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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. FearOfManchester

    FearOfManchester Member

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    Wonderful progress, were you not tempted to get some cobbles/setts for the wharf to make the area look less concrete intensive? You lot go above and beyond with restored brick/masonry on the locks from what I’ve seen so far, really need to make my way back to woolsthorpe in the summer!
     
  2. baldbof

    baldbof Well-Known Member Friend

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    Apologies for the slow reply. I have asked the question of those that know and the reply was:

    a). Cost - We were on a very tight budget even before we started and which was severely tested due to spiralling costs of construction materials since the pandemic started.

    b). Proofing against future maintenance costs - concrete will be cheaper to repair should the need arise - plus no temptation for ne'er-do-wells to chuck the cobbles into the canal (edge capping stones are already a target for them).

    c). Time scale - the slipway had to be finished in order to get our boats out of the water, hull scraped, surveyed, repaired, painted and back in the water for the start of the new season which starts on Mothers Day.

    d). ...and inevitably H&S raised its head. Concrete makes for a less slippy surface and less stubbing of toes/trips near near the water.
     
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  3. The Dainton Banker

    The Dainton Banker Well-Known Member

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    This fascinating thread has gone very quiet. Presumably the canal restoration work is continuing so have we lost our informative poster @baldbof ?
     
  4. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    “Last seen 19 September 2022” according to his profile.

    Tom
     
  5. The Dainton Banker

    The Dainton Banker Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I saw that, which made me wonder. @35B may know something as he lives nearby.
     
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  6. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    A neighbour, whom I've shamefully not spoken to in too long, is also involved with the canal society. Unfortunately, though I've once had the pleasure of meeting @baldbof, our paths have not crossed in a long while.
     
  7. FearOfManchester

    FearOfManchester Member

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    @baldbof mostly used to post about lock restoration works ongoing on the woolsthorpe flight, I assume he had a direct involvement in this. there is only the penultimate lock to go on the flight (lock 13) I believe and right now it’s in the funding and engineering assessment stage which isn’t so sexy and not worthy of a post I’d imagine. For those of us heathens that ‘do’ facebook there is regularly posted information, lock 13 has had some scrub clearance for said assessment and so has the Cropwell bishop locks, so plenty going on.
    As to those worrying if @baldbof himself is pining for the fjords I’m pretty sure he’s posted recently on a veterans forum I lurk on.
     
  8. The Dainton Banker

    The Dainton Banker Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, "Fear",
    Good to hear things are still progressing and that @baldboff is still with us.
    In his last update on locks, in September '21, he said that they were awaiting approval and funding to proceed with locks 12 and 13. You mention only lock 13 so has lock 12 been done, or does it not require much work ?
     
  9. FearOfManchester

    FearOfManchester Member

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    Well I should say I’m not a volunteer, just that I’ve gathered the more recent info that’s been posted on the other platforms, not sure if funding has been secured but the reason lock 13 is being cleared of trees/scrub is for engineering assessments which would suggest to me that either funding had been secured and they are moving forward with more detailed investigations OR they are assessing the structure perhaps to gather detail to put together a grant application. Sorry for the contradiction when I said “only” followed by “penultimate”, Lock 12 will be the last one in the flight, but lock 13 is what is being prepared for restoration right now, whether they are planning to do both together I cannot tell. Hope this helps.
     
  10. baldbof

    baldbof Well-Known Member Friend

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    Hi Folks,

    Just thought I would pop in and say "Hello".

    It's not been a case of nowt happening along the canal, it's just it's not been in the "glamorous" category.

    After completing the slipway, the construction team turned their attention to an outflow at Denton Winding Hole and raised the bridge over the outflow by about six inches to allow stop boards to be inserted which will raise the water level in the summit pound by a similar depth. That will provide a greater depth of water for the boats and possibly appease the fishermen who have complained about low water levels in the canal during last summer.

    There's been a lot of vegetation clearing and general work going on at various locations along the 33 mile length - our van has been put to good use conveying tools and equipment to various sites. Previously, we relied on volunteers using their cars which kind of limited the size of the kit that could be deployed. A 3.5 tonne van plus a large trailer has changed all that.

    A lot of attention has been given to the western end of the canal following an increase in interest in that area. At Lock 1 where the canal joins the Trent, we have been asked by the Environment Agency to tidy up the area, remake the towpath and paint the lock gates. We are constrained in doing that work to weekends when Nottingham Forest are playing away. Unfortunately the EA closed the towpath just after we started because a tree was threatening to fall over....and as it is now nesting season.....!!

    Just a bit further along, the residents of West Bridgford started getting interested in the canal and a weekend of clearing vegetation around Locks 2 and 3 had the locals coming out to join in...special thanks to the residents who provided tea and cakes. It helped that a couple of local councillors were keen to help which resulted in valuable assistance being given in the shape of a contractor coming in with an industrial chipper to dispose of cut/fallen timber and the street cleaning service providing 1 tonne builders bags to fill with brash and rubbish. Similar work was carried out along the stretch of canal alongside Radcliffe Road in the Lady Bay area. The original route of the canal will never be re-instated due to urban development. However, a new route to the Trent has been identified and can be found in the Autumn 22 edition of our "Bridge" magazine.

