The Wendover Arm Trust Working Party News - February 2016

Roger Leishman  |  Published: Mar 5th 2016
The completion of pipe capping and rough profiling of banks, taken from Bridge 4A
photo 1 - The completion of pipe capping and rough profiling of banks, taken from Bridge 4A (Roger Leishman)

THE WENDOVER ARM TRUST

WORKING PARTY NEWS

ISSUE 113 February 2016


 


January and February Working Parties

During these working parties only bulk excavation was possible and even this was curtailed by the bad  weather. Nevertheless pipe capping, bulk excavation and rough profiling of the banks is mainly complete to within 100 metres of the end of Stage 3.

Photo 1, taken from Bridge 4A, shows the completion of pipe capping and rough profiling of banks that extends towards Whitehouses and photo 2 shows the completed pipe capping that is being covered with spoil and approaching the end of Stage 3 at Whitehouses.

Several tasks were undertaken when the main restoration work was not possible:

  • Along the section from the cart track entrance at Little Tring to Bridge 4A entries for water were made at all the manholes in order to drain the bed as quickly as possible after rain. This length is notorious for its pools of water and it is hoped this problem will be alleviated.
  • The storage site at Little Tring was tidied up, including making space for a new delivery of Bentomat later in the year, and a skip full of rubbish taken off site.
  • The base for a bench seat was excavated east of Bridge 4A where the footpath leads down to Wilstone Reservoir. This bench is in memory of Stuart Bell, a great supporter of the restoration who died recently and left a bequest specifically to be used for restoration, The bench seat has been delivered ready to be installed on a concrete base in March.
At Bridge 4A a new fence has been erected by the public footpath leading to the bridge and the area generally tidied up. Note the daffodils that, to my recollection, have been on this spot for many years.

 

Whitehouses

After what seems a long time of starts and stops CRT have now completed all their work at Whitehouses that has been holding up our restoration work.

The good work to the old settling tank by KESCRG that was illustrated in the last issue of this newsletter (photo 4) has now been covered by CRT with a galvanised steel grid as a safety measure as shown in photo 5, although the public will be able to view what is going on underneath.

Beyond the main grid you can see the CRT contractor putting the finishing touches to the grid over the new manhole.

Once re-watering is complete up to Tring Summit level the adjustable weir that you can see in the former settling tank will take water from the canal through the three short culverts through the  wharf wall into the right hand side of the weir.

Once the desired water level has been reached, any surplus water from Wendover will weir into the left hand side of the settling tank and  flow into the culvert that you can see in the back left hand corner into the new manhole and, provided the sluice in the manhole is open, drop down the former pumping shaft into Wilstone Reservoir.  The former pumping shaft is now accessed by a cast iron manhole cover just to the left of the new manhole.

When KESCRG reinstated the coping stones on the wharf wall care was taken to position the hole and four holding down bolts in one stone so that it lined up with the groove in the wharf wall where a paddle had been situated until it was moved to the manhole (under the concrete slab in the foreground) to act as a control to allow water from the 18” pipeline to drop down the former pumping shaft into Wilstone Reservoir. CRT has now moved it back to its original position and purpose including a new sluice gate as shown in the picture above. Once restoration is complete this outlet into the former pumping shaft will allow the pound from stop planks at Drayton Beauchamp Bridge to stop planks at Bridge 4 to be completely drained and the water will not be lost to the canal as it will drop into Wilstone Reservoir.

A new manhole has been constructed on the site of the prunus tree that had to be removed because the roots were damaging the brickwork of the settling tank and in the way of this new manhole. This manhole contains sluices to control water from Wendover into the former pumping shaft.

KESCRG are booked to come for a weekend in May when they will make a start on landscaping the whole area at this site.

Restoration Volunteers ‘Thank you’

On Saturday 16th January past and present volunteers were invited by the Trust Council to a buffet lunch at Aston Clinton. It was great to see so many old and new faces and give a thank you to all concerned for the amazing effort that has been put into restoration over the last twenty and more years.

 

Drayton Beauchamp to Wendover

Those of you who attended the Trust AGM last October will recall that I spoke about the state of the canal throughout this length.

