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Montgomery Canal Restoration Work Party Report - June 2007

June 2 & 3

 

Conditions for the June Work Party were hot and humid, always suggesting the imminent arrival of a downpour which thankfully never materialised. Although a number of regulars were indisposed the attendance was a very respectable 15 on Saturday and 17 on Sunday. The work concentrated on two tasks - the continuing rebuilding of the wharf wall and the preparation of foundations for the visitor moorings.

At close of play on Sunday the north end of the wharf was up to full height and backfilled (see photo). Demolition of loose material in the centre section of the wall is now finished enabling new construction to be built from a base of original solid material. The mammoth task of cleaning the stone for reuse also continued.

The work on the visitor moorings on Saturday involved placing and compacting hardcore behind the line of piles as a base for concrete. The major job was driving the anchor piles and installing the tie bars to connect them to the walings on the outside of the sheet piles. There were no expensive hi-tech pile driving machines this time - just sledge hammers and a lot of effort! The task was complicated by the presence of the remaining roots of substantial trees and the hedge that had previously occupied the site. These caused no end of trouble in excavation for the piles even with the assistance of our 3-tonne digger. However, as the photograph shows, we eventually prevailed and also managed to finish the shuttering for the concrete. The photo also shows that we get on with the neighbours! Two of the volunteers are Mike who lives adjacent to the site in Crickheath, and Malcolm who lives next to Newhouse Lock.

We often get into conversation with towpath walkers during our work and are asked questions that range from the erudite to the plain silly. However this month's offering "what are you doing here apart from building a wall?" must qualify for some sort of prize. What indeed?

 

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Progress on wharf wall

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Pile driving the hard way!

 

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