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Montgomery Canal Restoration Work Party Report - April 2012

March 31 & April 01

The headline news this month is that about 10% of the Redwith Bridge to Pryces Bridge section, some 45 metres, is now completely finished. The final operation was the placing of graded stone on the top part of the offside bank. This stone will eventually act as ‘rip-rap’ to absorb boat wash and serve as a home for aquatic plants. As the images show it certainly finishes off the restored channel in a very sympathetic manner.

The rapid completion of the channel has been made possible by the use of the new lining material. The fact that the lining operation had become quicker than that of shaping the channel was initially perceived as a problem. However one of the characteristics of the Society’s work parties is that problems are very quickly solved and this one was no exception. The solution tried this month was to station one digger doing final shaping of the channel adjacent to the lining operations. This, coupled with the lining gang’s new duties in placing the stone rip-rap ensured that lining and shaping moved along at roughly the same speed and this is likely to be the model for the future.

By coincidence the digging gang managed to finish the channel shaping to a point 45 metres from Redwith Bridge. This section has undoubtedly been the most difficult encountered to date due the bad ground conditions encountered. The channel contained a bewildering variety of soil types, a huge quantity of stone and bricks (presumably from the former coal wharf and bridge), together with enough coal to fire a small power station. Also the narrow channel meant that much of the work was done by hand. Finally however the combined might of rotating bucket digger, picks, spades and mattocks did the job albeit at the price of some very tired limbs!

The spoil from the excavations at both ends of the section was used in the construction of the remaining section of the offside bank adjacent to the culvert. After about one hundred dumper loads of material it is now just about possible to see the outline of the base of the bank!

Finally an extension to the welfare shelter was completed thus restoring the facilities to their former size. Importantly the legs of the structure are now bedded in concrete to ensure that it will not be as prone to becoming airborne as its predecessor!

 

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A strip of lining being placed in position Applying the 'special stuff' to the joint area
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The view from Pryces Bridge with lining completed The view from Redwith Bridge with profiling completed
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