avvies N Volunteers restoring waterways No 216 April - May 2006 Lord WhatÂ’s Canal?
waterway recovery group
...are always welcome, whether hand-written, typed, on 3½" floppy disk, CD-ROM, DVD or by email. Photos also welcome: slides or colour or b/w prints. Please state whether you want your prints back; I assume that you want slides returned. Digital / computer scanned photos also welcome, either on floppy / CD-ROM / DVD or as email attachments, preferably JPG format. Send them to the editor Martin Ludgate, 35, Silvester Road, London SE22 9PB, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Press date for No 217: May 1st.
In this issue:
Chairmans comment 3-5 Camps preview the first half of the summer 6-7 Canal Camps programme Coming soon Saul Festival, Canalway Cavalcade and a WRGSW Grand Western dig 8-9 Cleanup we found a coffin in the BCN! 10-13 WRGBC News from WRGs own boatclub 14-15 Diary Canal Camp and working party dates 16-18 Letters and Navvies Bookshop online 19 Dig Deep Update (and whinge) about co-ordinated canal restoration work 20-21 Progress update from the Wey & Arun 22 Plant rebuilding a KL15 crane 23-25 BITM dig report from the Grantham Canal 26-27 Green camping sustainable WRGies 28 Navvies News including WRGNW news 29-30 Noticeboard 31 Backfill how to abuse a toaster 32
And next time...
....we hope to include reports from the Easter caA year's subscription (6 issues) is available for a nal camps on the Lichfield and Wilts & Berks Caminimum of £1.50 (please add a donation if pos- nals, plus reports and photographs from Canalsible) to Sue Watts, 15 Eleanor Road, Chorlton- way Cavalcade and the Training Weekend, and cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 9FZ. Cheques to the start of what we hope will be regular progress updates from canal societies around the country "Waterway Recovery Group" please. Visit our web site www.wrg.org.uk for all the latest news of WRG's activities
Cover photo: Lord Rolles Canal, thats where! WRGs first canal camps on this obscure West Country waterway will be working on restoring the entrance lock in July. See pages 6-7 for a preview of the first of this summers camps. (Photo by Adrian Fry) Below: Just some of the junk pulled out of Forest Footbridge on the Wyrley & Essington Canal during the BCN Cleanup. See report on pages 10-13
Chairmans Comment To start with a good swank, I recently spent a pleasant afternoon at the House of Commons at the launch of the new Montgomery Canal Conservation Management Strategy. I wont go into the details as you will no doubt read all about it in the proper magazines (sorry Martin) but it does seem that, after lots of discussion, the practical restoration of the Montgomery will start to stagger forward again. There is a huge amount of work proposed and I suppose we should be pleased that our nature reserve at Aston is so successful that it looks like the Mont is going to have one great big one running pretty much all the way alongside it by the time it is finished. Despite rumours about the equivalent launch at the Welsh Assembly I am pleased to report that WRG were given due credit during this tea and sticky buns affair and from conversations held with Stephen Lees of BW it seems we may have quite a part to play in this restoration (again). Additionally it seems that my banging on about how BW are preventing volunteers from making a contribution may be bearing fruit as both the Chief Executive and Chairman of BW asked me pertinent questions about this subject. I look forward to writing complaints in future Navvies regarding BW stealing all the good volunteers and depriving the smaller societies of any progress! On the subject of my moaning in Navvies has anyone else noticed how long I have been doing this job surely time for a change soon? [Youve been doing it for two years less than Ive been editing Navvies... hmmm. ...Ed]
Chairman Without doubt it is a very different world appeals in early copies for £24 to fix the van as no-one in the working party has a car contrast starkly with some current groups who dont need a van as they can fit a three inch pump in their company 4x4s. There are some common points and, to be frank, not all of them are good: An issue from the early nineties features a report on a WRG committee meeting that is almost word for word the same as the ones we have today ! The same old arguments rage on and it is very disturbing that, despite a huge change in vocabulary, it is still volunteers trying to work on BW waterways and government policy errors that are the main issues**. But there are a few good points about consistency: In those early issues (in amongst all those love beads and tie-dye t-shirts***) was a frequent comment that we are doing this not just for the waterways themselves but as part of a desire for a better world. (Though just about every contributor was rather embarrassed to admit to this and always covered themselves by saying I know it sounds like pretentious b*****ks but ).
The reason for the above rhetoric is I have been spending the last month or so studying old Navvies*. This was due to my coming home one day to find a large box of back issues on my doorstep courtesy of Duncan Smith who had discovered better things to put on his shelves. And despite obvious dangers I slipped on my anorak and set to reading them: Bungle
Many changes are staggering, not least of all is how much thinner we all were then ! Initial clearance for the Jubilee Project at Abingdon Junction this summer
Chairman I really do think this is still the case, in amongst the cynicism, sarcasm, frivolity and countless other distractions the work we do really does help to make a difference. The second thing that strikes me is that WRG have always tried to provide good value for money, indeed a little bit extra. There is no point doing what we do if we dont create added value, be it a section of canal no-one else would restore, a bit of heritage that survives the restoration, an extra opinion changed, an extra yard of canal for the money, etc. We always try and lever something, somewhere out of somebody. So you may have guessed that this is leading to the most consistent feature of Navvies money and the need for more of it. Perhaps it is wrong of me say the need for more of it while we have the support of the IWA, but it is the case that the more money coming in the more we can do.
This may be on a restoration project that just cant get the funding elsewhere, it might be on just boosting our stock of specialist kit, or perhaps training. It may even be on supporting this magazine as it is just as vital now as it has ever been. But whatever we do I can assure you that we will always think long and hard to ensure that your money has a much bigger impact than expected. How can I be so sure about this? Simple whether you drop a quid into a bucket on a rally site or leave a huge legacy to us the decision on how it will be spent will be by volunteers. WRG is run by volunteers, we know just how much it cost to give that money and every day we see both possible ways in which it can be wasted but also how it can be multiplied. As I (re)discover all the time - volunteers do not quietly accept things, they have no allegiance, nor worries about loss of wages if they think a mistake has been made dont like it they will be most verbal. One of the ways this is apparent is the feedback we get from the subscription forms. While we cant exactly guarantee to reply to everybodys comments we do read them all and take note so please do send us comments, good or bad.
As I say we have always tried to ensure that we represent good value for money and indeed someone**** once told me that they once overheard an IWA chairman***** say a pound spent on WRG is the best investment anyone can make.
Now that we have sorted the gift-aid we do hope that we can offer even better value. This means that money given to WRG will stay with WRG and, unless you tell us something specific, we will use it the best way that we can see.
Another successful WRG barn dance in February: see page 30
There is one other lesson that reappears in Navvies through the years and it is this: in spite of any partnerships, projects or current arrangements that you may have, be you a volunteer group, a major charity or a navigation authority, do not forget to step back every now and then and state clearly your principles and intentions for all to hear. Yes you are right put as starkly as that it is pretentious b*****ks but . Onto more practical matters, we recently ran a leader training day which several attendees have already told me they found very helpful. One of the problems of being a volunteer organization is that people often struggle on without realizing that the resources are actually there to help them and they dont have to deal with problems from scratch. Although there were some formal type sessions the most useful ones were the general group discussions on such subjects as difficult volunteers (and difficult leaders!) etc. It was a chance for WRG Brass to outline the support you will get as a leader and, equally importantly, the support you wont get i.e. this bit is up to you mate. Amongst other things the day generated the great line I mean we are cliquey but we arent fussy. My thanks to Adrian and Gav for organizing the event. The one thing it did seem appropriate to do was to review the results of the Canal Camps questionnaire for last year. One of the things that came up was that the safety video was often not as effective as it could be. While there were a few comments on the video itself (which we are dealing with), and a few comments on the making sure it is put in context (which we are dealing with) there were also a few comments about old hands just chatting through it or wandering around ignoring it. So if this is you then please dont. Its only 9 minutes long for heaven sake - even I can keep quiet for that long. A couple of late items of news: our new van should be here soon, perhaps by the time you read this. The number plate will be D16 EHP in memory of Ernie Pull, one of the first members of IWA London & Home Counties Branch Work Party, which became Waterway Recovery Group, who passed away recently. Ernie was still contributing to waterways right up until the end but please note the money for the number plate came from friends who wanted a permanent way to commemorate his life, not from WRG funds. You may remember that I recently mentioned a bequest of waterway related books and how they were contributing directly to WRG funds. Well the good news it that it has already raised over £1000 and the even better news is that there are still some bargains on the IWA website so if you have an interest then check out www.iwashop.com and click on secondhand books.
