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About hmallett

  • Birthday 09/10/1977

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  1. Another video from me, showing how the restoration has progressed over the last 6 months or so.
  2. Another video, showing the section under restoration, from the air. Looking a lot more canal-like after all the recent rain!
  3. I had a rough idea, but I found more information on the Shropshire Union Canal Society restoration pages. During the restoration, sumps are left in the blocks to facilitate pumping (work parties often start with a lot of pumping!). Because this first section is left filled, but will need to be drained to connect to the next section, the drains have been left in, with drainage pipe left in place as "chimneys", to raise them above the waterline.
  4. Dragging this thread back up, for a bit a shameless self-promotion, I walked the section being restored and you can see it on YouTube. It might help put the pictures above in context.
  5. The things that I took from the article are that (1) people like caravan park owners were phoning CRT to ask them to open the sluice. But surely as Patrick says this needs to be part of a wider strategy - CRT shouldn't be doing this just because some member of the public asks them to. Who was in control of the flooding relief on the day? And (2) the sluice is located in a building that's not theirs, that has been deemed unsafe by the council. Given that CRT aren't an emergency service, it seems a bit harsh to expect them to put their workers in known dangerous situations.
  6. It's the winding hole in Llanymynech, just to the west of bridge 92.
  7. Thanks, everyone, for your helpful replies. Certainly some food for thought. I like the sound of the Prickwillow museum!
  8. I'm hiring a narrowboat from Black Prince at Ely for a week in April. There will be four of us, all with experience on canals (but not canalised rivers) I've got an Imray guidebook of the area, but would welcome advice on where to go and spend our time.
  9. My guess would be that in order to avoid disrupting the A483 (which the canal is at the level as, and once had bridges over the canal), a lock will be added to lower the canal to pass under the road.
  10. How much more what? Obstacles? 2 miles and 4 furlongs of dry canal, and 4 dropped bridges. Money? Plenty. Time? No-one knows! I wouldn't say it's very overgrown. I would say it's consistent with a very low traffic canal! Which 2 road bridges? The A5 at Queen's Head and the A483 at Llanymynech? The towpath is great, and easily walkable right up until the last mile or two before Newtown. My understanding is that Powys will only really consider restoration or replacement of bridges once the canal is navigable as far as Powys. I can see their point. At the current rate "a few years" is generous! However, progress continues to be made. The quarter-mile section from Redwith Bridge to Price's Bridge took years. The next half-mile section from Price's Bridge to Crickheath Wharf looks quite technically challenging (to my untrained eye). As far as I'm aware CRT do provide help, in terms of materials. After all, it's their canal! WRG came a few years ago and worked on the Price's Bridge to Crickheath section. I think they encountered unexpected difficulties (such as a broken culvert).
  11. I don't know. Why not ask them? On the contrary, if the restoration can be progressed as far as Llanymynech (4 miles of dry canal), then from Llanymynech the canal is in water all the way to the navigable section. Raise (or engineer around) 4 lowered bridges, do a bit of dredging and you've added another 16 miles of navigation, including Welshpool.
