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Grantham Canal - bits of rusty metal and other interesting stuff.

Discussion in 'Everything Else Heritage' started by baldbof, Oct 5, 2015.

  1. ghost

    ghost Well-Known Member

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    I believe (looking at the 'New ownership and adverts' thread) that the problem relates to the proliferation of adverts now infesting NP. This is preventing some people, including BaldBof from posting/editing/replying as the adverts are covering input boxes.

    I too have enjoyed watching the lock being rebuilt and reading BaldBof's accounts, however I understand that if the site is becoming a nightmare to use then why would you bother...

    Keith
     
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  2. baldbof

    baldbof Active Member

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    I've managed to log-in but before I try to do an update I'll just test the water.

    Some recent arrivals on the canal.

    IMG_1850.JPG
     
  3. Wenlock

    Wenlock Active Member Friend

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    That seems to have succeeded.
     
  4. baldbof

    baldbof Active Member

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    More good news, I've just tried to edit my previous post......and the electrikery gubbins what makes this site work allowed me an attempt. I'm too knackered tired to do an update tonight, so I'll try my luck later this week.
     
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  5. GWR Man.

    GWR Man. Well-Known Member

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    Good to see you haven't left as you talked about, as your reports and photos are one of the highlights of this total web forum and always looked forward to the next instalment.
     
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  6. DismalChips

    DismalChips Member

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    What others have said. I enjoy the updates on this project and it'd be a shame to lose them.
     
  7. Sheff

    Sheff Part of the furniture

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    Yes, so glad you've cracked it. Rivetting stuff to a CRT volunteer.
     
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  8. baldbof

    baldbof Active Member

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    After the trials and tribulations of recent times, here goes with an overdue update.

    Following our visit to Stanley Ferry to see the gates being made, the completed gates were delivered to the site in kit form - think Ikea, but on a much bigger scale.

    The upper gates as delivered - the quoins and balance beams are to the right of the photo.

    IMG_1791.JPG

    There was a delay whilst C&RT arranged for joiners to come to site to do the necessary fettling and fitting. The actual installation of the gates is a task too far for us GCS volunteers as none of us has any sort of experience doing this sort of thing. A 90-tonne crane was required to do the lifting, an experienced banksman was needed and it just happened that one of the chippies is just that.

    IMG_1809.JPG

    The upper end of the lock was the first area to be tackled and action consisted of trial fitting of both the quoins and the gates.

    IMG_1811.JPG

    The trial fitting went well and the gates were temporarily left in position whilst attention turned to the lower gates.

    IMG_1815.JPG

    Unfortunately, there was an alignment problem which resulted in the lower gates not sitting correctly. The main problem was caused by part of the nearside lock wall which was retained during the demolition phase, being out of plumb. In post #124 I posted a photo showing where there was a problem with the wall. As things turned out, it wasn't that particular bow in the wall which caused the problem but the area to the left of that site in the rebate where the original quoins were fitted. This resulted in the need to shave the brickwork in the quoin's rebate from the invert to the top of the wall.

    IMG_1840.JPG

    IMG_1841.JPG

    It was during this phase that one of the chippies asked the question of how the quoins were installed when the lock was first built. It then transpired that the quoins may have been installed first and held in place by wooden formwork whilst the lock walls were built around them, rather than build the walls first then fit the quoins.

    This thinking also goes some way to explain the post holes in the surrounding ground which were revealed when the site was excavated and the mysterious chopped off timber that was found behind the facing bricks when we were tidying up the brickwork on the corner posts. Have a look at the seventh photo in post #98. In the photo above that one, an oblong slot where the corresponding timber was housed on the opposite corner post is visible in the centre of the photo.

    At this point, I must pay tribute to the skill of the C&RT chippies. What a team!! These guys are at the top of their game. Watching them working was an amazing experience, they worked and thought as one, calmly and without fuss despite the gates not wanting to co-operate.

    Back to the upper gates. After the trial fitting was completed, it was necessary to pour a considerable amount of grout mixture behind the quoins in order to provide a watertight seal . The position of the gate anchors was marked on the corner stones whilst the gates were in position. The anchors were removed to allow channels to be cut in the stone where the anchors would sit in their final position. The anchors will be held in place by large bolts and sealed in by molten lead.

    IMG_1818.JPG

    IMG_1829.JPG

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    Whilst awaiting the arrival of the gate fitters, GCS volunteers got on with other tasks which included fitting the mounts for the paddle sluice gates. The paddle gates themselves were dropped into the slots on the mounts but the fitting of the winding gear won't take place until the lock gates themselves have been secured into place - there is too much risk of a 3 ton lock gate, swinging in the breeze, clouting the winding gear and causing damage.

    IMG_1832.JPG

    Since those above photos were taken, the chippies have been back on site and carried on with the fettling. The upper gates were taken out again and the quoins bolted into placed after the grout had gone off. Rubbing plates have been fixed to the back of the upper gates to save doing that job once the gates are installed. My next report will cover a bit more of the gate installations........hopefully.

