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Audlem Canal & River Trust Report – September

4th October 2017 @ 6:06am – by Derek Jones
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Well here we go, yes two Canal & River Trust task force days have been held in September. The first on Saturday 9th and the second on Saturday 30th with a 10:00am start.

We were joined by members of the village 'Nicky Rutler, Rob Collins, David and Gareth Higham' who gave up their free time to support the Audlem Volunteer Lock Keepers.

After the safety brief given by Neville Preece of C&RT, the work plan was laid out, today we were working on repairs to the canal towpath between locks 12 and 11.

The day had been arranged through various meetings between David Higham and the C&RT management team.

10 tonnes of bulk grit / gravel (specialist material for redressing towpath walkways) had been delivered into the Shroppie Fly car park (thank you very much for this permission) 4 petrol driven bulk wheel barrows (capable of carrying a quarter of a tonne in each load) plus 2 vibrator compacters were also delivered.

With the extra volunteers we had a total of 12 persons available and what a show we have made. The ramp up from the road bridge to lock 12 was fully repaired and redressed.

Our attention then turned towards lock 11 where almost half of the towpath length was repaired, also some pot holes were filled. This has now turned into a 'work in progress' job.

Weather against us

I am afraid that the weather and time beat us. We still have 3 tonnes of bulk bagged material in the Shroppie car park to move, with arrangements being made to re-hire the powered equipment.

Just to paint a picture of our work programme and enthusiastic approach to the powered wheel barrow – they began to fail through overheating, we had to rotate and rest them.

Also another update, because of the enthusiasm and genuine commitment shown, we are thinking of shortening our name from the 'Audlem Volunteer Lock Keepers' (a bit of a mouth full however you dress it up) to the 'A Team'.....not sure what our C&RT managers view will be – watch this space!

As normal, tea and coffee was in plentiful supply, also the work group would like to thank the management team from the 'Shroppie Fly' a plentiful supply of hot bacon baps were supplied to the team, just at the right time, fantastic taste and a credit to the pub 'Thank you from the team for the hospitality shown to us'

Work in progress, as above the day ended on an upbeat note with the plans being put in place to carry on with repairs to the canal towpath.

Our next planned towpath task force day will be on Saturday 14th October.

Derek Jones

Volunteer Lock Keeper / Lock Ranger


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