Lichfield & Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust

Summerhill & Crane Brook News

July 1st 2015

After a lot of work behind the scenes by our Trust Officers, over the last few days with a flurry of activity, a small team of volunteers has at very short notice has completed the first section of the HV Mains cable trench and laid ducts for the cable crossing under the bed of the canal by the Cranebrook Quarry weighbridge.

This has allowed Weston Power to start work a day early to install the Transformer post and commence the installation of the Earthing grid in the trench the volunteers have excavated along the first 100 metres of our towpath.

Other recent work included trimming back sections of hedging along the 550 metre cable route which follows the line of the canal towpath along part of the Summerhill  section.

This HV supply cable will initially supply WCL Cranebrook Quarry with mains electricity, but will also allow the Trust to install the short length of mains supply required for the proposed Lock 8 adjacent to the M6Toll Aqueduct.

Weston Power came to site with a very useful piece of plant. It drills a hole in the ground with the auger on the rear. It picks up a very long pole off a truck. It turns the pole from horizontal to vertical and travels to the augered hole in the ground. It places the pole directly into final location in the ground and backfilled to secure. Job done!

Meanwhile Clarke Construction have returned to site to complete the channel invert slab over the culvert, now that the Trust volunteers have completed a significant earthworks operation to trim a section of the north side of the Summerhill canal cutting and move the material  generated to top up the missing fill over the new Cranebrook Culvert.

The new culvert with access road to aqueduct and Moody block retaining wall to support the offside towpath which will be used for maintenance. The holes in the Moody Block retaining wall will be planted with native hanging /trailing plants to create a green wall.

Words & photos: Peter Buck

Summerhill & Crane Brook News

July 7th 2015

A small team has been working this week at Summerhill on excavating and installing the mains cable ducts along the line of the towpath ready for the first 230 metre length of mains cable to be installed into the ducts by Weston Power next Monday

Our volunteer numbers at Summerhill were enhanced on Saturday with most of the team coming over from Tamworth Road and great progress was made on the cable duct installation .  The whole 600m. length of the cable duct is now set out and ready for excavation and duct installation work to continue next week.

With the backfill of the cable trench over the installed duct a start has been made on installing timber edging for the new towpath near the Quarry Office, and in the area of the Cranebrook Culvert the cable duct for the first section of our own mains feed to the Aqueduct has been completed over the culvert and is now ready for the fill in the off side towpath area over the new culvert.

Thanks to all who turned out including Hugh who stood in to open up on Saturday morning for Terry who was not well.

Peter Buck

July 5th  At Tamworth Road the slipway is nearing completion.

Photos: Christine Howles

July 20th 2015

Although our main focus is on Tamworth Road and Summerhill maintenance work continues in other areas notably on the Hatherton Canal.

Today's task for a small band of volunteers led by Dennis Cooper was to strim the towpath from the rear of the Roman Way Hotel to Catsbridge, roughly a mile. The Himalayan Balsam has really taken a hold on this stretch.

This section forms a very pleasant walk alongside a channel which though not navigable is partly in water.  It was dredged for flood drainage by the Canal & River Trust in  2013  see our news report.

If you can help on the Hatherton Canal please ring Dennis Cooper on 01543-374370.  - PM

Hatherton dredging operation by C&RT in October 2013

Photo Paul Marshall

Meadow Lock

Photos by by Barry Kenn

Hatherton Canal Maintenance Work

Dennis Cooper, Joe Farren and Vic Stanway at Meadow Lock

Barry Kenn

Terry Stands Down as Site Manager

July 20th 2015

After many years as site manager, contributing this Blog since December 2013, Terry Brown is ceasing his role as Site Manager.

Brian Kingshott said “L&H is very sorry to announce that Terry Brown is standing down as site manager on the Lichfield Canal.  His input to the project in recent years has been tremendous and his enthusiasm and dedication will be sorely missed.  He leaves a huge gap in our organisation. The site team will be be working together to keep work going until the Trust finds a way to rebuild the work party organisation.  Meanwhile, the work keeps going".

As webmaster I would like to thank Terry for keeping us quickly and concisely up to date via these pages. Not surprisingly they are the most read pages on the website.  - PM

LHCRT  Working Party Blog     July 2015