Wendover Arm Trust Working Party News, October 2014

  |  Published: Dec 2nd 2014
Laying very dry spoil on the sloping banks. copyright 2014 - Roger Leishman



ISSUE 105                                     WORKING PARTY NEWS                                        October  2014


September and October Working Parties


Apart from lining the throat of the bridge narrows, all lining leading up to Bridge 4A was completed during these working parties as shown below. The good weather was, believe it or not, the reason for not completing this work at the September working party. Laying very dry spoil on the sloping banks was a slow and tedious job, see photo 1.

The September Sunday was a Restoration Open Day and was very well attended; we had four large groups who came to the site to hear all about our work and see our volunteers in action. Of course one party had to arrive while lunch break was in progress!


Once lining work up to the bridge was completed on the Wendover side work commenced on the Little Tring side as it is necessary to line about 10 metres of the canal this side before completing the lining through the bridge itself and building the bund.  We had hoped to complete the lining through the bridge and even the bund this year but it involves a concrete lining rather than spoil through the bridge as was done at Little Tring Bridge to avoid spoil disturbance from craft passing through a narrows. The concreting has to proceed in short stages to allow an excavator to place the ready-mix concrete over the Bentomat. As we are near the winter weather season we  do  not  want  to  leave any Bentomat uncovered so we will be leaving this work until the New Year.

The picture taken on the last day of the October working party shows the completed profiling of the towpath bank and bed ready for 10 metres of lining past the bridge. Work has commenced on rough clearing the offside ready for profiling this bank.


November Working Party

If the weather stays fair the aim is to complete the bank lining into the throat of the narrows on the Wendover side of Bridge 4A and to complete the profiling on the Little Tring side of the bridge and possibly make a start on the lining but only if the Bentomat can be covered within the seven days.


Water from Wendover

Every visiting party on the September Open Day asked me the question “Why was Wendover flooded and the canal so low at Drayton Beauchamp.

I was able to explain the problem CRT is having with plant growth between Wendover and Drayton Beauchamp that is blocking the flow of water. To alleviate the position at Wendover CRT is having to let water into Weston Turville reservoir which means that the water is lost to the canal system and not supplying Wilstone or Tringford Reservoirs.

Another very serious state of affairs resulting from the lack of water at Drayton Beauchamp is that the Trust’s re-watered Stage 1 is receiving no water and is slowly evaporating due to wind and hot weather. If we had completed the bund in Bridge 4A this year we would be struggling to put any water in our newly re-lined length!

The picture illustrates how low the water has dropped.

The concrete block lining should be under water but the level is at least 18” below its usual level.

A great concern is the wildlife, particularly fish, if the water is not topped up soon. Last week I saw about 2 dozen mallard ducks sitting along the offside wondering where all their water had gone.

CRT is currently employing a mechanical reed cutter to clear a channel in the canal so we hope water will be flowing again at Drayton Beauchamp in the near future.


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.

Tne 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.



So you can plan your diary ahead, the following are the dates of future working parties for the rest of 2014 and 2015:








Friday 31st October to

Thursday 6th November

Stage 3

Stage 3 lining.Complete lining into brodge narrows on west side of Bridge 4A.

Complete profiling of off side bank for 15 metres on east side of Bridge 4A.

Friday 5th December to

Thursday 11th December

Stage 3

Weathe permitting line fist 10 metres of canal on east side of Bridge 4A.Progress permitting, build bund in Bridge 4A narrows.




Friday 2nd January to

Thursday 8h January

Stage 3

Complete any works required for lining and bund in Bridge 4A narrows – weather permitting!

If weather conditions are severe the decision may be taken to cancel a working party.

Friday 6th February to

Thursday 12th February

Stage 3

Friday 6th March to

Thursday 12th March

Stage 3

Friday 10th April to

Thursday 16th April

Stage 3

Stage 3 pipe capping if lining/bund are completed through Bridge 4A. This cannot start until the bund is installed as the first pipe capping will cut off access to Bridge 4A as it crosses the canal bed.

Friday 1st May to

Thursday 7th May

Stage 3

Stage 3 pipe capping

Friday 5th June to

Thursday 11th June

Sunday 7th will be a

Restoration Open Day

Stage 3

Stage 3 pipe capping

Friday 3rd July to

Thursday 9th July

Stage 3

Stage 3 pipe capping

Friday 31st July to

Thursday 6th August

Stage 3

Stage 3 pipe capping

Friday 4th September to

Thursday 10th September

Sunday 6th will be a

Restoration Open Day

Stage 3

Stage 3 pipe capping

Friday 2nd October to

Thursday 8th October

Stage 3

Stage 3 pipe capping

Friday 6th November to

Thursday 12th November

Stage 3

Stage 3 pipe capping

Friday 4th December to

Thursday 10th December

Stage 3

Stage 3 pipe capping



































Roger Leishman, Restoration Director.  7 Hall Park, Berkhamsted, Herts HP4 2NU.

                                                                 (Tel:01442 874536, e-mail rwleishman@gmail.com)

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