Thanks to the very fine Matt Duncan at Head Office it is now possible to book and pay for Canal Camps on-line. So that makes it even easier to book on one, doesnt it? However while the internet is clever it is not actually magic and it may well take a few days for the booking info to get to the leader. So if you are making a booking at the last minute please try and contact the leader so they know about it. Some funding news the Local Heritage Initiative ends this summer, this provided grants up to £25,000 for pretty much any project that you could prove represented a significant contribution to preserving your local heritage. Lots of waterway societies benefited from these grants so if you have a suitable project then get in quick before the scheme closes. See www.lhi.org.uk And finally, because it wouldnt be a Chairmans comment without a safety warning: Our good friends at Land and Water (specialist dredgers to the world, the finest dredging plant driven by the best operators in the world, hardly any boats dropped nor nuffin) have reminded us that there has been a significant increase in Leptospirosis cases. Although we include a warning about Leptospirosis in our H and S induction and the data-cards are in all our vehicles that is no reason to be complacent so do keep pushing the information. Hugs and Kisses Mike Palmer * Thats the magazine not the people ! ** Second only to the I knew GKP and he wanted to call it water restoration people but didnt have the right letraset argument! *** Im allowed to say this - I was there !! **** Who shall be nameless ***** Who say also be nameless A final PS (honestly)... I have just got back from the BCN Cleanup and two thinks are uppermost in my mind. Firstly while I still hear such classic lines as today was a first, Ive never pulled a pogo stick out before then I think there is still a need for the organization. And secondly how nice it was to be joined by some boaters who just wanted to put something back. Very refreshing and reassuring.
Get your booking forms in for this summers canal camps Canal Camp 2006 Preview This year we will be starting the summer canal camp schedule very much in the south - in fact our first project is right on the south coast. Spencer Collins will be leading a camp on the Chichester Canal (24th June 1st July). Work will include the use of a number of big bendy toys and also some floating toys as well. The aim of the camp is to carry out some dredging and also some bank protection works. There may also be the opportunity for some further restoration work to the basin in the Chichester city centre.
For those of you wondering what has happened to this years Saul festival camp which normally at the beginning of summer canal camp program: itis still happening, its just not appearing in the canal camps brochure. It will be very similar to the last few years including all the usual festival fun: further details and how to book can be found on Page 8 of this Navvies. From Chichester, the first canal camp circuit will move onto WRGs biggest project this year. The IWA Jubilee Project is building a new junction for the Wilts and Berks Canal onto the River Thames. This will be a very high profile project and will see WRG working alongside Land & Water Services to create the new junction. WRGs involvement will include towpath works and probably lining the newly excavated channel. Ed Walker and Liz Wilson will be leading the first week on this project (1st July 8th July); another week is scheduled for (8th 15th July) with two more to follow in a August.
If everything goes according to the plan there will Meanwhile Camps Kit B will be setting out on the be a grand opening early in September and of other canal camp circuit which starts further south course the junction is only just up river from the and a lot further west in Devon, on a new canal IWAs National Festival site at Beale Park. for WRG, Lord Rolles Canal. This will be a two week project to restore the offside wall of the Sea Lock where the canal leaves the tidal River Torridge. (24 th June 1st July, 1st 8th July) This canal is in a stunning location near the very small village of Weare Giffard. The accommodation is onsite in a converted barn and has beds, power showers and an undercover barbecue. The work for both weeks will be very similar and includes patching the stone walls, replacing some of the missing coping stones and re-pointing possibly with the aid of a machine to inject the mortar deep into the walls. The locals are very keen and have already excavated many tons of silt from the chamber to enable the restoration work to hap- Two weeks of camps on the Wilts & Berks will be spent helping to turn this pen. heap of rubble back into Steppingstones Bridge
From Devon, the WRG vans and kit trailer will travel back up the M5, onto the M4 across the Severn Bridge and into Wales for this years project on the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canals. We have two weeks of canal camps here and they will be led by Rob Daffern and James Butler (8th 15th July) and then James Butler and Rob Daffern (15th 22nd July), with food for both weeks prepared by Toby Parrott. Accommodation will as usual be in the Methodist Church Hall in Cross Keys. Work will be varied lock reconstruction tasks, probably on locks 2 & 3 of the canal below the Fourteen Locks flight, and there is the possibility of some formal train- The Lord Rolles Canal entrance lock awaits WRGs attention ing in heritage and environmental restoration techniques. As with all projects on the Looking further ahead into August the theme is Mon and Brec there will be excellent local support the Wilts and Berks as WRG helps to complete Jubilee Junction and also spends two weeks confrom the canal trust. tinuing work on Steppingstones Bridge at The second half of July sees three weeks of ca- Shrivenham. And as always there is a National nal camps working to rebuild Brewhurst Lock on Waterways Festival camp. More details on these the Wey and Arun Canal. These camps will be projects in the next edition. run by NWPG (15th 22nd July), KESCRG (22nd 29th July) and WACT (29th 5th August). Adrian Fry
A junction here by August! Initial preparation work begins on the IWA Jubilee Project at Abingdon
The Saul Festival Canal Camp on the Cotswold Canals Saul festival 2006
The team is being assembled: Adrian Fry leading, Lauren Spurling ably assisting, Bungle bungling and most importantly Cath Coolican-Smith cooking. The only person missing from this team is you! The camp will run from Wednesday 28th June through to Wednesday 5th July and will cost the princely sum of £42. So stop thinking about it, write out a cheque payable to WRG SW, fill in the form and post it with the cheque to: Cath Coolican-Smith, Apsney Mews, Whitchurch, Ross-on-Wye, HR9 6DJ
When you look through the camps brochure this year, you may notice something missing. This year the setup and site services camp for Saul Canal Festival is not being run as a normal WRG camp, but this does not mean we are not helping at Saul - it is now a WRG South West event. For those who dont know, Saul has become a major event in the folk music calendar but it is not just about good music, there is lots of real beer, boats and stalls. In fact everything you need for a good festival. As a bonus, every penny raised (and there are lots of them) goes to the Cotswold Canals Trust to help restoration. This is like doing the IWA National Festival, but because it is smaller we also get to do some of the more specialist jobs that on bigger events get done by contractors. Everything from building the bar and chiller room to helping with the big barge Sabrina (which becomes a theatre for the event).
Waterway Recovery Group South West
Bungle in action at last years Saul Festival
in association with Cotswold Canals Trust
I would like to attend the 2006 Saul Festival Canal Camp on June 28th to July 5th Forename:
Address: e-mail: Phone: I will be joining the camp on I enclose payment of £
Any special dietary requirements? and leaving on (pay 'WRG SW') for food (£42 for whole week; £6.00 per day)
Do you suffer from any allergy or illness, such as epilepsy or diabetes, about which we should know, or are you receiving treatment or under medical supervision for any condition? YES / NO (If yes, please attach details) In the unlikely event that you should be injured, who should we contact? Name:
Signed: Please send this form to Cath Coolican-Smith, Apsney Mews, Whitchurch, Ross-on-Wye, HR9 6DJ
Canalway Cavalcade at Little Venice Just an update on how plans are going for the IWAs Canalway Cavalcade rally at Little Venice in London on the first Bank Holiday in May...
Accommodation is on two or three boats that have been assigned to this task. These boats were built to the highest quality, rumour has it, that Lord Nelson may have had cast his patched eye over them. [Errr... Moose, the Trafalfgar theme was last years Cavalcade! ...Ed] They have solid oak floor (oh alright its plywood), the best hammocks money could buy (no actually you have to supply your own bedding). Seriously, berths are available on community boats that are being lent to us for the duration of the event, but please tell me if you want one. At the moment I have been told that there are 115 boats already booked in to the festival, but they still expect a rush closer to the time because people will have assumed someone else in their crew will have done it... Speaking to the Commercial Manager (Jerry) we have had a lot of interest from the traders. And yes, he has been given a special radio that floats! Come to think of it when his radio fell in the cut we did get more sense out of it... For those who came last year: not much has changed on the site. The WRG teams area will be on the Paddington Arm again, and no, that bridge has not been finished yet! (Incidentally I understand the rabble from Sawbridgeworth would like to meet up again... Its funny what people say when theyve have had too many drinks... well Karen from a place called Sawbridgeworth said as the boats were passing in the illuminated boat parade last year IIIIIIII ccccooouulllldddd dddoooo ttthhhhhhatttttttt (I think you get the idea). Everytime we pop over to see them we remind Karen of what she said, and Gary is trying to work out how he can site a generator on the boat thats big enough to run the lights... he does like a challenge.) Please contact me on my normal email address email@example.com or mobile phone number 07961 922153. Dave Moose Hearnden
Canalway Cavalcade at Little Venice and a dig in Devon WRG SW on the Grand Western: May 27 - 29 If you fancy a weekend in the South West with (who else?) WRG South West, put the above dates into your diaries. Thats the Late Spring Bank Holiday weekend, when we will be going to the Grand Western Canal on the Somerset / Devon border for 3 days. The village hall at Burlescombe (available from 5pm Friday) has been booked and the local pub has been warned - and those who arrive in the evening are planning to eat in the pub. The locals are looking forward to seeing us - and those of you who have been here before you know what the welcome will be like! The work will be coordinated with the local Canal Trust and we be based at Lowdwells Lock. The lock has recently had a dam installed, and the water will be pumped out for us to work within the Lock Chamber.There will be some digging out of muck and some chamber wall restoration. There is the possibility of some big toys to play with in the form of some muck-shifting machinery! More details will be available from me nearer the time. This should be a great weekend in some lovely Devon Countryside. Please let me know if I can reserve you a place. Mitch Gozna Tel: 07768 525469
I am still looking for volunteers - you can never have too many - for the setup and site services team for what is always one of the best events of the waterways calendar. Several people have said they will be coming: can you please send an email or phone me. This will then remind me to save a berth on one of our luxurious floating hotels! (Tay, you have no excuse and I have saved the best berth for you!)
