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Montgomery Canal Restoration Work Party Report - April 2009

April 4 & 5

 

Our luck with the weather definitely returned, not only for the weekend but for the Thursday and Friday for the dumper training. Very good progress was made on two major fronts and the weekend demonstrated the ability of the team to expand into heavier earth moving activities.

With the benefit of preparation last month, dry conditions and the hard work of the stone layers and mixer crew, a record 45 metres of the bottom layer of the batter wall were completed, reaching the 50 metre mark from Pryces Bridge by the end of the weekend. At the same time, 10 metres of the batter wall were completed, including the change in angle to get from the vertical wall by the bridge to the standard angle of the batter wall. The weekend proved the logistics of ensuring that the right amount of lime mortar and limecrete were delivered to meet the needs of the wall builders. The use of mobile phones has been very useful and made communication over the long distance much more efficient.

At the Redwith Bridge end of the site, the work party demonstrated the ability to move into much larger earth moving following the training of four of the volunteers on the Thursday and Friday to be able to operate tracked dumpers. The course was enjoyed by everyone and made sure that the addition of these dumpers does not reduce safety on site. All four volunteers passed without a mistake on both the theory and practical elements and were able to consolidate their practical skills over the weekend. Thank you to Rich for organising the training and also the two digger drivers for their support for the training and tests over the two days.

Two dumpers were used over the weekend, a 1.2 tonne load unit kindly donated by British Waterways to S.U.C.S. and a bigger 2.5 tonne load unit on hire. This enabled the S.U.C.S. digger to widen the channel on the offside from the current location of the offside wall, almost to the first slope up to the yard. Many tonnes of soil were dug and moved by the dumpers up to the offside area by the culvert which needs building back up. The widening of the channel will allow the foundations for the rest of the retaining wall to be dug ready for filling with ready-mix concrete, blocking and finishing above the water line with stone.

It was a very enjoyable weekend with a lot of job satisfaction from the progress made and the extension of the work party capabilities, which will hopefully be fully utilised in the future.

 

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Negotiating the S bend. No cones were harmed in this test! Building the wall at Pryces Bridge
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The big dumper Tipping over the edge
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The completed section of wall at Pryces Bridge The dumper kindly donated by BW
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