    In case you are wondering what's happening at Lock 14, the not-so-good news is that it's not. Unfortunately, access to the site has been delayed due to tardiness on the part of certain agencies over which GCS has no influence. Comments by our chairman in our society magazine clarify the situation. I will say no more on that matter.
     
  9. Enterprise

    Enterprise Part of the furniture

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    Thank you. It is a delight to read another instalment of one of the most interesting and informative blogs on NP.
     
  10. nine elms fan

    nine elms fan Well-Known Member

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    Also it makes a change to see a group of people working as one and no separate egos involved unlike another thread on this forum :rolleyes:
     
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  11. baldbof

    baldbof Active Member

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    Wow!! I've just logged in and seen the response. Thank you folks.
     
  12. baldbof

    baldbof Active Member

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    As I mentioned in the previous report, the gate fitters have been busy again - them hire cranes don't come cheap so they tried to do as much as possible whilst it was on site.

    The upper gates have now been fitted and fixed into position. Here's the off/side gate standing up without help from scaffolding poles and bits of wood. The balance beam and rubbing boards have been fitted.

    IMG_1852.JPG

    ..and the near side gate standing on its own, also shown is the paddle post awaiting the rodding.

    IMG_1869.JPG

    In the previous report , I mentioned the work preparing for fitting the gate anchors.

    Once the channels have been cut and readied, the anchor is dry-fitted so that locating holes for the securing bolts can be marked and drilled. The holes in the anchor have been tapped and a threaded bolt, with two nuts attached, is partly screwed into the anchor. The nuts are to allow the use of a ratchet spanner to get the bolt into its hole as quickly as possible.

    The drilled holes are then partially filled with a fast-setting resin which holds the bolts in place. The anchor is placed in the channel followed by screwing the bolts into place very quickly before the resin goes off. It's also very important not to overfill the bolt holes because as the bolts go in, the resin is squeezed out. If too much resin is placed in the hole, it is forced out by the bolt and it will lift the anchor so that it sits proud of the channels. Not pretty and virtually impossible to rectify.

    Once the bolts are fully screwed in the nuts are removed and an angle grinder applies the finishing touch to to grind the tops of the bolts level with the anchor's arm. Molten lead will be poured to seal any gaps around the edge of the anchor - local vicars are currently checking their church roofs. ;)

    A gate anchor with the bolts and nuts in place prior to fitting.

    IMG_1861.JPG

    A gate anchor in place with the bolts removed and the threaded bolt ground level with the arms of the anchor. Note the bent, steel-plate fishtails holding the collar around the gate's heel post onto the anchor.


    IMG_1853.JPG

    The chippies had another attempt at fitting the lower gates. Here is the off-side gate which has become compliant after some minor surgery to the corner where the quoin sits. The sharp-eyed amongst you will note that the bubble in the spirit level is dead centre.

    IMG_1860.JPG

    ...and here are both gates after finally succumbing to the chippies efforts. The GCS volunteer is waiting for one of the other volunteers to bring more grout for the quoins.

    IMG_1867.JPG

    A shot of the lower gates's balance beams awaiting fitting. The posts on which the paddle gear will be fitted are made of Opepe - note the difference in colour compared to the green oak of the balance beams.

    IMG_1862.JPG

    Also delivered to the site this week were the long awaited grills for the letterbox accesses. This is a change from the original structure where the letterboxes were covered by massive lumps of stone. These grills will allow access to inside the letterbox should there be a need to remove any obstructions from within.

    The grills as delivered.

    IMG_1863.JPG

    A grill being test fitted to the letterbox. The grill was slightly oversize so some fettling of the stonework is required.

    IMG_1866.JPG

    Finally, a photo of the upper gates after checking that they open and close OK. They do!! New timber for the mitre and the cill is on site and will replace the original timbers which were judged to be too far worn . However, some of the original ironwork which held the mitre together, has been retained and renovated and will soon be back where it has been since 1797.

    . IMG_1871.JPG
     
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  13. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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  14. Ploughman

    Ploughman Part of the furniture

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    There was a very short clip shown on BBC Leeds breakfast news at 06.30 this morning.
     
  15. baldbof

    baldbof Active Member

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    I'm looking for an agent to negotiate my appearance fee. ;)
     
  16. baldbof

    baldbof Active Member

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    Question folks. Has anybody got an e-mail address for 'narrowboatworld.com'. I want to contact them but there doesn't appear to be an address on their web-site.

    Thanks

    John
     
  17. Greenway

    Greenway Well-Known Member

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    Hello John,
    I went to their web page. I clicked on the tab CONATCT US at the top of the page and it automatically opened an e-mail page from me to them. The address I saw was editor@folllowed by their url. (less the http:// bit)
    See how it goes for you.
    http://narrowboatworld.com/
     
  18. baldbof

    baldbof Active Member

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    Hello Alan,

    Great, just what I wanted.