London WRG at Lowdwells Lock in 2005
BCN Cleanup ...reportingfromtheannualBCN festivalof oldtrolleysandbikes... BCN Cleanup weekend March 18-19 Over 60 volunteers descended on the Wyrley & Essington Canal on a cold weekend in March for a weekend of heaving out bikes, prams, shopping trolleys and... Well, thats how the magazine reports from BCN Cleanup usually begin, but this time its different. The Saturday night entertainment was a quiz with your Navvies editor as question master. Rounds 1-3 and 5-6 were conventional enough (other than that Id inadvertently given out two different sets of questions for the picture round on famous people... so thats why the person who you thought looked remarkably like Imran Khan actually turned out to be Edwina Currie). But in round four, each team was asked to write in no more than 200 words, in a witty, original and informative way, a report on the weekend so far. And the best entry would not only get maximum points in the quiz, but appear in print - the idea being to get me out of having to write a report for Navvies. In fact they were all so good that I will use bits of them all. So Ill stop now, and hand over to the first team... We came, we saw and we grappled. All around a sea of mud - thick, black and glutinous - and the valiant fifty walked unhesitatingly into the canal valley of death...
The next effort was in verse form, and the team responsible were very pleased when the quizmaster compared their contribution to the work of the great poet William McGonagall... until the QM then told them what McGonagall was famous for...
Hour after hour of unremitting toil produced a fine crop of pipes, wheelbarrows, car tyres, and even - believe it or not - a supermarket trolley or two. With mud to the right of us, mud to the left, and mud underneath us, there was a feeling of inevitability about getting very slightly... MUDDY.
We started out at Birchills Junction But it was so bloomin cold our hands wouldnt function The work was dead easy - we pulled out a coffin But without a body: our hats we were not doffin They attempted to curry favour with the QM... The day finished with Martin giving us a quiz By eck his questions really were the biz But unfortunately their rhymes were so bad that they were beyond redemption. Im not sure what the next team had been drinking, but Id like some of whatever inspired the following (and yes, there was a question about When Harry met Sally in the films round)... I spent the day in RFB. But things were more exciting elsewhere... sources close to BW (in fact, really close, so close in fact that they were covered in them) say that a motorbike was pulled out and taken away by the locals for restoration... rumour has it that Jerry Sanders appeared, as if by magic, on site... this was disproved as he was in fact appearing in pantomime in Walsall as Vaughan Welch... It was so cold that the cup-a-soup was gazpacho and the teapot contained Liptons Iced Tea... The inclement weather also inspired the following entry: You know its cold when:
. . . .
Tipton ASDA at Saturday lunchtime seems a good idea... Blokes need tweezers to go to the loo... Finding a pogo stick in the BCN seems like a good way to keep warm... Even Mike Palmers duvet looks inviting...
I saw a big gurl playing on a scooter I want one too. - Peter Smedley age 14 months The following entry might have done well...
Shortly after 9am on a chilly Saturday our reporters attention was attracted by a white minibus attempting to exit the school car park through a dead end. Upon following said vehicle a tour of ASDA car park ensued...
...while the following entry did rather sum up the slightly repetitive nature of the BCN cleanup Trudge, trudge, trudge, sludge, sludge, sludge Trudge, trudge, trudge, munch, munch, munch Trudge, trudge, trudge, sludge, sludge, sludge Trudge, trudge, trudge, muNch, munch, munch Quiz, quiz, quiz, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz (and speaking of repetitive: yes, that bridge in the pic on p2 that we pulled all the crap out of really is the same bridge that we pulled all the crap out of which appears in the pic on the front cover of Navvies 175 in 1999) The following contribution scored highly on originality but zero on content... THIS
PAY PER VIEW
PLEASE CONTACT SKY ON...
And anyway the promised Sky TV crew never turned up to film us. (boo) But never mind, neither did the threatened John Noakes... Over to one of our younger subscribers for the next contribution... Today Mummy and Daddy took me in the car to Snyde Warf on the Werly Nesington Canal. Not another canal! I thought. I saw lots of poeple I met last year while my Mummy and Dady played in the mud with grapling hooks. Later a big red van came toi the hut with lunch for all the peopl. They came back covered in black smelly goo.
...if the quizmaster hadnt been driving said minibus. The winning entry was the following one (by team Chris Wicks FM), to be sung to the tune of My Favourite Things from The Sound of Music...
Car tyres and trolleys and bits of old scooters Coffins and railings and half-inched computers Old rocking horses and floorboards of pine These we recovered all covered in slime When the wind howls; when the chavs mock When our hands go blue We simply remember the Tea Huts not far And all sod off for.... a brew! There - thats filled up the pages nicely. It remains only for me to report that yes, we really did find a coffin (apparently a student drama group lost it while filming a horror video!)... along with a rocking horse, a toilet, a street lamp, three road narrows signs, handcuffs, a safe (with its back blown off), two fish (alive), one cat (dead)... everything, in fact, including the kitchen sink. BW filled seven skips with the rubbish, and the W&E remains navigable for another few years. Thank you to everybody from WRG, BCNS, IWA and BW who supported the event, to those who provided the workboats, to Jude and Eli and team for the catering, to all the van-drivers, to team leaders Tim and Andy, to the folks who did boring stuff like the risk assessment (I bet it didnt mention coffins once!) and fetching vehicles and kit from around the country, to MK2 for fetching the beer, to KESCRG for bringing a secret supply of beer for when MK2s ran out and also for the loan of their cooker, to everybody Ive forgotten to thank... and to Aileen for leading the whole thing. See the next two pages for lots more pics... and well see you all on the Tame Valley Canal next year! Martin Ludgate PS MKPs team Chairmans Comment won the quiz
Are you feeling OK? Im just a little stiff
The iron industry was once a mainstay of the BCN
Uncredited photos are by the editor
Fish sandwich, anyone?
You say youve seen a boat in the BCN? Im afraid Im going to have to ask you to come with us...
Nigel Lee Danny (Ive forgotten his surname)
Not that Im one to take a fence Boats round here are rarer than.... err, I think I just trod in something
Its a sign!
Danny (Ive forgotten his surname)
Claire finds a good place to learn to cycle
Every little helps
Weve found the buggy, now lets find the baby...
WRG Boat Club visit the fenlands... WRG BC NEWS Well here is freezing March, and I gaze out over frozen waterways (They are called 'Navigable Drains' round here, which can be rather off-putting!) and look forward to making my escape up the river and back onto the canals. No chance until the end of the month and the last of the closures...
We had a most pleasant trip, it is wonderful countryside and there are excellent bird watching sites etc. The guillotine was down at Welney so we were unable to proceed to the Tidal Doors at Salters Lode, but as these were closed for repair (or w.h.y.) Welney was far enough for us, considering the icy wind. The wonderful 'Three Tuns' is now closed (I wonder what happened to all the fascinating Fen Skaters' memorabilia?) so we had to go to the 'Lamb and Flag' for sustenance. Peterborough IWA
Have you planned your cruising this year? Looking forward to going to rallyies and festivals or reaching restoration sites and getting 'dug in'? Please let us know of those you consider worth a visit.
Despite ice and closures we have managed some winter campaign cruising. The local IWA branch had organised a trip along the waterway between Horseway Lock and Welches Dam. Unfortunately we were unable to join this expedition as it was November 5th weekend and we were taking 'Lynx' to the BCNS bonfire rally at Smethwick. There was an article in 'Waterways' which records the problems that beset the intrepid travellers on that occasion. We had to wait until after Christmas, New Year and the Straw Bear Festival before we were free to book our passage. You have to book with EA as most of the time there is little, or no, water kept in the channel because it leaks. Delaying our visit was much to our advantage as EA had noted the problems encountered on the November trip and had done a really good job clearing weed from the route. I am especially keen to keep this route open, having been involved with the reopening of Horsway Lock and the rebuilding of Welches Dam (which for some reason EA have renamed Forty Foot Lock)
Before we left the next day we were able to fill the water tank, essential as we were planning The IWA Campaign cruise through Horseways and Welches Dam in to go under the very low bridge November required human (above) and 4WD (below) assistance at Ramsey Hollow on our return trip.
You may need to consult a map [see opposite ...Ed] to follow our route but I urge you to consider going there yourselves. You will need to liaise with EA regarding passage along that end of The Forty Foot. They couldn't have been more helpful, assisted at the locks and kept an eye on us to see we didn't get stuck along the way. During our frozen times David and Heather were flying the flag in the Antipodes, and sent these details...
