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Montgomery Canal Restoration Work Party Report - May 2007

May 5 - 7

 

The May 2007 Work Party was another three-day event, making use of the Bank Holiday, although the number of volunteers was down slightly, largely because of illness. Despite this, and some worries about the weather, good progress was made, building on the success of the April event.

One of the highlights of the Saturday was the arrival on site of a 23-ton digger complete with pile-driving gear and team, which had been drafted in from the Gronwen/Redwith project. It made short work of the job of piling a 35 metre section to take the concrete foundations for the new stone wall which visiting boats will moor up to (sometime in 2009, we hope!). This massive machine made an interesting companion for our own 3-ton digger, which was working alongside, getting the canal bank ready for the piles - we just hope that it has not acquired an inferiority complex!

 

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Driving of 1.8 m sections of steel piling for the visitor moorings - the S.U.C.S. digger prepares the way!

 

The team working on the Wharf Wall were pleased to hear that the trial section rebuilt last time had been given the official seal of approval and set to work on continuing this important part of the project. Whilst some of the team were re-building the wall, others were continuing the task of removing the loose stones from the old wall and cleaning them up ready for re-use. By the Monday, a second team was able to start rebuilding work at the other end of the Wharf Wall and by the end of the day it was possible to get some idea of how magnificent it will look when it is finished.

 

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Wharf wall as it was in February 2006

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Wharf wall May 2007 - 5 metres rebuilt, complete with soil backfill ready for seeding

 

The absence through illness of the Chief Lime Mortar Mixer could have posed a problem but two understudies were soon found and by the end of weekend were knocking up mixes so well that there could be some competition in the starting line-up for the June event! Some of their success was down to the re-commissioning of an old diesel-powered mixer, which had been salvaged from the garage of a local supporter and, after a few hours of tinkering with the engine, sprung back to life and chugged away for the rest of the weekend producing good-quality mixes with relative ease.

All in all, it was another very successful and enjoyable weekend, with impressive results to show for all the hard work - the Chairman and Treasurer of S.U.C.S. even managed to get the compressor working! It was good to hear the favourable comments of passers-by on the towpath, including locals who had doubted whether they would ever see this part of the Monty back in action. Let's hope that we can soon prove them wrong!

 

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