Reporting from a week of lock chamber repair, ‘crazy paving’ and an even crazier night out at the World’s slowest Indian restaurant... Swansea Canal, 8-15 July Croeso bawb o Gymru! (Welcome from Wales!) So WRG returned to the Swansea Canal after a year’s break, and it was an absolutely amazing camp. Saturday: Everyone managed to find the accommodation, despite our accommodation having only one vowel and appearing to be unpronounceable at first. At this point, we began to realise the fun that would come from having two Ians, two Martins, a Sue and a Su... Sunday: As per usual with the first day of a camp, one of the jobs to do was to start clearing vegetation, but I’m not sure it’s ever been done with such enthusiasm before. Tony cleared with such gusto that he actually managed to snap one of the rakes in half. (Sorry, camps that had our kit afterwards, if you desperately need rakes...) Tony also provided one of the best quotes of the day when he said that he, Tom and Rhys had
Camp report Swansea Canal struggled to keep up with Bev, who was “like a JCB”. Total wet feet counter: 1 – Su (wearing Rhiannon’s wellies) found the watery hole in the lock with one foot and flooded the welly. Before any of you readers start getting any H&S worries about us floundering around in deep water while working, perhaps I’d better clarify: the lock has been part infilled and the water running down the canal has been diverted via the overflow bywash. But with not terribly watertight stop-planks at the top end, the infill is covered by annoyingly justabove-ankle-deep water (we used Youngman boards set on sandbags to create a level and firm working platform above it) - except one point where it went just over welly-deep ...Ed Monday: As would become the theme of this camp, Monday was spent mostly mixing mortar and pointing. Entertainment in the morning was provided by Tom almost falling off the Youngman board into the lock. Luck-
Swansea Canal Fact File
Length: 16 miles, 6 to be restored Locks: 36 originally Date closed: 1928-1960 The Canal Camp project: Rebuilding Trebanos Upper Lock and towpath wall work nearby
Sw an se a
Ca na l
Abercraf Upper lengths lost under new road Glyn-Neath l Godre’r-Graig na a C The wider picture: With the top five miles th a Canal Camp Pontardawe Ne from Godre’r-Graig to Abercraf largely lost to site: Trebanos Resolven 1970s road improvements, and the bottom Clydach five miles from Swansea Docks to Clydach Original route mostly buried under urban development, Swansea obstructed Aberdulais Canal Society is concentrating on the middle six Proposed miles from Clydach to Godre’r-Graig. But in the diversion Neath
Why? These locks are on the surviving central section of the canal, and below them is a length which is the subject of a bid for funding for dredging. If successful, this length could host a trailboat festival, and in the longer term a trip-boat making use of the locks.
longer term a diversionary route could be created, avoiding the missing lower length, and ultimately reinstating the Swansea link to the Tennant and Neath canals.
t nan Ten al Can
Navvies 284 - September-October 2017. WRG's magazine for volunteers restoring the waterways.