In early December we cruised 200 miles up the eastern coast of North Island, New Zealand to the Bay of Islands,a beautiful collection of small islands,many uninhabited, with wonderful beaches and walks.We cruised a half day further north to Whangapoa harbour. This means ''place of whales'' (we met one on the way!) and is a natural harbour with hidden headlands (The GPS is very useful in that circumstance!) which encloses an area of water about the size of Windermere. There is one road on the inland end, a few houses (many with water access only), and beautiful bush-covered hills,rocky cliffs and waterfalls. We rowed the dinghy up a stream till we ran out of water and the silence was deafening - apart from the bird song, that is!! We are now back in Auckland seeing lots of the two families we belong to here. Next week we are going out again to cruise the Hauraki Ring!! We have named the route we often do by that name, but the Four Counties it is not!! We hop from Kawau Island to Great Barrier Island and after a week or two of walking, sailing, swimming, getting to know the few locals (who are very friendly and hospitable) we will return via the Coromandel Peninsula. The weather is well settled at 20-25C with light breezes. WRG members are welcome! ....and Claire is in Cyprus! Still we will all be back on the cut soon and chugging our way to various venues, such as:
The Basingstoke or Wendover Arm 27-29 May. Stafford Boat Club 9-11 June, AWCC gathering (proceeds to Caldon & Uttoxeter Canal Trust)
. . . .
...and New Zealand... and Cyprus... and Basingstoke... Wolverhampton Boat Club 23-25 June Coventry Boat Club 15 July Saul Junction 30 June - 2 July (we hope to arrange a club social gathering there) Beale Park 26-28 August. NOTE the club AGM will be held over the weekend I hope to be able to arrange time and date in advance so that those not attending by boat can still arrange to be there, I know how popular it is!
Please let me know of any other exciting activities that need to be brought to the notice of our members. I'm off to pack my costume and makeup for a visit to the Emerald Isle, where they want to see us* dance during the St Patrick's Day celebrations, (which last for more than 24 hrs!). When I return, yippee! the closures are over and off we go. Hope to see you out and about and flying the flag. xxx Sadie Dean * Take a look on www.pigdyke.co.uk and see if you can spot wich one is me!
The Middle Level Navigations page 15
Canal Camps cost £42 per week unless otherwise stated. Bookings for WRG Canal Camps (those identified by a camp number e.g. 'Camp 0601') should go to WRG Canal Camps, PO Box 114, Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY. Tel: 01923 711114. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mon & Brec Canal: Dig Deep project at Fourteen Locks
Lichfield Canal: Dig Deep project at Tamworth Road
Wilts & Berks Canal: Dig Deep project at Seven Locks. Leader: Rachael Banya
Lichfield Canal Easter Camp. Leaders: Phil Rodwell and Alice Bayston
Wilts & Berks (Foxham) Easter Camp: Work at Seven Locks flight. Leaders: Jo
Lancaster Canal IWA National Trailboat Rally: Crooklands, Northern Reaches. Extended workparty assisting Site Services, and Sales Stand.
To be arranged
Apr 29-May 1 KESCRG
Wendover Arm: Installation of two bridges, plus other work
Apr 29-May 1 wrgBITM
Canalway Cavalcade at Little Venice: BITM Sales Stand only
Apr 29-May 1 wrgNW
Grantham Canal: Joint dig with Essex WRG.
Apr 29-May 1 Essex WRG
Grantham Canal: Joint dig with wrgNW
Apr 29-May 1 IWA
Canalway Cavalcade: Little Venice, London
May 1 Mon
Press date for issue 217
Lichfield Canal: Dig Deep project at Tamworth Road locks
May 6 Sat
Paper Chase waste paper collection
WRG Training Weekend: provisional date
Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation
Rickmansworth Waterways Festival: Site Services, plus BITM Sales Stand
Dig to be arranged: Possible replacement for Jun 3/4 dig.
Wendover Arm Festival: Site Services, plus BITM Sales Stand
Grand Western Canal
National Campaign Festival: Basingstoke Canal, Brookwood
Attending Wendover Festival with Bhaji Stand
Lichfield Canal: Dig Deep project at Tamworth Road
Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation: Clearance & maintenance work
Mon & Brec Canal: Dig Deep project at Fourteen Locks
Jun 10 Sat
Paper Chase waste paper collection
Mon & Brec Canal: Dig Deep project at Fourteen Locks
Lichfield Canal: Dig Deep project. Leader: Graham Hotham
To be arranged: Possibly the Jubilee project?
Jun 24-Jul 1
Chichester Ship Canal Camp: Leader: Spencer Collins
Jun 24-Jul 1
Lord Rolles Canal Camp
Jun 30-Jul 2
Saul Junction Rally: Work Party & Sales Stand (provisional)
Cotswold Canals Trust Saul Festival: see www.junctionevents.org.uk Volunteers wanted for setup and site services: see article and booking form on p
Wey & Arun Canal: Dig Deep project at Brewhurst Lock
Please send updates to Diary compiler: Dave Wedd, 7 Ringwood Rd, Blackwater, Camberley, Surrey GU17 0EY. Tel 01252 874437. email: email@example.com.
Smudge Smith and Dave Taz Tarrant
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
page ?? Eddie Jones
Mobile groups' social evenings
(please phone to confirm before turning up) London WRG: 7:30pm on Tues 11 days before each dig. Usually at 'Star Tavern', Belgrave Mews West, London. Tim Lewis 07802-518094 or email: email@example.com. NWPG: 9:00pm on 3rd Tue of month at the 'Hope Tap', West end of Friar St. Reading. Graham Hawkes 0118 941 0586
Canal SocietiesÂ’ regular monthly or weekly working parties Please send any amendments, additions and deletions to Dave Wedd (address on previous page) 3rd Sunday of month BCNS Jeff Barley 2nd Sunday & following Thurs BCS Buckingham area Athina Beckett Anytime inc. weekdays BCT Aqueduct section Gerald Fry Every Sunday ChCT Various sites Mick Hodgetts Mon & Wed mornings CCT Cotswolds Dudley Greenslade Every weekend (Sat OR Sun) CCT Cotswolds Neil Ritchie 1st Sunday of month CCT Cotswolds: summit Mark Welton Wednesday evenings CCT Cotswolds: East end Keith Harding Every Saturday DCT Droitwich Canal Jon Axe Last Sunday of month EAWA N Walsham & Dilham Kevin Baker 4th Sunday of month ECPDA Langley Mill Michael Golds Second Sun of month FIPT Foxton Inclined PlaneMike Beech 2nd weekend of month GCRS Grantham Canal Colin Bryan 2nd Sat of month GWCT Nynehead Lift Denis Dodd Tuesdays H&GCT Oxenhall Brian Fox Weekends H&GCT Over Wharf House Maggie Jones Wednesdays H&GCT Over Wharf House Wilf Jones Weekends H&GCT Hereford Aylestone Martin Danks Every Sunday if required IWPS Bugsworth Basin Ian Edgar 1st Saturday & 3rd Wed. IWA Ipswich Stowmarket Navigtn. Colin Turner 2nd weekend of month K&ACT John Rolls 2nd Sunday of month LCT Lancaster N. Reaches Will Warburg 1st, 2nd, 4th Sun + 3rd Sat LHCRT Lichfield Phil Sharpe 3rd Sunday of month LHCRT Hatherton Denis Cooper 2nd & last Sundays PCAS Paul Waddington 2nd Sunday of month SCARS Sankey Canal Colin Greenall 1st Sunday of month SCCS Combe Hay Locks Bob Parnell Most weekends SHCS Basingstoke Peter Redway 1st Sunday of month SNT Haverholme Lock Dave Pullen 1st weekend of month SUCS Newhouse Lock Mike Friend 3rd Sunday of month TMCA David Rouse Every Sunday & Thurs WACT varied construction Eric Walker Mondays (2 per month) WACT tidying road crossings John Empringham Tuesdays WACT Tickner's Heath Depot Colin Gibbs Wednesdays WACT maintenance work Peter Jackman Wednesdays WACT Loxwood Link Peter Wilding Tues, Thurs & Sats WACT Winston Harwood Grp Laurie Wraight Various dates WACT Hedgelaying (Oct-Mar)Keith Nichols 1st w/e of month (Fri-Mon) WAT Drayton Beauchamp Roger Leishman Every weekend WBCT Wilts & Berks Canal Peter Smith Every Sunday W&BCC Dauntsey / Foxham Rachael Banyard
Abbreviations used in Diary BCNS BCS BCT ChCT CCT DCT EAWA ECPDA FIPT GCRS GWCT H&GCT IWPS K&ACT
Birmingham Canal Navigations Soc. Buckingham Canal Society Bude Canal Trust Chesterfield Canal Trust Cotswolds Canals Trust Droitwich Canals Trust East Anglian Waterways Association Erewash Canal Pres. & Devt. Assoc. Foxton Inclined Plane Trust Grantham Canal Restoration Society Grand Western Canal Trust Hereford & Gloucester Canal Trust Inland Waterways Protection Society Kennet & Avon Canal Trust
KESCRG LCT LHCRT NWPG PCAS SCARS SCCS SHCS SNT SUCS TMCA WACT WAT WBCT W&BCC
01543-373284 01908-661217 01288-353273 01246-620695 01453 825515 01452-854057 01453-872405 01451-860181 0121-608 0296 01362-699855 0115-932-8042 0116-279-2657 0115-989-2248 01823-661653 01432 358628 01452 618010 01452 413888 01432 344488 01663-732493 01473-730586 01189-666316 01931-713317 01889-583330 01543-374370 01757-638027 01744-731746 01225-428055 01483-721710 01673-862278 01948-880723 01474-362861 023-9246-3025 01483-562657 020-8241-7736 01483-772132 01483-422519 01903-721404 01403-753882 01442-874536 01793-852883 01249-892289
Kent & E Sussex Canal Rest. Group Lancaster Canal Trust Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Rest'n Trust Newbury Working Party Group Pocklington Canal Amenity Society Sankey Canal Restoration Society Somersetshire Coal Canal Society Surrey & Hants Canal Society Sleaford Navigation Trust Shropshire Union Canal Society Thames & Medway Canal Association Wey & Arun Canal Trust Wendover Arm Trust Wilts & Berks Canal Trust Wilts & Berks Canal Company
Letter to John Baylis, Vice Chairman of the Friends of the Cromford Canal: Dear John Re: Cromford volunteer works, New Year 2006 Thank you once again for organising the volunteer working party on the Cromford Canal at the end of December and I apologise for the delay in responding. I know the weather conditions were dreadful with the heavy snow turning to ice by the end of the week. You and your volunteers are to be applauded for continuing with the vegetation control maintenance under such difficult conditions. My team and I are looking forward to working with you and your volunteer teams this year. Kind regards
Caroline Killeavy General Manager, East Midlands Waterways British Waterways
...plus the latest from the online WRG Bookshop... Dear Martin I wouId like to thank your team for all for the wonderful work you did in very difficult conditions over the Christmas holiday. Some of the photos that have come from that work party will become classics; as the waterways magazines have already shown. Our AGM is due to be held on March 27th and I will give special mention to your efforts then as well. We can now see that there is actually a canal, which was buried under all that jungle you so valiantly cleared. On behalf of the Cromford team, many, many thanks and we look forward to having you return in the not too distant future. Kind regards
Mike Kelley Chairman Friends of the Cromford Canal
Navvies Bookshop Online As mentioned in the last issue, all the second hand canal books donated to The Inland Waterways Association that used to be sold through auctions in Navvies are now being sold on the Internet via the IWAs online shop. Above and left are another small selection of the very large number of quality second-hand waterways titles available at reasonable prices - with all proceeds going to fund WRGs canal restoration work. All the books are grouped by subject - history, guide books, fiction etc. And theres a new section just been added for First Editions Just go to www.iwashop.com and follow the links to waterway books and then to second hand books.
