You win some, you lose some. After months of work parties with incredibly favourable weather, this time rain (almost) stopped play on Saturday and Sunday afternoons but great progress was still made.
With the return of plant operations this month, a wide variety of tasks were undertaken. Work on the wharf wall continued, buoyed by an influx of new wallers from the Dry Stone Walling Association and news of the grant from the Association for Industrial Archaeology – we are very grateful to both. Sufficient progress has now been made to replace more copings onto the repaired wall and this is planned for the August work party. The grant from AIA will help fund some of the new copings required to replace broken and crumbling ones from the original wall.
Work continued on pointing and repairing the Crickheath Bridge wash wall and excellent progress was made. The initial trial of repairs carried out in June was inspected and approved by CRT with compliments being paid to the volunteer’s efforts.
Although the above two wall repair jobs remain ongoing, it was possible to complete a third wall repair in the nick of time before heavy rain on Sunday afternoon and despite the torrential rain on Saturday afternoon stopping all progress. This was to finish off the south end of the wharf wall also using lime mortar with an elegant corner returning the wall to the bank.
Whilst the various walling works were going on, the plant operators made great progress with a variety of tasks in preparation for the water tests in early autumn. Two sections of the channel will be tested with dams to be constructed at each end of these sections. The results will inform the final design and specification. Comfortable in their cosy cabs the operators carried on throughout the Saturday downpour. (Credit must be given to Steve Grimoldby who operated the dumper which does not have a cosy cab but he carried on regardless.)
Preparation took a variety of forms ranging from site strip, to checking the channel bed met the minimum required depth, some profiling of banks where this was required and a trial of the clay dam construction. The trial was very successful with not just a neat and tidy construction but many valuable lessons learned on how these can be constructed efficiently and effectively.
Finally, an update on the saga of the stump. This has now reached it’s final resting place where efforts to remove it by burning will no doubt take up a few more work parties.