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Montgomery Canal Restoration Work Party Report - November 2013

November 16 + 17

Another of the great milestones of the project was reached during the weekend – the completion of the lining of the channel. This, together with work on the tip area, meant that the appearance of the site radically changed as a result of our efforts over the three days.

Work kicked off on Friday morning with yet another day-long pumping session. However this one was different, being the last one in which pumping of the land drain sumps was necessary. The pumps were started again before breakfast on Saturday to ensure that work in the channel could start on schedule. A full complement of experienced block layers ensured that the gap between the lined sections was remorselessly closed, and by mid-afternoon on Sunday the job was done. It is entirely appropriate that the last block was placed by Fred, whose tireless efforts in organising and setting-out the lining operations have been a big factor in the success of this part of the work. The final task was grouting the newly installed block-work. The only small caveat to the above is that a few square metres of bank adjacent to the compound remains unlined to allow access to the channel for the final grouting operations and this will be finished next year.

While all the excitement was taking place down in the channel, the 14 tonne digger was starting the job of converting the tip back into agricultural land. By the end of the weekend the central area had been levelled and covered with topsoil. Although this task is not completely finished, the effect is to transform the appearance of the area. Also work continued placing stone rip-rap on the offside bank. Some 75 m of bank adjacent to the erstwhile tip received its stone.

With a view to the future, survey work was started on the Pryces Bridge to Crickheath section. This included inspection of some of the watercourses around the canal and making a start on what will undoubtedly be the lengthy task of establishing levels at important locations along the section. The inspection also highlighted the extent to which nature has reclaimed much of the areas which were cleared during the Society’s previous work on the length and the magnitude of the task ahead.

So, the end of what must rank as one of the most productive years in the history of the Society’s restoration efforts. A glance back at the work party reports for this year shows the remarkable progress made during the last nine months. As always it has been great fun and we look forward to next year, which will see the current length finished and re-watered. Roll on next year!

 

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Setting up the pumps on Friday morning
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The same area on Sunday afternoon
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As seen on TV. Bz with the last block.
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The brains of the surveying operation processes results during lunch
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Completed blockwork and levelled tip area
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