Co-ordinated canal restoration: is it working as well as it could? Dig Deep. March 2006 January is traditionally the start of the new Dig Deep year although October normally sees the end of the programme. This allows for the traditional WRG Bonfire Bash and the main Christmas work parties to be out of the way before work can re-start in earnest on the Dig Deep projects. But first, for those readers new to Navvies, some explanation as to what Dig Deep is about. The Dig Deep Initiative involves five mobile working party groups (London WRG, KESCRG, NWPG, WRG BITM and Essex WRG) committing themselves to carrying out a certain amount of volunteer work (whether in the form of Canal Camps or weekend working parties) on certain restoration projects in southern England (and sometimes Wales) that have been adopted as Dig Deep Projects. In return we hope that the local canal societies that we are supporting on these projects are able to commit funds and materials to them in the knowledge that there will be the labour to complete them.
Rather than my usual look at what the Groups have been up to, I thought that I would inflict on you some personal thoughts on where we currently stand with Dig Deep after almost frifteen years of running the scheme: Project definition: The original aim of Dig Deep was for the visiting groups to take on projects which would add momentum to a canal societys voluntary restoration effort by getting work going on sites that the canal society would not have had the resources to begin on its own. In the past we have had clearly identified work where the visiting groups have been the main source of labour and have taken a lead role in the planning of the work. Historic examples are Boxwell Springs Lock on the Thames & Severn Canal and Bignor Bridge on the Wey & Arun. In more recent times we have moved away from this type of project to ones where visiting groups have been providing a supporting role to local groups. Such projects remain valid and true to the Dig Deep concept, as without our commitment many would not have started in the first place. However, it has become noticeable that on some recent digs our contributions are being downgraded to a purely support role doing those jobs that the locals (and everyone else for that matter) dont enjoy very much.
Now Im not saying that we are not being valued. Nor am I in the business of selecting one project against another or pointing the finger And neither am I saying that the Dig Deep groups should have the right to cherry-pick all the interesting jobs while the local volunteers spend the weekend cleaning bricks or barrowing mortar for us. But what needs to happen with these joint projects is that local organisers need to discuss and plan work carefully with the Dig Deep Group organiser to ensure a balance of work is available that meets the needs of all volunteers. Remember that we have digger and dumper drivers who may well be able to do the job just as well as your local expert! Being over possessive about your Land Rover, digger or whatever will only mean that you could lose the whole group next time dates are being planned - or that there will be a poor turnout for the next working party on your project, as individual volunteers will choose to do something more interesting elsewhere. The same applies to other skills we enjoy laying bricks Dig Deep on the Wilts & Berks: London WRG at Seven Locks as well as blocks.
As I said earlier, we do not want to hog all the interesting jobs. But one of the main reasons why the Dig Deep scheme was set up in the first place was that some of the groups were losing skilled, experienced volunteers and struggling to keep going through lack of numbers - partly because of a lack of interesting and varied work. So my message is this: Firstly, type 2 Dig Deep projects can work, but they do need a great deal of effort to ensure that no particular volunteer or group of volunteers feels cut out of the task. Secondly, my experience is that local work party organisers need to be planning more work for a weekend than can realistically be expected to be undertaken, and that such planning should take account of potentially different weather conditions over a weekend. Thirdly, in future rounds of Dig Deep planning we should be encouraging local societies (where possible) to put forward projects that are to be primarily carried out by visiting groups with occasional support from local volunteers. We can then get back to the true principles of Dig Deep that I set out earlier. Haybarn Bridge on the Wey & Arun is a recent example of good practice of a Type 1 project. Enough whingeing! There are some areas where things are looking good. Accommodation at all four of our current projects is excellent memories of the Needham Market scout hut are fading fast though it is such experiences that become part of visiting group folklore as are some of the volunteers we have encountered in our travels. Hostelries have also been well up to scratch though LWRG were unfortunate to find The Sun at Plaistow closed on a Saturday night.
I have little doubt that Dig Deep remains a valid concept for the voluntary restoration movement and that we should continue with it until someone comes up with a better idea more relevant to needs of current canal restoration projects. To maximise its effectiveness we do, however, need to keep a watchful eye out to see that the principles are being maintained, and that all volunteers are being valued and allowed to fulfil their potential. I promise that next time I will concentrate on the facts and project progress. In the meantime heres a reminder of the current Dig Deep sites:
. . . .
Lichfield Canal. Restoration of locks 24 to 26 and intermediate canal lengths at Tamworth Road, Lichfield. Wilts & Berks Canal. Completion of Lock 3 and restoration of Lock 4 at Seven Locks, near Lyneham. Mon & Brec Canal. Restoration of two locks and side ponds at Fourteen Locks, Crumlin Arm near Newport. Wey & Arun Canal. Lowering of Brewhurst Lock to allow canal to pass under B2133 road at Loxwood. Work to start at WRG summer camps and then run through to Christmas.
Well soon be discussing our programme for 2007. If you think that you have a potential project then Alan Cavender, Dig Deep Co-ordinator would like to hear from you. His phone number is 01628 629033 other details in the directory. To volunteer to help on any of the current projects please check the Navvies Diary and contact the Dig Deep Group organiser. Bill Nicholson
These matters may seem trivial to some, but they do make the difference between having a good weekend and a bad one. Last weekend (Mar 11/12th) NWPG were on the Lichfield. The weather was cold, curtailing the available tasks through no fault of the canal trust; the prospect of spending the whole weekend pointing brickwork in Lock 26 was personally not an attractive one. However, the comfort of the well-appointed Martin Heath Hall and the quality of the ale and ambience at The Queens Head meant that no one went home complaining, despite the limited work on site and the cold wind and the pointing was completed! I look forward to returning to the Mon & Brec for similar reasons (as well as the hope of some inDig Deep on the Lichfield: NWPG rebuild Lock 26s upper wing walls teresting work).
Lemonade bottles and sunken weedboats on the Wey & Arun Wey & Arun update Work progresses thanks to our working parties who meet almost every day of the week. The Wednesday (Mid Week Working Party) group led by Peter Jackman is jungle bashing slowly along the Utworth Manor/Holdenhurst Farm length near Cranleigh in Surrey. Unchartered waters indeed. The photo shows another side of towpath clearance...
Down at Orfold, our little reed cutter Caprice wasnt having a good time. As you can see, she got a bit wet with the flooding down there. On 26th February, Eric Walkers Sunday working party team were despatched on an SOS mission to retrieve her with the assistance of the local landowners tractor. All is now well and after a bit of a drying out she will soon be back in service. The reed cutting is in preparation for the Winston Harwood Memorial small boat rally on Sunday, 14th May. Everyone is invited to come along. Boat entry forms can be obtained from firstname.lastname@example.org and further details will be on our website www.weyandarun.co.uk. Finally, we have started clearance work in Bramley on our northernmost section. It is very early days yet, but we have at last made a start with the co-operation and support of Mr & Mrs Cook of Beevers Farm. We also hope that further clearance work will start shortly at the Tannery Lane Bridge end. Sally Schupke
All photographss by WACT
But it hasnt all been just trees, bushes and old fences, Val Westall, a member of the MWWP and a keen amateur historian has found a Codds Bottle. The embossed writing says Bruford & Co. Limited, Cranleigh together with a picture of three horseshoes. The aqua-coloured glass bottle may have been a lemonade bottle, as Bruford produced both beer & soft drinks (although in those days they called themselves mineral water manufacturers) and probably dates from the early 1890s.
