Pictures by Martin Ludgate
ily Tony was on hand to grab him and pull him back onto the board. In the afternoon, Su, Ian, Barry, Emma and Sue worked further down the canal on what we termed the ‘crazy paving’. The local society were building the canal wall by building up layers of sand bags, and then putting a layer of slate over the top jigsaw-style. Total wet feet counter: 4 – Bev stepped in the watery hole and flooded both her wellies. Tom also stepped in the watery hole in an attempt to rescue Bev and flooded one of his wellies.
Upper Trebanos Lock: ripping out old mortar and vegetation
Tuesday: It rained. Normally this wouldn’t have stopped WRG, but given our only job was pointing, which can’t be done in the rain, we decided to go on a group excursion to Big Pit mining museum instead. The ceilings of Big Pit were very low, especially for a camp of quite tall people. We then went for lunch on the Mon & Brec Canal before heading to a lock to show our three D-of-E’ers how locks actually work. On our drive back to the accommodation, we saw a man in a T-Rex costume [the prehistoric creature, not the 1970s glam rock group] being herded into the back of a horsebox by several policemen. I’m not joking, that actually happened. Wednesday: On site, surprise, surprise, the day was filled with pointing and crazy paving. Ian G and Su did an amazing job on this, and completed more that the Swansea Canal Society had ever expected. Emma, one of our D-of-E’ers, learnt how to mix mortar and became brilliant at it, keeping everyone well supplied. While Emma provided mortar, Colin finished his corner wall, which he’d been doing amazing work on for the past few days and Martin L patched up some of the more serious holes in the wall. Total wet feet counter: 7 – Dave flooded one of his wellies in the lock and Sue got both her boots wet moving between the
pallets and the Youngman’s boards. I managed to stand in two different watery holes but by some miracle managed not to flood either of my wellies. For the evening activity that night, the local society let us borrow their canoes and kayaks. Tom managed to fall out of his kayak, but given how shallow the canal is, he barely got wet. The same can’t be said for Emma. Although she didn’t fall in, she kayaked with such exuberance that she ended up wetter than Tom was. Thursday: As well as the crazy paving and pointing, today we pushed the coping stones back into position. Entertainment was provided today by the release of a newspaper article about our efforts, where we were very flatteringly referred to as a group of volunteers ‘between the ages of 19-50’ … some of us fit into that age bracket. The canal also turned green on Thursday, although this was nothing to do with us. The council were trying to find a leak in the canal, but we did have to work in neon green water for part of the day. Total wet feet count: 9 – Rhys stepped off the last step of the access ladder into the water in his boots, rather than onto the dry pallet. Martin D knew he had a hole in one of his wellies, so attempted to brush
Navvies 284 - September-October 2017. WRG's magazine for volunteers restoring the waterways.