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Camp report Wilts & Berks Canal

Our regional group WRG BITM led a camp at Seven Locks on the Wilts & Berks. Rachael Banyard takes up the story...

of Mount Banyard (dredgings from Dauntsey) to the offside of Locks 3 and 4. Graham used Blue to level off a patch beside Lock 2 Being a BITM camp, we started with the for the bricks from Lock 4 to be stacked, weekend dig, with the BITM weekenders together with a pile by the roadside The arriving on site first thing on Saturday morn- spreading of dredgings, other material and ing, the rest of the camp proper arriving top soil continued throughout the week during the day. I set the early arrivals up round Lock 3 and 4. We had several experiwith clearing fallen trees and brash around enced dumper drivers, e.g. Ian Rutledge, and below Lock 2, while Graham did the David James, and Olly, and one of our newbrick formwork retaining wall for the concomers, Calum, was also trained by Dave creting above the towpath ground paddle of Wedd to drive a dumper, along with our the lock. Adrian used the excavator Blue to local, Gordon Williams. We also had good move spoil up from the farm to the offside of bonfires to burn the brash. Lock 3, with David Salisbury dumpering. Several of the team willingly did their Later in the morning, I went off to share of cleaning old bricks for use at Lock 2, Swindon railway station to pick up six volun- and cleaning the brickwork on the offside teers for the week s camp, and in the afterground paddle ready to start the reinstatenoon, together with other arrivals at Bushton ment. We had our local work party - all Village Hall, our accommodation, the afternoon experienced bricklayers - working with us on was spent showing them the site, talking Sunday on Lock 2, and together with David about the aims and objectives for the week, Salisbury and Graham, the concreting was and giving the safety talk. This was followfinished above the ground paddle culvert. ing by a scrumptious meal cooked by June. Meanwhile, Rob Brotherston, our expert We had a number of different objectives culvert rebuilder, worked throughout the for the camp: tidying up and landscaping week on the culvert above Lock 1. He had round Locks 3 and 4, scrub bashing and clear- already completed the brickwork on the ing fallen trees from Lock 2 down to Lock 1, towpath side, and clay was brought down to rebuilding a culvert above Lock 1, brickwork puddle above it. After scrub clearance on the around Lock 2, and clearing around another offside, he managed to get the formwork in culvert and a ditch in an orchard near Waite and start rebuilding. By Thursday, when Rob Hill Farm. There were also dredgings to be had to go, he had completed that side to one spread on Philip Smith s field. course from the top, and he kindly gave perThe work around Locks 3 and 4 occumission for our local work party to finish it! pied nearly everybody at some stage; there were piles of logs (from trees cut down last winter) to move down from the offside of the pound between Locks 4 and 3 down to Janet Nicholl s farm to keep her warm next winter, and stacks of unused bricks to bring down from Lock 4 to Lock 2. There was also a flat-pack skip that was brought down to Lock 2 ready to go off to be weighed in for recycling. Various people were trained on the use of the brushcutter, and the whole area from Lock 2 up to Lock 4 was cleared. Adrian tracked Blue up from the farm, and The lockside lanscaping crew take a break Olly drove the dumper, to bring the remains

Wilts & Berks Canal WRG BITM at Seven Locks

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