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Newsletter Issue 10 January 2014


After months of hard work by a dedicated band of RGT volunteers the new sluice at Baylham Mill was successfully installed last summer. In an earlier newsletter we featured the off-site construction work that took place in a workshop at Whitehouse Farm, near Great Glemham. All the timber was sourced from Glemham Hall estate and processed by a mobile local sawmill. More pictures inside

A New Year Dawns A belated Happy New Year to you all. Let’s hope it will be another good one for the River Gipping Trust. We have a lot going on in 2014 and you can read more about these activities on the following pages. A big thank you to Fergus Muir and John Ford for taking the majority of the photographs. LES HOWARD

RECOGNISE THIS PLACE? The photograph below was purchased by our estimable Treasurer, Spencer Greystrong. It is attributed to the River Gipping but our own experts are unsure of the location. Can you enlighten us as to where it is please?

PROJECT LEADER MARTIN BIRD REPORTS We were once again blessed with a run of decent weather last Autumn which lasted right up to the St Jude's Day storm. Since then we had a run of cold and damp, which slowed us down a bit and caused us to call a very early halt to one session at Pipps Ford. However, the timber for the bridge at Pipps Ford was milled at the end of October, and the members of the work party meeting at the farm have been able to make significant progress undercover, while the Pipps Ford bunch have had to deal with the weather and the after –effects of the storms. Fuelled by a generous supply of cake from Jason , and with the very patient overview of Raymond, we are near completing the first of the two side frames for the bridge and have prepared the laminations for the four curved bearers. We used a remarkable wood glue that set in minutes in spite of the very low temperature. Away from the farm, the regular work party have been completing the replacement of the earth fill behind the new bridge abutments at Pipps Ford ,so that the fill has time to settle before the bridge components are fitted into place. One of the next jobs will be to prepare moulds and cast new coping stones for the abutments. The stones will then be put in place once the bridge is in position. Luckily, the St Jude’s day storm came and went without causing any structural damage to any of our active sites, though we had to clear fallen trees from the lock site at Baylham, and we are aware of a number of other sites where trees have been weakened and are leaning over the river. Sadly for us one of our regular members, Don Brazinsky attended his last work party in November, and has now returned to his native America, where we hear he is settling back into life in the USA after 41 years in the UK. I would like to thank Don for all of his support over the years and wish him all the best for his new life across the pond. The work parties will continue through the winter, and be split between the farm, Baylam and Pipps Ford. For the moment, our first Saturday of the month work party will take place at White House Farm.

Don ‘Radar’ Brazinski we’ll miss you. In November 2013 Don Brazinski, one of our most valuable and long serving members of the Ipswich IWA, said his sad goodbyes and, after 41 years in England, returned to America. He had started his career with the US Navy, until 1955 and then, after a short period in civvy street, joined the US Air Force, from where he retired with the rank of Master Sergeant, and finally settled down in England in 1971. Don was a larger than life member of our work party. He was in at the birth of our restoration work on the Ipswich & Stowmarket Navigation, a time when we had very little worth speaking of in the way of plant, equipment or money. But Don had a way of making things happen. Does anyone remember the American TV programme, several years ago, called “M.A.S.H” about a field hospital in Vietnam? They had a character, known as "RADAR", who had an uncanny ability of acquiring desperately needed items as if from nowhere – Don was our very own “RADAR”. When we started work on Bosmere lock we needed sandbags. The next thing we knew 40 pallets of sandbags turned up on an articulated lorry. These were very quickly followed by such items as Stop Planks and a whole range of tools – the list was endless. We only had to mention we needed something and it appeared as if by magic. Perhaps I should mention that during this time Don worked for the US Air Force at RAF Bentwaters as Warehouse Supervisor, Store Manager and Commissary Officer and was obviously in a very advantageous position to assist the US Air Force in disposing of unwanted items when RAF Bentwaters was deactivated in 1993, at which point Don finally retired. I know that none of us are indispensable but Don comes close to that. He will be greatly missed by all his IWA friends and his going will leave a big – big hole in our Working Party. We wish him well and hope that, with the aid of modern technology, we have not heard the last of Don. John Finch