Re-floaring a weedboat in four easy stages
The story so far... Now where were we? Was it really a year ago since we wrote an article on the KL15? Yes, Issue 210... Apparently we were waiting for the tyres, the main panels had been sent off for shotblasting and the wheels were obstinately refusing to come in half.
Surely Bungles not still rebuilding that crane!
So, first the tyres. These should have arrived by the end of February 2005. Following many phone calls they finally arrived, in February 2006, nearly a year late! Unfortunately we soon realised that they were the wrong size. More phone calls from our supplier to his suppliers did not help, they were adamant they had sent the correct equivalent tyre (despite the fact that the rim was a good three inches too small). Eventually contact was made with a supplier in Devon; when given the tyre size his response was youre putting tyres on an old Jones crane, arent you? Apparently the closest tyre size available now is an aircraft tyre. These arrived a week later (which was a little bizarre considering it took a year to get the wrong ones) and with a little modification they appear to fit. There is one drawback: they are only rated for a maximum of 230 miles per hour. Best fit a speed limiter to the crane I reckon... An appointment at a strip joint We were using a vast amount of shot cleaningup the superstructure and the base of the crane because we couldnt recycle it: commercial shotblasting contractors collect, filter and recycle shot but we just dont have the facilities. The thought of shot blasting all the large body panels was not a pleasant one, so we decided to send them off to a contractor called The Malmesbury Strippers. The firm decided to strip off the huge thickness of the years of paint using a chemical bath, then shotblast the rust off before putting on a coat of primer - and the end result is very good indeed.
All photographs by Bungle
The kl15 is ready for take off
Good for up to 230mph: the new tyres Another decision we made was to fit a fly jib which WRG had spare instead of the standard one. This will enable the crane to be used for jobs that need greater reach. The original standard jib needs a number of repairs which we will carry out when the main work on the crane is complete, so in the future we can select the jib depending on the job.[The right jib for the right job? ...Ed] There were photos in an earlier copy of Navvies showing the fly jib being shipped down from the far north: this too needed stripping-back, so we used another firm who have a dedicated chamber for shot blasting long items (otherwise known as a 20ft steel shipping container). The jib was then moved back to Claverton, where Pete Dunn overhauled the pulleys with new shafts.
The stripped-back jib with new overhauled pulleys and new shafts
Luckily I have access to a twenty ton press in Reading... Its a game of two halves So that just leaves the wheels. The application of brute force had failed to separate the wheels, so we contacted our tyre supplier for advice. He advised soaking the wheels in diesel for a few days, so we left a wheel soaking in diesel... however other jobs got in the way, and the wheel ended up being soaked for several months! The day came and we attempted to separate the two halves, with absolutely no success. Normally the stud is threaded or welded into one half and pokes through the other half. A nut is then put on which holds the two halves together. An important safety note: if you have a wheel made in this way, it is vitally important to let the air out before undoing the wheel nuts.
Craftsman at work: Pete Dunn demonstrates the gentle art of removing the studs holding the two halves of the wheel together. NB if you dont have a large sledgehamer a 20-tonne press will suffice.
The ring of nuts around the wheel are only to hold the assembly together, they are not designed to take the pressure of a fully inflated tyre. Having said that, ours were appearing to do a remarkably good job, even without the nuts! In frustration, we decided to try removing the stud completely with the aid of a large sledge hammer. A couple of well aimed blows from Pete and the stud popped out: it seems that the stud was threaded in both halves of the wheel, which from conversations I have had with people since is almost unheard of. Once we discovered this the solution was simple, however after knocking out the eight studs from the first wheel it was obvious that a better procedure was needed. Luckily I have access to a 20-ton press in Reading: once it was set up it made quick work of pushing all the studs out and the wheels just came in half with no effort at all (although it is amazing just how big a bang it makes when the stud shoots out from the wheel under about 18 tons of pressure!). A broken brake Careful examination of the jib winch showed that the brake was seized. It had obviously been like it for some time, previous use relying on the ratchet alone - which makes lowering the jib a dodgy experience, as if you lose your grip on the handle the jib will just drop uncontrolled. We looked at some other KL15s and discovered either the same problem, or in one case the entire b r a k e a ssembly was missing!
When the winch was disassembled, we discovered that both brake discs were unserviceable and the helix gear had fractured. The brake discs were in stock but the helix gear was no longer available and none of the suppliers could make one. However, one of the Claverton Pumping Station team (John Chuter) took on the task and after many hours work he created a perfect copy (well, nearly a copy - it was exactly the same but not broken). The winch was then re-assembled and tested and seems to be in good shape. The sprag has sprung Whilst we were working on the transmission, there was some confusion as to what stopped the crane rolling away when it was not in drive. Once the crane is slewed from the travel position there is no brake pedal available, and we even got as far as planning a pair of chocks! Close examination of the manual showed that a sprag should lock the back axle once the crane is taken out of travel mode, but it wasnt just broken, it is not even there. A visit to our neighbours at the Cotswold Canals Trust is planned, to have a look at their working example to see what we need to make to replace this sprag system.
There was some quite bad languagewhenwerealisedthis... No-one is quite sure how we missed it before, but the side cover needed to come back off and the slew gear plate needed to be removed. As you can imagine, there was some quite bad language used when we realised this... George Bungle Eycott
Two steps forward, one step backwards Things were looking up. We seemed to be on the re-assembly stage: linkages were being straightened and refitted, clutches adjusted, parts stacked ready to be bolted on. Then a setback: while setting up and adjusting the slew we discovered some play, and upon further inspection we found that the bottom bearing was very badly worn.
Above: Old and new brake helix gears for the jib winch. Below: examining the slew gear plate
...on the Grantham Canal at Harlaxton cutting, Woolsthorpe WRG BITM and GCRS: Feb 18 - 19 Tree clearance at Harlaxton Cutting The WRG Bit in the Middle group plus the Grantham Canal work crew had done a grand job in organising the weekend. The paperwork had been completed weeks before including site visits. But it was still touch and go, with everyone travelling many miles one coming from Devon on the Friday, to only get the go ahead at gone 4pm. I was on my way from work and called into Machine Mart to pick up a small four-wheeled trolley to use for carrying heavy winches along the towpath.
I made my way to the Dirty Duck pub alongside the canal at Woolsthorpe. Colin had been trying to ring them for days to confirm our coming but to no avail so when we arrived we had to hang around in the cold until we could gain access. The place was freezing cold and full of equipment so a lot of time was spent clearing and cleaning. I helped unload bags and bags of food, purchased at a London supermarket which the catering crew always use. I think the supermarket people either think they have a large family or are greedy buggers... anyway it weighed a ton. All who had got there earlier retired to the pub for a meal to await the arrival of the others. After a pleasant evening we all went off to bed - in a lot warmer accommodation after we had had the gas heaters running.
Dragging vegetation out of the canal
After a really good breakfast, if you like good porridge, WRG work camps are the place - we set off through the mist and rain to Harlaxton and set to work. We took our new aluminium workboat to allow us access to the far side and to ferry the heavy winching equipment across, and launched it down the steep bank. We all spread out cutting, sawing and dragging all the old wood in the canal. BW have a weed cutting boat which they have used at the entrance to the cutting but when it was bought the spec called for a light construction to allow for moving from site to site. Unfortunately it is too frail for the years of weed growth and it breaks down at the slightest jam, so we had been asked to remove all submerged obstructions in its path. We used grappling hooks, which are fine before your first throw in but as you start to pull inwards the slime and icy cold water covers you even though you are wearing waterproofs. Then as you begin to perspire it is like heavy rain inside your waterproofs as well so a rather uncomfortable feeling begins... which is instantly removed by the shout of Tea, which (along with cakes and buns) makes up for everything. The guys on the far bank had placed strops around the selected trees and after cutting away branches and boughs the trunks were sectioned and all winched clear. Tirfor winches are brilliant at being winches, but there is a lot of handle working to do and they are very tiring things. We carried on gradually working our way along the towpath cleaning up all the branches, twigs, sludge, rubbish and stacking the cut branches up the cutting sides to try and make habitats for the wildlife. We werent allowed fires, which was a pity because trying to not only build habitats on a 60-degree slope, but to even stand on the soaking wet incline was near impossible. (These things look so easy in the books) We carried on until the next code word Grub up was shouted where we returned to the vans and started work doing a full demolition job on boxes of sandwiches, soup and more cakes (I dont think this would appear on a Weight Watchers list). As darkness fell we returned to base for a good warm, wash, and lovely evening meal of stew and dumplings (I suppose I should call it casserole with accoutrements but thats posh and we arent so its stew and dumplings) with potatoes and cabbage followed by fruit sponge, custard and cream.
