Lichfield & Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust

LHCRT  Working Party Blog   August 2016

Tamworth Road  August 3rd  to 14th.

Now that the concrete base of pound 27 is complete we can concentrate on the concrete reinforcing of the Concrete Canvas lined batter of the off side canal bank.

This reinforcing is progressing very well and could be completed by the end of August.  However, with all sorts of other distractions being thrown at our volunteer force, the on going holiday season, the moving of copious volumes of clay to the winding hole and it's subsequent puddling, the possible depletion of our volunteer numbers due to other LHCRT interests, I think it will be towards the middle of September before I can be sure of it's completion.

With regards to the winding hole clay, with a bit of luck we will get some rain in September to prevent the clay from drying out, cracking and requiring a lot of reworking. And, of course, we need the Penstock to have been installed and working to retain some of this water in pound 27.

Another major undertaking we have embarked on this fortnight is the cutting down to size of the redundant big pipe segments. These segments are 3 meters long.  We are cutting off one meter from each pipe, and there are sixty plus pipes to do. Why?  well the long remaining piece is to be used to form part of the towpath wall between the narrows and the A51 tunnel, and 2 meters is a better length to manhandle  and is still long enough.  The cut off one meter length is going to be taken over to Darwin Park where the 'Wergies', the Waterways Recovery Group volunteer force, will use them to establish and extend the noise sound barrier at the side of the A38 some time in September.

In case you think," is that all for this blog", no it's not.  We have assisted the Fishing Taster Weekend by removing huge amounts of blanket week from pound 26, and played host to the  local ham radio boffins.

Again, thanks to our fantastic volunteers,  without you little would get done.

Total hours attended (two weeks) :-     347

Hugh Millington

Photos: Christine Howles

Lock 24 by-wash has been completed with the addition of a new grille. Mike Battisson who started off this piece of restoration back in June 2014 admires the work of the LHCRT craftsmen.  Read more here (scroll to bottom of page).

Tamworth Road  August 17th  to 28th.

I had been away for a few days towards the end of the period covered by this blog. On my return I was amazed at the progress that had been made in my absence.  In fact I  almost felt that if I made a habit of going away more frequently then the restoration would progress even more rapidly.

So much has happened in the last week. As predicted in the previous blog the concrete reinforcement of the left hand canal bank batter is now completed. This enables us install the Geomesh to the top half of the batter and the capping sandbags which are to be filled with a dry concrete mix.  We will later on this month provide some fishing pegs for disabled anglers along the top edge of this bank.  All we need then is lots of water and some fish in pound 27.

The top story of this blog has got to be the working of the clay in the winding hole.  A 13 tonne JCB digger had been offered to us on free loan for a long weekend from 18th August till 23rd August.  Chase Civil Engineering deserve our grateful thanks for their generosity.  To make best use of this opportunity we had taken delivery of load upon load of puddling clay.  The JCB made easy work of placing this clay where it was needed and of compacting it. Tony Gardner thought he was in heaven with this big monster under his capable control.

Getting the clay in the winding hole was a huge step forward.  Stop planks were sourced for the narrows and installed. Now all that remains to be done before water can be introduced is the  delivery, assembly and fitting of the 'penstock' in the weir.  However the gang created a low dam around where the penstock is to be fitted and when we had the heavy rain of a few days ago the water in the winding hole was nearly knee deep.  It's beginning to look more like a canal.

As usual, whilst all this was happening  work carried on elsewhere, the cutting of the 'big pipe' sections, grass cutting  controlling the weeds around the site.

All of which kept our volunteers happy.  And as usual my sincere thanks to them all.  

Hugh Millington

Photos August 21st by Christine Howles