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Montgomery Canal Restoration Work Party Report - September 2012

September 01 & 02

On the basis of ‘what goes around comes around’ we were due some good weather at some point in the remainder of this year. A couple of rainless days (remember those?) prior to the this month’s event at least ensured that access to the work areas was not through a sea of mud, but alas on arrival on Saturday we still discovered substantial amounts of accumulated water in all the usual places.

The most pressing problem on Saturday was to clear water from the channel adjacent to the retaining wall in preparation for lining. The worth of the French drain that was installed last month was soon demonstrated and in less than an hour the area was clear of standing water. The rest of the day was spent doing final shaping of the channel in this area which involved removing substantial quantities of wet sludge, the legacy of last month’s efforts.

To considerable relief Sunday dawned dry and lining operations were able to get underway. The lining gang performed heroics to finish 25 metres of channel bottom and offside slope, and made substantial progress on towpath slope as well. The ‘before’ and ‘after’ images showing the view from Redwith Bridge illustrates not only the amount of work done but also the high quality of the finished product. The image of the block layers in action should be compared with that from an identical position last month. Quite a change! This section contains the only real corner on the Redwith to Pryces length and the complicated layout of blocks necessary to negotiate this involved a considerable amount of head scratching to get right. The result, however, is very pleasing to the eye. Also at the Redwith end there was considerable progress made on grouting the blockwork using bentonite and filling the gaps between lining and wall or piling.

The digging gang spent the weekend installing a land drain either side of the culvert. The intention is to get the drain in before shaping work starts in earnest. This will enable speedy removal of rainwater in the channel and, if necessary, the lowering of the local water table. At close of play about 25 metres of drain and two sumps had been installed.

The Maesbury Canal Festival also took place at the weekend and, as usual, resulted in a large number of knowledgeable visitors to the towpath adjacent to the worksite. We were particularly pleased to welcome the Sheriff of Shropshire who was given a conducted tour. As has been the practice in previous years some of the volunteers spent a very pleasant Saturday evening enjoying a meal and being entertained in the main marquee at the Festival.

All in all a very successful and enjoyable weekend. If the Gods of Weather read these reports, please can we have more of the same next time...


Repairing last month's quagmire
Lining underway
Dave + bucket
Tony + sump pipe
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