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The alternative (unplanned) Camp Wilts & Berks 24th June 1st July 2006 Less than two weeks before 24th June, this was not only an unplanned, but a not even considered camp. It was all ever so slightly confusing, starting with me being informed by several people (and confirmed by MKP) that at the last WRG meeting it was planned that I would lead the second week s camp on the Lord Rolle Canal. It was only after I d done a site visit and discussed the work with the landowner (and Di had started making cakes) that I had a phone call telling me that the Chichester Camp due to run concurrent with the first week of the Lord Rolle had been cancelled, and the leader there had agreed to transfer to the second week of the Lord Rolle. Knowing that both weeks of the latter were fully booked (limited accommodation), and thinking that any volunteers booked for Chichester might want another camp to transfer to, I quickly set up arrangements for one on the Wilts & Werks. We always have plenty of work, and extra help is always welcome. As it turned out, only Dave Wedd transferred, so we rang round a few more old friends, and recruited Luke, Pete, Jeremy and Ray, and an even older friend - Di - to do the cooking (I mean I ve known her longest, honestly!) The work was shared between Dauntsey and Seven Locks. At a recent corporate day, a start had been made on puddling behind our new stop planks at the top of Dauntsey Lock, and this was completed on the camp. We also finished a disabled ramp (sorry, a good ramp for disabled people) down to the wharf area.

Camp reports

...the Unplanned Camp at Seven Locks,alsoontheWilts&Berks... On the first Sunday, augmented by our regular local work party, we moved - with the aid of the excavator - large coping stones so they could be cut and fitted to the upper wing walls of Lock 3. All except Luke had to go home by Friday evening, just before the arrival of Essex WRG (a depleted number, due to holidays etc., only two on site), and the work at Seven Locks was continued over the weekend, which also involved moving all the stone lying around on the site, which was piled on one side to use later for stone-facing the towpath side of the pound, or for coping stones on the locks. Di and I skived off on the Saturday to man the Wilts & Berks stall at the Saul Festival, leaving Luke in charge. It shows how much can be achieved with a small but experienced team, and the week s work has advanced the progress on our stretch. As ever, Luke and I are very grateful for all the extra help, and it is always nice to see old friends. Rachael Banyard

At Seven Locks, our first job was to re-locate the Elephant (our tool store) to a betterdisguised location amongst the trees leading to our brew hut. This involved clearing the appropriate area, emptying the contents and sorting through - and finding things we hadn t seen for years - and then struggling up the slope with it, with a person at each corner. I can t remember when the returned contents looked so neat and methodical. This cleared all the offside area of Lock 3 ready for infllling and landscaping. We had hired a 7-tonne excavator for the week, which everyone except Luke is now licensed to operate, and all of us can drive dumpers. We continued profiling the towpath side of Lock 4, with the excavated material being transferred to the cleared area of Lock 3. This was steadily built up, and is now completed apart from the topsoil. Dredged silt from below Lock 4 was spread on the towpath side of Lock 3, and left to settle.

Lock 3 at Seven Locks nearing completion

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