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Progress Dig Deep

Dig Deep Report

Bill Nicholson brings us the latest from the Dig Deep Initiative which co-ordinates work by mobile groups in the south two visiting groups will dismantle the rest of the lock wall (all those back courses) down to a firm base for rebuilding. The latter will commence and continue during the NWPG and KESCRG summer camps and subsequent weekends into the autumn. Some 25,000 new bricks are on order to be delivered to site during a dry spell. Other tasks include the concreting and rebuild of the top cill and repairs to the bywash and associated spill weirs. If I was to guess at a completion date September 2010? You will have read elsewhere about work on our other current Dig Deep site Seven Locks. With Lock 4 complete the Dig Deep teams have been working on clearance and tree stump removal from Lock 5 and also form the section of canal below Lock 1 where the W & B Trust have recently been granted permission to work. The W & BCT are working towards the restoration of Lock 2 together with a new tail bridge at the bottom to carry the adopted highway across it. Involving, as it does, negotiations with the Highway Authority (Wilts CC), I am predicting that the obtaining of the necessary

Bill Nicholson

To those new to navvying and as a reminder to the fully initiated, the Dig Deep Initiative involves four mobile working party groups (London WRG, KESCRG, NWPG and WRG BITM) 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 Wales!) that have been adopted as Dig Deep Projects . And thereby hopefully enabling the local canal societies that we are supporting on these projects to be able to commit funds and materials to them in the knowledge that there will be the labour to complete them. The either cold or wet (or both) winter of 2008/9 has limited progress at our current main site, Eisey lock on the Thames & Severn Canal. Here the Dig Deep groups are carrying out a classic brick lock re-build and have been on site since early 2008. During this period we have removed trees, stumps and 3 feet of silt from the lock chamber, rebuilt the upper and lower wing walls, installed the stop plank channels and planks and removed the outer skin of brickwork from the chamber walls. Good progress has also been made on the upper gate recess walls. The work is almost entirely being carried out by Dig Deep with the local teams from CCT working just downstream on Rucks Bridge. Our plans for 2009 are to make substantial progress on re-building one lock wall (and these locks are 90 feet long!). The Trust have purchased new scaffolding which NWPG plan to erect on their May visit Dig Deep: the present. NWPG at Eisey Lock on the Cotswold Canals following which the next

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