Early October 2017 work party report

This is the third work party in a row which has resulted in a major change in the appearance of the site. This time a substantial effort on Phase 1A saw the bulk of the section lined with blocks, and very good it looks too.

Sleeper pad installers in Victorian serious mode

Work kicked off on Friday morning to finish the shaping of the Phase 1A channel aided by a new piece of kit. The channel base is aligned using a level – usually our optical instrument – but this time we experimented with a laser level. This worked well for this particular repetitive task and may well be used for similar work in future. By Saturday evening the whole section was finished and the digging gang moved on to install a sleeper mat at the Phase 1B access causeway.

The main task was, of course, the lining operation.  This occupied all three days and just about every volunteer on site contributed at some point during the weekend. The work used up all of the available liner on site and all but a couple of hundred blocks. By the end of work the channel was lined to a point some 65 metres from Pryces Bridge, leaving about a dozen metres still to go. There were some aching arms and legs by Sunday evening!

Lining and blocking
Lining and blocking
Lining and blocking

Saturday saw the penultimate concrete pour on the slope at Pryces Bridge preceded, as usual, by the application of various potions to the exposed concrete faces and the formwork.  Also on Saturday the first tentative steps were taken to clear the offside bank of Phase 2A. This involved strimming the nettles and brambles and removing some small bushes. The work revealed  both the shape of the bank (uneven) and a sinister looking water filled hole in the bed of the channel. We also found a small length of tramway rail.

Concreting the bank by the bridge
Phase 2A after clearance work

There are always a number of ‘other jobs’ at work parties which, taken together, constitute a major volunteer effort.  This time these included strimming the outside of newt fences for both Phase 1A and 1B, sealing expansion joints on the mooring wall, anchoring liner to the retaining wall and surveying the depth of the Phase 1B channel. There is also the continuing job of repairing of the compound newt fences to make good the damage caused by the local rabbit population.  This is not quite the end of the work party action for this month. An additional work party will be held on the last weekend of the month to transport the material stripped from Phase 1B last month to the newt pond site at Redwith.

Posted in Montgomery Canal, Pryces Bridge to Crickheath Bridge Restoration, Restoration, Work Party.

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