I finally got home with a burning face - which I can assure you was not sunburn but most probably icy windburn - but it was worth it to see a bit more canal clear. What we really need is an ex BW work tug (given to us) putting in the cutting in a safe place which would allow us, instead of a lot a backbreaking grappling, to be able to lift the timber on board and also cut the overhanging branches with ease - or is that too simple?
Dave Wedd tests the water We went across the car park to the pub and thats where it all went downhill for me. None of our group smoked - it was the people who sat behind me. They looked like the couple on Early Doors sitting there puffing away. I sat and laughed with everyone but when my breathing stopped and my eyes started uncontrollably streaming I called it a day and went to bed. I think several others had had the same thoughts as they were firmly in bed when I got there. Sunday morning: a big dish of porridge and golden syrup and I was feeling a bit better; I couldnt concentrate much as my head felt it wasnt affixed properly but egg, sausage, bacon, beans, tomato, brown sauce and bread with lashings of tea and FULL MILK certainly helped to fix it. I towed the big trailer with boat and kit on board and helped unload it. We carried on along the cutting with the chain saws leading, trimming away any growth especially between the towpath and the water. Colin asked if I was alright because I didnt seem to be my normal stupid self. I said No but I would be OK.
Anyway what was, weather wise, an awful weekend turned into a great one with all the labourintensive work that was done and a wonderful set of people to be with. Rachael had been doing canals for the last five weekends and still managed to travel up from Devon to be with us. Many thanks to you all and I look forward to seeing you all soon - if not on the Grantham, then on another canal weekend. One good thing arising from the web sites was that two new people arrived for work: Laurence from South Yorkshire, and local guy Tim from Kinoulton who is a ticketed chainsaw operator with all the gear, and may bring his friends next time I would like to welcome them both. I spoke to Colin to say that as well as information boards about the canal we should pin up printouts of current and future works and our web address for the benefit of the dozens of walkers and cyclists who use the canal and who are very keen to know what is happening - like the couple who have agreed to be wardens and report on anything on their section of the canal. This will have to be set up, any volunteers? My thanks, to Dave Wedd, Rachael Banyard, Colin Bryan and Leigh Hood for the back scene work and also their front scene as well. A great weekend. Martin Day.
Just as the light was beginning to fade we bade farewell to most members as they started on their long journeys home; we had to go back to our container to clean the boat and the tools and pack everything away.
After lunch some of us attacked the ivy eating its way under the copingstones of the bridge and pulling out the mortar in the brickwork. Rachael chainsawed all the large saplings growing out of the bridge abutment and we removed it. We all went down to where the cutting crew were and about ten of us pulled all the cut trunks right up the bank to stop them ending up in the water again.
Clearing the offside bank
Sustainability Dr Lizs thoughts on running an eco-friendly canal camp
Sustainable, eco-friendly life... WRG style! Last October I cooked for the camp on the Wilts & Berks Canal, led by Jo Smudge Smith and Dave Taz Tarrant. All of us have an interest in living as sustainably as possible, so we thought wed try to see if this was possible on a canal camp... Most of you will have done something eco-friendly on a camp - even if its just recycling the bottles after the last night party. We wanted to extend this a bit further. Im not talking about the work itself; just about the housekeeping aspect of the camp. This isnt a definitive guide to how to do it, but a collection of our thoughts at the end of the week. Hopefully all of you leading, cooking or going on a camp might think a little bit more about the impact you have on the environment during your week. And live well and enjoy yourselves too! Local Food: Ok, so youre unlikely to avoid doing a lot of your shopping in one of the big four, but why not try to get some fresh food directly from the community (usually rural) that youre working in? Buying local also reduces the distance food has to travel, saving fuel and energy. And as I discovered, when you talk direct to the suppliers, a discount often appears - which youre never going to get in Tescburys. It does require a little more forethought. I found the internet extremely useful: a google search on farm shops wootton bassett revealed a lovely long list and links to some of their own websites. I also found there was a farmers market on the Saturday the camp started so I started there. The local organiser was a useful source of information. I also roughly planned the menu so that I knew quantities etc. Buying for large numbers: One thing I did learn is that whilst supermarkets cope very easily with shopping for 30, small market stalls dont carry that much stock! I did get enough for the first 2 days meat and veg, plus eggs, and some useful contacts for a second shop on Monday. The most successful was the smallholding which turned out to have the line of the canal running through it they were very pro the restoration, and extremely happy to supply most of the meat for the week delicious, well hung beef, organic pork, scrummy tender lamb, home made sausages and bacon. And here I learnt another lesson order bacon two weeks in advance it takes 10 days to make!
But oh boy was it nice and none of that business of disappearing into small scraps as the water runs out, either. The local butcher was also very helpful for the extra bacon and chicken (and another bulk discount for volunteers). Free range eggs are harder to find in large quantities you either have to go to several farms and buy them all out, or get them from the butcher. Vegetables came from another farm shop, all seasonal potatoes, carrots, cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, runner beans etc (advantage of an autumn camp) - and good quality. The cost: As for the financial side, although the meat is a little more expensive than cheap supermarkets, the quality is so much better, and it goes further. For example, mince doesnt end up swimming in grey water when you brown it. I certainly didnt go over budget on food, and everyone was very well fed! (including Rob Brotherston) Recycling: Most camps seem to have a box for bottles and cans, but we decided to go the whole hog and recycle everything that we could. Again, research beforehand helped: finding what the local tip would take, when it was open, and what the height restriction was! We recycled glass, cans, plastic (only milk cartons), card and paper (with 3 newspapers a day being read, there was a lot of this!). It did help having a large hallway at the hall; it was also worth a mid-week tip run (the tip was on the way to the supermarket) so we werent overwhelmed on the last day. It was worth making the point about recycling in the introductory talk, and it helped that everyone on the camp really boughtin to the idea. Other places dont have such a handy tip, but a lot of villages have a kerbside recycling scheme in Kirdford on the Wey & Arun Canal the next door neighbours offered to take newspapers and cans for their boxes, and another chap wanted our kitchen waste for his compost bin! There are several useful websites with information about local recycling facilities. Other thoughts: simple things like turning lights off and heating down will help. Being a little bit organised about traveling around, e.g phoning the cook to ask her/him to bring the milk you forgot down with lunch rather than driving back to the hall. Getting everything you need at the builders merchants at once rather than making 6 trips (OK, now Im moving into fantasy land so Ill stop there!) But seriously, a little bit of thought and planning can make the camp have just that little bit less impact on the environment, and improve relations with the local landowners! If you want the details of the suppliers I used, email me (email@example.com). And Id love to hear from you if you have any better ideas or have your own lessons to pass on! See you soon,
Dr Liz Williamson
Northern Geriatics burst forth - or fifth! From time to time, readers of Navvies will have seen passing references to WRG North West but they could be forgiven for thinking that the Dear Old Geriatrics up tNorth were quietly slumbering in between bursts of mild activity. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even the decrepit Octogenarian has sprung (?) into life... During 2005 WRG North Wests Sales & Exhibition Stand was taken out to five big events plus a one day local bringing in a worthwhile £2,900. Interspersed around these have been ten working party weekends, one of which was a long attendance at the National at Preston Brook helping with the initial setting-up of the site, and later dismantling it. In addition, Malcolm Bridge has assisted Bungle in various electrical activities especially at Little Venice . Pete Richards has also done his electrical wizardry , especially at Saul where the North West team assisted in the setting up and dismantling operations. We have had to work round some Significant Birthdays this year to say nothing of the nuptials in Anglesey of David & Colette Lamen. Three years ago, we attended the previous Bonfire Bash at Newport on the Mon & Brec where the super Mini bus SKN - disgraced itself on the wet Saturday when the windscreen wiper motor failed. Perhaps the memory of that and the long journey put everyone off the 2005 event, so it looked like a weekend by the TV in November. But no: just weeks before in October, ten of us had enjoyed dismantling & immediately rebuilding the towpath wall at Llanymynech Wharf on the Mont (despite a rainy Saturday). So Jim and Mr. Mac began to talk of having our very own bonfire bash down there and a slightly bigger turnout of bodies brought about a real amount of progress. We even had a few new faces one of whom Dorothy - was persuaded (?) to do the cooking. Shed never done anything like it before, and she turned up trumps! Wed like her again next March at the same venue but (alas) she and George are getting married that weekend (dont know why they cant have the Do down there and save us scratching round) December saw us have a good first on the Hollinwood Canal near Oldham. Being a country park there could be no bonfires, and we were told that shredders would be brought in later by the Wardens. Pity we werent there to see their faces when they came to see the branches etc. which were piled as high as a pair of semi detached houses I
Navvies news WRG North West, a WRGies Chatroom and the Sussex Ouse
Except for the untimely death of Tenko, we had a good year in WRG North West and the rest of 2006 promises further activity.. Wed be delighted to see some fresh faces especially on the local work David Mr Mac McCarthy WRGie Words... ...is an Internet forum thats been set up specially for WRG folks to chat online about all things to do with WRG - and theres even a separate facility for WRG folks who want to chat online about things that are NOTHING to do with WRG! If you want to take part, just go to http:// p2.forumforfree.com/wrg.html and follow the simple instructions for joining. A walk on the Ouse No, not the Great Ouse, nor the Yorkshire Ouse, nor even the Little Ouse. Were talking about the Sussex Ouse here - a river navigation that used to run through the town of Lewes and a lot of pleasant Sussex countryside - and 19 locks - before reaching the sea at Newhaven. Unfortunately it fell into disuse in the late 19th Century but there is plenty still to see including remains of many of the locks. There has been talk of restoring the navigation for some time. The Sussex Ouse Restoration Trust has been in existence for several years, has appointed a project manager for the first restoration project at Isfield Lock and is looking to get some serious work going. Those who want to take a look at a potential worksite for the next few years are welcome to join a walk on May 7th along the Ouse from Barcombe Mills to Isfield Lock. Lifts will be available to take you back to Barcombe at the end of the walk. Meet at Barcombe Mills public car park 12.30pm. For further details contact Hazel Lintott on 01444 414413, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
...including the WRG Training Weekend 2006... and 2007! The Barndance A huge big thanks to everyone who supported the successful WRG Barndance. As per usual the tickets were sold, the set up happened efficiently, no one went thirsty and the hall was clean after we left. And as per usual much dancing and laughing (or spectating and lots of laughing) was observed and the bar was almost dry. Cheers to everyone who helped on all of these important aspects of running a successful barndance. We raised over £450 for London WRG and KESCRG. The raffle and whiskey game (who let a student win?) were run by South-West and raised over £100 for their funds. (Marketing hint: a small cute child selling raffle tickets works.) Of course we do intend to run this again next year - its a nice social event to have in the winter and it will be on Saturday 3rd of March preceded by the WRG Leaders Day and followed by WRG committee meeting at the same venue - so dont book any digs over it - you have 3 excuses not to!! Unfortunately I will be sunning myself on the other side of the world so I will have to leave it in the capable LWRG and KESCRG hands of Dr Liz and Ian but I couldnt leave them unassisted and fortunately Ed didnt take much persuading (and it only cost us a pint.) So thanks to Liz and Ian for their work this year - I hope next years is even better. Finally thanks to MKP for a most impressive after raffle speech - had us all fooled for a couple of minutes there - and Im really really sorry I gave Mike such a hard time about wanting to say a few words - but he couldnt tell me what it was about... Helen Gardner PS Dont let MK2 near anything when hes armed with a big bucket of dirty water Thank you ...to the two people who volunteered to help round up canal societies progress reports in response to my appeal in the last issue. Look out for the product of their efforts in Navvies 217.
