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Montgomery Canal Restoration Work Party Report - August 2008

August 2 & 3


The August 2008 work party marked a quickening of the pace of the Redwith to Pryces Bridge restoration. Our efforts extended over substantial sections of the walls on both sides of the canal. Also by the time this account hits the bookstalls (and whatever the online equivalent of a bookstall is) our welcome visitors from W.R.G. will also have completed a section of retaining wall.

The attendance this month made news since it established a new record for a two-day work party - 26 on Saturday and 24 on Sunday. One of the features of a work party is that we are showered with more cakes than the Test Match Special commentators. These are delicious and the photograph shows the massed ranks recovering from eating too many during a tea break.

With the number of volunteers and dry weather it is not surprising that progress was excellent. Work started on the stone facing on the offside retaining wall adjacent to Redwith Bridge which was originally constructed by the contractors at the start of the year. To date some 6 metres of facing is finished and similar distance up to first course. The photograph shows a section of the finished product. When the canal is flooded only the stonework and the earth bank will be visible. The retaining wall itself is constructed of reinforced concrete inside hollow blocks and W.R.G. will extend this for approximately 12 metres during their August Workcamp. This wall will, in turn, be faced by us.

Thirty-four metres of batter wall was finished during the weekend taking it to the 150 metres from Redwith. In addition the first course of this wall has now reached the 185 metre mark. The latter task was made quite a challenge by local variations in line and level of the piling which necessitate all sorts of ad-hoc construction techniques to keep the wall to line and level. This will ultimately be worth it as it will be no good blaming the piling or whatever when the canal is filled. Our efforts will be judged solely on the visible bit which is the walls!

The end of the next work party should see both towpath and offside walls complete to half distance. If progress continues at present rates a tentative date for finishing the walls is May 2009. The general feeling is that given good weather and a continued supply of cakes this is achievable!


aug0801 aug0802
Offside wall at Redwith Bridge The cake eaters
aug0803 aug0804
Wall finishing in progress Batter wall construction
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