the signs and tests say it should with most probably some sawdust/shavings to help.

Well done everyone, I’m sure there would have been some aching muscles.