Next years news In an attempt to be a bit more organised, the WRG Committee recently decided to try and nail down four dates in the year as a series of regular events. These are: (1) The Barn Dance / Leaders Training weekend / WRG committee meeting (March 3-4 2007). Yes, a fun filled weekend based around the Barn Dance. Also an attempt to give our Camp leaders a chance to raise problems and the WRG Brass to deal with them immediately. (2) Training Weekend (May 13-14 2007). Seeing as this has always been the weekend after the first May bank holiday it seems sensible to set this date in stone for a while. (3) Sort Out Weekend after National (September 8-9 2007). Now that we have a decent base to work in, it has been suggested that the weekend after the weekend after the National Festival (if you see what we mean) should be set aside to sort out the inevitable mess that is the result of a summer camps season. (4) Bonfire Bash and WRG Committee Meeting (November 3-4 2007). We actually came up with this some months ago but it makes sense to repeat it here. The plan is to have the meeting on the Saturday of the Bonfire Bash thus giving us more time to let everyone know about the plans for the coming year. So there you have it, we are not insisting that everyone keeps these dates free, just letting everyone know what we have planned so you can decide whether you want to be involved or just do your thing. Mike Palmer And speaking of the Training Weekend... ...yes, we really will be having one this year too on May 6-7. Apologies for not getting all the information together in time for a full article in this issue. However if you are interested in acquiring (or, for that matter, teaching) any manual, machinery-related, technical, or other types of skills relevent to waterway restoration, keep this date in your diary, check the WRG website, and look out for a broadcast email message on the subject soon (and if you dont already receive these mailout messages, check the website for how to sign up). Alternatively contact head office on 01923 711114 or emal email@example.com for information.
Contacting the chairman: Mike Palmer, 3 Finwood Rd, Rowington, Warwickshire CV35 7DH Tel: 01564 785293 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Online Navvies subscriptions
Dont forget: You can now take out or renew Navvies subs online at www.waterways.org.uk/restoration/index.htm or at www.iwashop.com/ ecommerce/products.asp?cat=126
Directory updates A few changes to the website addresses that appeared in the last Navvies Directory in issue 215... Newbury Working Party Group: www.nwpg.org.uk Foxton Inclined Plane Trust: www.fipt.org.uk Surrey & Hants Canal Society: www.basingstoke-canal.org.uk/front.htm Also the email address for WRG Boat Club contact Sadie Dean should be: email@example.com The next full directory will appear in issue 218. Please send any updates to the editor.
Navvies is published by Waterway Recovery Group, PO Box 114, Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY and is available to all interested in promoting the restoration and conSubscriptions / circulation servation of inland waterSue Watts ways by voluntary effort in 15 Eleanor Road Great Britain. Articles may Chorlton-cum-Hardy be reproduced in allied Manchester M21 9FZ magazines provided that Printing and assembly: the source is acknowlJohn & Tess Hawkins edged. WRG may not 4 Links Way, Croxley Grn agree with opinions exRickmansworth, Herts pressed in this magazine, WD3 3RQ 01923 448559 but encourages publication firstname.lastname@example.org as a matter of interest. Editor : Martin Ludgate 35 Silvester Road East Dulwich London SE22 9PB 020-8693 3266
Noticeboard Moving house Mitch Gozna of WRG SW has a new address: 4 Queenscote, Portishead, North Somerset BS20 7LR. If you move house dont forget to tell Navvies
Congratulations ...to Mike Palmer and Jude Moore on their engagement Hereford & Gloucester Canal Camps We regret that the H&G Canal Trust have advised us that they will be unable to host any camps this year. Camps 0612 (22-29 Jul) and 0614 (29 Jul-5 Aug) have therefore had to be canceled.
Send used postage stamps, petrol coupons, old phone cards, empty computer printer ink cartridges to IWA/WRG Stamp Bank, 33 Hambleton Grove, Milton Keynes MK4 2JS. All proceeds to canal restoration. Nothing printed may be construed as policy or an official announcement unless so stated - otherwise WRG and IWA accept no liability for any matter in this magazine. Waterway Recovery Group is a division of Inland Waterways Enterprises Ltd., a subsidiary of the Inland Waterways Association (a registered charity).
Dial-a-camp To contact any WRG Canal Camp: 07850 422156 (Kit A camps) 07850 422157 (Kit B camps) Directors of WRG: John Baylis, Mick Beattie, Malcolm Bridge, Spencer Collins, Christopher Davey, Helen Davey, Roger Day, Neil Edwards, George Eycott, John Fletcher, Adrian Fry, John Hawkins, Jennifer Leigh, Judith Moore, Michael Palmer, Jonathan Smith.
Inland Waterways Enterprises Registered office: Secretary: Neil Edwards 3 Norfolk Court, Norfolk Rd. Rickmansworth WD3 1LT VAT reg. no : 788 9425 54 © 2006 WRG Tel : 01923 711114 Registered no 4305322 ISSN 0953-6655
Backfill Care and maintenance of Dualit toasters 1 When loading the toasters into the kit trailer, do not place them gently into position, instead throw them in from a distance. The delicate mica elements will benefit greatly from this robust treatment.
8 Toast some sandwiches in the toaster, it is most entertaining to try and disassemble the internal mechanism when it has a liberal coating of six month old burnt on cheese. 9 If you do manage to break it, dont tell anyone, but just send it on to the next camp. This is especially helpful if it has a fault that blows the accommodation electricity supply. After all, they should KNOW where the reset trips are located.
2 Do not bother to secure the toaster in the kit trailer, they are equipped with a special device that automatically moves them gently to the lowest available place in the trailer when you pull away. 3 If the slice of bread will not easily drop down the slot, ram it in. The toaster will magically reshape the bread to ensure it will pop back out easily. 4 The clearly written instructions on the side saying Bread Only do not apply to you. 5 If the bread will not pop out of the toaster easily, jab it with a knife. Again, the delicate mica elements will benefit greatly from this robust treatment. 6 If there appears to be a problem, pull the toaster to pieces. Nothing pleases me more than being given a box of toaster bits (preferably with one vital part missing) with no information as to what the fault was. 7 Even better, have a go at reassembling it, again preferably with an important (but well hidden) part missing or put in backwards. It gives me great delight spending hours trying to fix a fault, buying what seems to be the broken part, discovering the toaster is actually assembled incorrectly and then finding there was nothing wrong with it when it is put together properly.
And finally... Thank you to Nigel Lee who asks if I can explain the curious sign in a photograph that he sent in. My suspicions are that it relates to a certain affinity (not to mention a few volunteers) shared by WRG in GKPs day and the Festiniog Railways Deviationist volunteers in the 1970s. Can anyone confirm this?
10 Always plug the toaster into the same socket as the Burco and the griddle. The heat generated by the four way adapter will help to heat the room up in the morning. Bungle