The end of yet another year and two decades
It amazes me that we have now completed twenty years of our Phase I and II restoration, the years have flown by! On behalf of the Trust I would like to thank all of you who have volunteered over the years for the hard work put in by everyone; without you there would have been no restoration. Many, many thanks.
Last year the Trust held a volunteer’s lunch. This will be repeated this year on Saturday 18th March 2017 so put the date in your diary.
November and December Working Parties
Stage 3 profiling and lining continued and the first twenty metres from where we left off at Bridge 4A is now complete with bed lining. The wet weather just before the December working party was not very helpful as the first day was spent pumping out water before bed lining could commence.
In December we provided excavator assistance to CRT to investigate ground conditions round the manhole at Whitehouses but we are not aware of any conclusions to date. We are concerned that there is loose fill around the manhole and between the manhole and the wharf wall. This must have been the result of the excavations around 1911 when the 18” pipeline was laid and a connection made to the former pumping shaft to allow discharge into Wilstone Reservoir. The loose fill should be removed and replaced with weak mix concrete to ensure the stability of the new lining in this area.
January and February Working Parties
Stage 3 profiling and lining will continue working towards Whitehouses although weather conditions may hold work up.
Morgans Plant Hire
In the October newsletter I gave an account of the end of our plant hire with Morgans. We have now had the invoices for November and it looks as if it is going to cost the Trust an extra £500 or thereabouts each working party. This is due to having to cross hire the 6 tonne tracked dumper from a distance with expensive transport costs as well as additional hire costs.
We are still awaiting details from CRT for their proposal for a pseudo weir and wing walls to the wharf wall at Whitehouses.
Vegetation Control, Phases I and II
This continues under John Reynolds who is organising regular Friday dates.
Those of you who were with us in 2008 will remember that we organised a controlled raising of water levels between Drayton Beauchamp and Wendover using stop planks to artificially raise the water level in stages. This was to identify weak and low spots in the canal banks. I used local Ordnance Survey bench marks to determine fixed levels at Wendover, Perch Bridge, Halton Bridge and Drayton Beauchamp Bridge so that a team under Jon Kelly, using mobile phone communication, could monitor the water level at these points.
It all came to naught when BW had cold feet and were afraid of flood damage claims if the banks overflowed and so they stopped us proceeding. This was peculiar because some four or five years earlier the excessive rainfall caused the water level to rise within an inch or two of Tring Summit Level without any flood claims as far as we were aware.
You will now be interested to hear, eight years later, that CRT is proposing to do exactly the same thing!
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.