  12. Are you referring to the Monty? If so, it is a BW/CaRT water. They continue to maintain the non-navigable sections, such as the lock gate replacement at Carreghofa locks, plus works carried out recently on Vyrnwy aqueduct. I think that probably the biggest issue is that one group wants to be solely responsible for any section it works on. Whether WRG would want to work on a section that SUCS have been working on for several years, I don't know. Whether SUCS would want WRG to work on a section they'd already been working on for several years, I don't know. You say that since 2008 100 metres per year has been completed*, but the canal doesn't get worked on in a linear fashion. In fact I'd say that until September 2010, none of the canal was completed. The good news is that since the lining of the canal started, a new liner material has been approved for use, which is easier to work with (bentonite is really, really heavy), the ground is slightly easier to shape (there were plenty of trees in the canal bed near Prices Bridge), and the work is moving closer to the compound (when you have to walk 200 metres for a cup of tea it all ads up). In 2012 some of the progress was slowed by having to pump thousands of gallons of water from the area that needs working on. I think (and this is just my opinion) that if the weather this year stays generally fair (because when it rains the canal holds the water) then by the end of 2013 there will be considerable progress to see. Why have WRG not continued the work they did on the Prices - Crickheath section in 2011? I don't know, you'd have to ask them! I might suspect though that they found the state of the canal harder than they first thought though. I have seen a reference to the section they lined being a trial section of some 10 metres or so. My understanding though is that it was not a trial, but that they had planned to line 100 metres in the 4 or 5 weeks of work parties. Given how organised and experienced WRG are, I think that's an indicator of how tricky that section is! * In fact, you've got your sums wrong, and the average pace is 50 metres per year. I'd love to see the Shrewsbury Canal restoration under way too, but there are land ownership issues to face before they can even start restoration. The balance between maintenance of existing and restoration is one that there's no easy answer to.
  13. Firstly, sorry for the mega-multi-quote! As one of the volunteers doing the restoration, I'm sure we can all agree that we'd like restoration to be faster! Some background for those who don't know... From the Llangollen Canal several miles have been restored and are navigable, and have been for several years now. There is then a 1/2 mile section (from Gronwen Bridge to Redwith Bridge) which has been restored (by contractors) and was rewatered 2 or 3 years ago. It is not navigable (except to portable craft) as there is no winding at the end, and the plant growth is having time to flourish as a result. The next 1/4 mile section (from Redwith Bridge to Prices Bridge) is currently being restored by volunteers from Shropshire Union Canal Society. The towpath side was piled by the contractors who did the Gronwen-Redwith section, and all other work is being undertaken by SUCS. This includes towpath wall building, retaining wall building, towpath laying, creating an invert under Prices Bridge, channel shaping and channel lining. Because everyone is a volunteer, work parties take place for one weekend a month. During winter conditions for working in the channel are not ideal, so this year and last year no winter work was undertaken. So that leaves about 9 weekends per year to work on it. The current situation on that length is that most of the remaining work is channel shaping and lining, which is very approximately 50% complete. WRG did some work on this length when work here started (a few years ago), but none since. WRG had a canal camp on the next 1/2 mile length (from Prices Bridge to Crickheath, which lasted 4 or 5 weeks, in 2011. I don't believe they returned in 2012. I believe they encountered some technical difficulties on that section. Parts of seem to be basically built in peat, there has been some subsidence, and in one part the offside is basically missing! Personally I think it's big enough to need a contractor and big pile of money. Of course money is always an issue... Floating Water Plantain is the main species that gets mentioned. I'm no ecologist, but I believe there have been many issues caused by its presence. Not just Welshpool Town lock, which won't see much traffic as it's an isolated section, but at least it's navigable. All lock gates or the two locks at Carreghofa have been replaced too this winter. These won't have seen a narrowboat for about 70 years! I only know of them being used by portable craft once in the last 5 years. The Shrewsbury Canal has "challenges" too, like the first bit of restoration needing 17 locks restoring (assuming you restore, and don't replace with a boat lift). With regard to Powys Council, I'm sure I heard that there attitude was along the lines of "we support restoration, but there's no point us doing anything until the restoration reaches the Powys border at Llanymynech". I can see their point! Anything they did to improve the canal would only affect the currently isolated section. All comments my own etc.
  14. I would like to offer the Ffrwd branch of the Ellesmere Canal. I've only ever seen a few references to it in canal literature, and there's little to be seen on the ground.
  15. Maybe it's bad form to reply to your own post from 10 months ago, but... The land adjacent to the lock, which might or might not belong to BW is now for sale. http://www.reedsrains.co.uk/properties-for-sale/land-for-sale-tilston-quay-sealand-road-chester-ch1-sale-id-200337934 Never heard of it referred to as Tilston Quay before. It would be nice to think that a condition of repairing the lock could be made upon any developer, but I think that's wishful thinking!
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