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Montgomery Canal Restoration Work Party Report - June 2012

June 09 & 10

Oh dear - another month of near continuous heavy rain prior to the work party! But this time we were ready. Four hardy souls spent Friday on site pumping out thousands of litres of water from the channel and in doing so permitted lining operations to take place the next day. Some pumping was also required at the Redwith end of the channel which was done first thing on Saturday.

The lining gang certainly made use of the opportunity and laid the largest area of blocks in a weekend to date. A distance of 20 m was completed in the widest channel profile on the length. By end of operations about 90 metres from Pryces Bridge, over 20% of the whole length, was lined and topped up with stone rip-rap. It was not just the quantity of blocks shifted that was impressive. The standard of work is excellent. The blockwork in the bottom of the channel would pass muster as paving for pedestrian areas for many applications.

The shaping of channel at the Redwith end continued. The bottom of the channel for the first 70 metres or so from the bridge received its final levelling and the channel profiling continued to the bottom of the access slope to the compound. Both banks received attention at the end of the retaining wall including a section of offside bank at the rear of the compound. The channel shaping operations have encountered some difficult ground conditions over the past couple of years, notably adjacent to both bridges, but the ground behind the compound made that at Redwith and Pryces look like sieved potting compost by comparison. The problem was that in order to construct an access to the channel the piling contractors had dumped large quantities of construction waste on the bank in this area. Attempting to produce a well graded slope in this was – well – rather difficult. The battle will continue next month.

The offside bank adjacent to the culvert is now about 2 metres high and the whole area is beginning to resemble a canal again, albeit a dry one.

It was a pleasure to welcome two sets of visitors to the site. The first was from members of the Inland Waterways Preservation Society, based on the Peak Forest Canal, who stopped for a cup of tea at mid-point on their walk along the towpath. The second was from members of the Ashby Canal who had come to look at the new liner system.

There was a feeling abroad that this weekend was some sort of turning point in the restoration. It was certainly so in the sense that next month the lining and digging gangs ‘swap ends’ and this should see rapid progress with lining at the Redwith end. All of this of course depends on our old friend ’The Weather’. It would tempt fate to suggest that it will not rain for three months running......

 

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Pumping out the Redwith end Liners in action
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Offside bank near the culvert Offside bank by the retaining wall
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Final levelling at Redwith The humpers and dumpers
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