    Every time I clicked on the 'Contact Us' tab, it greyed out and my i-Mac went straight to Google Chrome home page even though I'm signed into my Google account - it didn't open the e-mail page. I shall try again. Thanks for the info.

    John
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018
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  19. baldbof

    baldbof Active Member

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    First of all, I have had to make my copyright mark more prominent as there has been unauthorised use of my photos in other places which has put me in a very difficult position and threatened my further participation in this project, as the photos linked me to the comments made. The photos, and an element of the comments, appeared to have been lifted from my previous postings and the copyright mark had been cropped out. I hope the revised mark isn't too intrusive and doesn't detract from the subject which I am reporting. I have contacted the editors of those other places and the photos have been removed.

    Right! back to business. Just prior to the final installation of the lower gates and their balance beams, the work of pouring molten lead around the gate anchors was undertaken by specialist contractors. Fortunately, it was a very hot day which meant that the stone was bone dry otherwise there was a risk of molten lead spitting all over the place.

    IMG_1881.JPG

    IMG_1879.JPG

    After lifting the gates and re-hanging them, mainly for the benefit of the TV cameras, the balance beams were slung into place and gently "persuaded" into place through use of the biggest sledge hammer on site.
    IMG_1886.JPG

    The balance beams finally in place. Time for a tea break.

    IMG_1891.JPG

    After the gates were in place, work continued on other bits which couldn't be done without the gates being in position.

    The original upper mitre and cill have been replaced with new timbers. After fitting the mitre and cill timbers, the floor timbers had to be secured into place with 5" galvanised nails. After drilling some pilot holes, the nails were thumped into place with a large hammer. A couple of nails proved to be a bit stubborn so, in true engineering tradition, a larger hammer was used.

    The floor timbers awaiting fixing.

    IMG_1904.JPG

    Positioning the nails prior to clouting them with the hammer.

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    The finished floor boards with the nails in a neat line.

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    More titivating took place in the form of fixing the steps to the balance beams.

    IMG_1908.JPG

    In the upper fore bay, the paddle gear is installed on both sides. All the rubbish and other detritus of a construction has been removed and all that needs to be added is water.

    IMG_1899.JPG

    ..and finally. We had a visitor to the site who left their calling card on one of the balance beams. Anyone got an idea who/what may have been responsible? Our guess was possibly an Owl of some description.

    IMG_1897.JPG
     
  20. baldbof

    baldbof Active Member

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    Well, it's all over. No, not the World Cup, or Wimbledon but the rebuild of Lock 15. The job is done and the canal is back in the lock chamber.

    It all happened very quickly on Friday 13th - who says it's an unlucky day?

    The scaffolders were on site very early to dismantle and remove the remaining scaffolding structures. After that was accomplished, the decision was made to remove the wedges holding the stop boards in place. As soon as the wedges were removed, the stop boards popped up and the water started flowing back into the lock chamber. The gates at both end of the lock were closed to allow the water to rise to full depth and wet the gates, allowing the timbers to expand.

    So here we are , the final photos of this part of the project.

    One last look at the empty lock chamber before the scaffolding was removed.

    IMG_1912.JPG


    The returning canal flowing over the new timbers of the upper cill gives the impression that the oak timber has been freshly varnished.

    IMG_1914.JPG

    Water rising in the lock chamber. As the water rose, our own civil engineer noted that the water was acting as a spirit level and showed that the layers of facing bricks were ....level along the full length!!

    IMG_1916.JPG

    When the water was let into the chamber, a couple of local residents were taken by surprise and took refuge on bits of flotsam.

    IMG_1919.JPG

    GCS volunteers gather round the top gates as the canal water returns.

    IMG_1924.JPG

    The water pressing up against the lower gates.

    IMG_1926.JPG

    ..and the view of inside the chamber as the water rises above the cill and wets the back of the top gates.

    IMG_1928.JPG

    In closing, a couple of photos. The first is of some of the GCS volunteers who have taken part in this HLF-funded project plus Mark, the C&RT Site Supervisor, posing modestly on the upper near-side balance beam and who have been on-site Monday to Friday every week for the last three years (except Christmas week), in all weathers, to accomplish this restoration. WRG volunteers have occasionally visited the site to help with the restoration. That's not the whole crew as some couldn't make it due to work, holidays, family commitments or in some sad cases, illness. I'm in there somewhere looking pleased with myself.

    IMG_1592 copy.jpg

    ..and finally, I must mention this guy. He is Stuart, the C&RT chippy who has spent the past few weeks on site fettling the gates along with his mates Ben and Josh. An absolutely great guy and a joy to work with - I learnt so much about gate fettling working with him on the days I was on site. Thanks, Stuart.

    IMG_1927.JPG


    That's it folks. I don't know when I'll be back with another report. There's just some tidying up to do around the site before we go to Lock 14 - whenever that will be.

    Thanks for watching.

    John
     

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    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
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