My main concern was the continuous growth of aquatic plants that is regularly blocking the flow of water from Wendover to the sump at the start of the pipeline at Drayton Beauchamp. This causes flooding at Wendover and lack of water entering the pipeline at Drayton Beauchamp. I am pleased to report that CRT have recently employed their contractor to cut a channel through the reeds and rushes and restore the flow until spring growth will no doubt take us back to ‘square one’ as the roots are not removed.

My other concern was the growth of saplings, mainly ash, between the towpath and the water’s edge. CRT’s contractor has now cut these down but unfortunately left all the debris on the bank and in the water.  I also noted this week that the contractor has cut the towpath bank along Stage 1 and, again, left all the debris either on the bank or in the water.

Phase II vegetation maintenance

I made an appeal for help with vegetation maintenance and so far have had only two firm volunteers and, hopefully another one.

As soon as the weather improves we intend to make a start on this work that involves general help with keeping growth under control from Little Tring to Drayton Beauchamp. Particular items will be keeping the path clear from Bridge 4 to Whitehouses, once Whitehouses is landscaped, grass cutting and general tidying up. The areas around the two footbridges also need attention from time to time to keep the area looking respectable.  It would be nice in the future to cut the grassy area behind the winding hole in front of the tip site at Little Tring.

 

General Notes

We operate as a self-supervising group under CRT and all volunteers receive and sign for the Trust’s Restoration Handbook that includes full Health and Safety requirements for the restoration works.  

The handbook is the property of the Trust; if you leave the working parties for any reason, please return your Handbook to either Ray Orth or myself.

Hard hats for use at all times and high visibility jackets to be worn on sites with mobile plant in use are kept in the store at Tringford and must be drawn/returned there.

One first aid kit is kept in the store and one in the Nissan Cabstar and each qualified first-aider will have their own kit with him/her when on site.

Also available in the store at Tringford are ear defenders and goggles that must be worn when using strimmers, angle grinders, concrete breakers and the like. CRT will supply hard hats, gloves and footwear with reinforced toecaps on request.

We normally work from 9am to 5pm (or dark if earlier!). There are breaks for morning tea/coffee, packed lunch and afternoon tea/coffee. We take our own food and drink.

 

WORKING PARTIES

So you can plan your diary ahead, the following are the dates of future working parties in 2016. The work to be done is very much subject to the weather during the forthcoming winter months.

DATE 

WORKING AT

WORK TO BE DONE

2016

 

 

Friday 4th March to

Thursday 10th March

Stage 3/4

Stage 3 pipe capping and rough shaping both banks as pipe capping is completed..

Friday 1st  April to

Thursday 7th April

Stage 3/4

Stage 3 profiling and lining.

Stage 4 pipe capping and rough shaping both banks as pipe capping is completed..

Friday 6th  May to

Thursday 12th May

 

KESCRG will be with us

Stage 3/4

 

 

Whitehouses

Stage 3 profiling and lining.

Stage 4 pipe capping and rough shaping both banks as pipe capping is completed..

Landscaping at Whitehouses

Friday 3rd June to

Thursday 9th June

Open Day Sunday 5th June

Stage 3/4

Stage 3 profiling and lining.

Stage 4 pipe capping and rough shaping both banks as pipe capping is completed..

Friday 1st July to

Thursday 7th July

Stage 3/4

Stage 3 profiling and lining.

Stage 4 pipe capping and rough shaping both banks as pipe capping is completed..

Friday 5th August to

Thursday 11th August

Stage 3/4

Stage 3 profiling and lining.

Stage 4 pipe capping and rough shaping both banks as pipe capping is completed..

Friday 2nd September to

Thursday  8th September

Open Day Sunday 4th Sept.

Stage 3/4

Stage 3 profiling and lining.

Stage 4 pipe capping and rough shaping both banks as pipe capping is completed..

Friday 7th October to

Thursday 13th October

 

 

Friday 4th November to

Thursday 10th November

 

 

Friday 2nd December to

Thursday 8th December

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Browse our Articles

Articles By Date
Search our Articles
Search
Back to top