Don receiving the IWA keepsake

Something to remember his IWA friends by

IWA 40th Anniversary Coach Trip 5-7 September 2014 We have a few seats left on this coach trip that celebrates the 40th anniversary of the creation of the Ipswich Branch of the Inland Waterways Association. On Friday we leave Ipswich about 8.30am for a trip on the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch narrow gauge railway. On arrival at Dungeness we will have lunch at the ‘Light Railway Café’ followed by a guided tour of Dungeness ‘B’ Nuclear power station. The energetic can also climb to the top of Dungeness lighthouse (150 feet). On Saturday we take the coach to Biddenden Vineyard in Kent for a guided tour, some wine tasting and a ploughmans lunch. This is followed by a trip on the Kent and East Sussex Steam Railway from Tenterden to Bodiam with a cream tea served on board. On Sunday we travel to Yesterdays World in Battle, Sussex with life size street scenes, shops and a tea room all spread over 5 floors. We also visit Battle Abbey which is just across the road from Yesterdays World. We will have lunch in Yesterdays World before returning home. The cost of this extended trip is £175 per head. That price includes the hotel, all entrance fees, trips and food for the whole event. If you would like to join us please phone me on 07957 862793 or email me at Spencer Greystrong

This is the second in a series of articles to be featured in forthcoming editions please enjoy… COLIN TURNER’S REFLECTIONS ON HIS LONG INVOLVEMENT WITH THE IWA AND RGT 2000 As the surveyor’s report called for the use of concrete in the repair of a listed building we had to apply for listed building consent. The conservation officer could not understand why we could not rebuild the invert in brick as per the original. I suggested that it was no different from underpinning a listed house with a concrete foundation, to which he replied that ‘If you ever hear of that happening in this district then I would have been overruled by the planning committee!!’ It took a two page justification, including a statement from Roy Sutton that he had never known anyone rebuild an invert in brick, before we received our consent in November 2000.

No chance of a WRG canal camp in 2000 but the consent was just in time to request one for 2001.However our own work parties had carried on with the help of two London WRG weekend work parties. We had to repair damage caused by high water levels in May, rebuild a wing wall of the bywash that we had thought only needed pointing and various other jobs that came within our previous listed building consent. While the navigation had been in use the navigation company had abandoned ground paddles, in favour of gate paddles and the ground paddle culverts had been bricked up. Hidden away behind the wall, horse chestnut tree roots had penetrated into the culvert and were forcing the brickwork apart. We cut down the tree that was growing too close to the lock and removed the roots. 2001Together with several smaller tasks, the engineer’s report called for the fitting of two ground anchors to each lock wall. The most important components were the 5M long anchor rods that we had to purchase from a firm in Sheffield. Spencer Greystrong & I took a trailer to collect them, calling at Bury St. Edmunds on the way back to pick up eight 3M long sheet

steel piles. We purchased from the local scrap merchant eight steel channels and from a local engineering company the steel plates for each end of the rods. It was decided that this was a job for the canal camp, so before they arrived we assembled a pile driver, compressor, air drill with 2M long rock drill, & an excavator. The work for each ground anchor consisted of recessing a steel plate into the lock wall then drilling a large hole in the centre of the recess through a metre of brick wall. Next we had to dig a trench 2m deep in line with the hole in the back of the wall but 4m behind it. Then two 3m long steel piles were driven down through the trench until the tops were ½m below ground level. The anchor rod was inserted into the hole in the wall, through the front plate and into steel channels that were placed across the piles. A steel plate was threaded on the end of the rod and the nuts on the ends were tightened to anchor the wall to the piles to prevent further movement of the wall into the lock. The work progressed well and we had another visit from Anglia TV. The video can be seen on the RGT web site. - Pages/Creeting2001.aspx Another task for the camp was to pour the concrete to repair the upstream end of the lock invert & the holes under the wall. This had been arranged for 1 o’ clock on Tuesday. The time arrived for delivery of the ready mix concrete, but no concrete arrived - we made a call to the supplier - they had it scheduled for 1 o’ clock tomorrow, sorry! 1 o’ clock on Wednesday, still no concrete. It finally arrived at 2.15. Unfortunately during the long delay in obtaining the listed building consent several flood events had occurred. Without the silt that we had removed last year, that had been protecting the structure, the holes under the walls had become much larger. As the concrete pour proceeded the concrete kept disappearing under the walls. When was it going to start filling the invert? Eventually the 6 cm3 load had been placed but the Invert was nowhere near filled, so start our mixer

and mix some more. In all the years I have been involved with the Gipping restoration I have never known our battered trusty old mixer to fail to start, but, fail to start it did on this critical occasion. Fortunately we had two small electric mixers on site so we started them and it took an extra 1.5 cm3 to fill the invert. By the time the job was finished it was 7.30, we had been working flat out since 2.15 and everyone was shattered. It was far too late for the campers to go on the River Stour boat trip that had been arranged for their evening entertainment; remember this job should have been done on Tuesday and we had planned for an early finish on Wednesday. To add insult to injury when we tried to start our mixer the next day to find out what was wrong, it started first time and has continued to do so ever since! The camp was a great success with all the planned work being completed but it was a close run thing. Work continued during 2001/2 by our own volunteers and we organised another canal camp for August 2002.

To be continued

BAYLHAM SLUICE GATES INSTALLED Below is a series of pictures that tell this story



Above: Volunteers take a breather hauling the timber to the sluice. L to R: Lowering the timber into position.

Fitting the side timbers

Les Howard takes instruction from above

John Ford inspects.

PIPPS FORD BRIDGE TAKES SHAPE Designed by Colin Turner and based on the mathematical bridge at Cambridge the bridge for the Pipps Ford by-wash is taking shape under the expert guidance of Ray Hopkins.

Colin Turner sets out from plans. L to R: Ray Hopkins, Les Howard, Martin Bird and Colin Turner (face hidden).

Martin Bird assisting Colin Turner

Above: Many hands! Right: Where the timber originated

GEOCACHING COMES TO THE GIPPING A report on the Geocaching website: Turned out to be a great day for a winter walk, so parked in Needham and caught the 1.10pm 88 bus to Blakenham. Ground conditions along the river were better than expected after the recent heavy rains, just a few short sections being boggy. Had a lovely stroll back to Needham, meeting two members of bullocd along the way (great to meet you both) and we cached our way as a group of four for most of the 4 mile trail. This series is really worth doing at any time of the year, with plenty of wildlife, lots of interesting structures (weirs, locks, mills etc.) and great views up and down the River Gipping. Favorite point here for the series and a few more given at caches at spots we particularly liked

What Is Geocaching? Imagine a pastime which can be enjoyed by the whole family and : gets you out into the fresh air, gets you walking either a long or a little way, it introduces you to unusual/interesting/beautiful locations, that is Geocaching (pronounced geo-kash-ing) is an activity that encompasses all of the above and much more. So, how does it work? A Geocacher will go to a location which has usually some special interest or beauty. This is often one of their favorite places to visit. At the location, they will hide a small waterproof box containing a few varied bits and pieces (usually of little value) a logbook and a pen or pencil. Using their GPS receiver, the cacher records the coordinates of their cache and returns home to log it’s existence on a website. Another cacher will see the listing about the cache, enter the coordinates into their GPS receiver and go in search of it. When they find it, the finder may take something from the cache and leave something in return, and for posterity, enter a log in the logbook. When the seeker returns home, he/she should log on the website that they have found the cache and pass any comments they wish. These logs are important to the cache hider, it is part of their “reward” for hiding the cache. Of course, in order to keep the game going, the seekers must also hide some caches too. What do you need to play the game? A sense of fun and adventure, a GPS receiver and some method of transport. A GPS receiver (often referred to as simply a GPS) is a device which ‘listens’ to the signals broadcast from satellites orbiting the Earth. From those signals, a GPS is able to calculate it’s location on the planet to typically within about 5 metres. Once a GPS knows where it is, and where you want to go, it can point you to your destination. GPS receivers are available from around £80 in the UK up to several hundred. A simple base model is sufficient for geocaching, but the more expensive models offer many varied facilities.

EDITOR: LES HOWARD 406 Woodbridge Road Ipswich IP4 4EH 01473 712696 The views that are expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily the views of the River Gipping Trust or its Trustees.

Newsletter No. 10 Jan 2014  
Newsletter No. 10 Jan 2014  

The January 2014 issue newsletter of the River Gipping Trust