    In the Hickling area, a group has been formed to re-water the canal and it is led by Councillors from that area including the Mayor of Rushcliffe Borough Council. A big thumbs up to the Mayor who's council recently provided a large sum of money for the canal in that area to be dredged.

    Repair work to the offside bank has been carried out at a couple of leaking culverts in the Kinoulton area where holes in the bank were sufficient to drain the canal in that section. The holes were re-packed with puddling clay - C&RT provided the materials and we done the work. After all the winter rainfall that section of canal is now back in water.

    One area which has received attention, having been neglected since the canal was officially closed in 1932, is the feeder stream from Knipton Reservoir. Knipton is the second feeder reservoir on the canal, Denton Reservoir being the other. Previously, Denton was the main source of water for the canal (apart from field drains)
    and during summer months C&RT would shut off the flow due to low water levels or blue/green algae. Over this winter, a team has cleared the nearly-4 mile length of Knipton feeder stream; removing trees, rubbish, mud, clarts, dead sheep and other debris where the feeder flows above ground. A lot of the feeder runs through underground culverts because previous Dukes of Rutland didn't want their pristine lawns ruined by a ditch running across the Castle grounds. Once the feeder had been cleared, the very nice man from C&RT came down with his big key and let the water flow out of the reservoir; the flow along the whole length was checked by a roving team. It took the best part of five hours for the water to reach the canal at Muston, mainly because the feeder was dry and needed to be filled. A couple of problem areas were identified requiring minor remedial work but the feeder was proved meaning we can now top up the water in the 19 mile stretch between Lock 12 and Lock 11. There are still issues with the dry section in the Cropwell Bishop area caused by gypsum and will take some time and effort to resolve.

    We have also cleared the vegetation from Locks 9, 10 and 11 in readiness for inspection by C&RT - another job which had to be completed before the start of the nesting season. Lock 11 sits on a geological fault resulting in some "interesting" brickwork.

    Back at our depot, workboat 'Centauri' is on the slipway having her hull scraped, primed and painted with sacrificial anodes being fitted. Work continues in the engine room.

    The clearance team is visiting Lock 13 preparing the ground in readiness for a detailed assessment of the work required; they have also being clearing access routes for plant/machinery. I'm not sure when the work will start in earnest but it will most likely after the nesting season. The funding side is a 'work in progress' and some generous bequests have helped in that area. Lock 12 will follow once 13 is finished.

    There's a lot of work to be done in different locations - mainly leaks which need to be located and dealt with. After years of focussing on one end of the canal, our activities are now spread along the entire length and drawing in more support and volunteers and that can only be a good thing for future plans.

    For myself, I have eased off the heavy stuff due to a knadgered back which has limited my involvement in a lot of the activities. Tis bloody frustrating but at least I can drive the van, wield a paintbrush, make the tea and eat Mary's chocolate flapjacks. Next time I post, I will try to include some photos but our society's web-site does include photos on its Twitter and Facebook feeds. There are also loads of photos in the on-line edition of our magazine "Bridge" - viewable on http://www.granthamcanal.org

    edited; spulling errors caused by posting at stupid o'clock.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2023
  11. baldbof

    baldbof Well-Known Member Friend

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    Hi folks,

    We are about to seriously commence restoration of Lock 13, the Friday team have been carrying out investigations and vegetation removal over the past few months.

    Work will commence on Tuesday 1st August and the intention is to work on Tuesdays, Thursdays (if we have sufficient volunteers) and Fridays.

    Phase 1 of the Project will be to
    • Put a towpath diversion in place
    • Install a secure boundary fence
    • Install site welfare
    • Remove vegetation and clear site
    • Construct access roads & dams
    • Construct temporary by wash
    • Seal the dams and drain working area.
    • Install Shoring to support lock walls
    • Drain lock & remove Silt
    • Carry out full structural assessment of lock walls.
    That will keep us going for a wee while and there's still things to be done along the rest of the canal - there was very nearly a serious breach (collapsed bank) in the Bottesford area which is awaiting C&RT's plans for a fix.

    I'll try to do progress reports - I'll need to be nice to SWMBO to get day release from domestic chores ( looks like the plans for top to bottom decoration of the house have just been deferred UFN).
     
  12. StoneRoad

    StoneRoad Member

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    Good Luck with all of that ^^^^ @baldbof

    You and the team will have your work cut out for a while with that plan.
    I admire the tenacity !

    {and shows just how many problems "deferring maintenance" actually causes in the longer term - whether or not it is from true abandonment or just other neglect}.
     
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  13. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Well-Known Member

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    Could you let me know the contact details and rates for your negotiators?
     
  14. baldbof

    baldbof Well-Known Member Friend

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    Hi folks,

    Thought I had better do an update on our various activities.

    I had mentioned previously about clearing and proving the feeder from Knipton Reservoir which had been unused for quite a number of years. One of the issues discovered was where the feeder passes through an underground brick culvert. Trees had sprouted during the ensuing years and their roots had penetrated the brickwork. The solution was to either cut down the trees and dig up the brick conduit or lay a new by-pass conduit. If we had dug up the old conduit, we would have had to do a like-for-like replacement so we opted for a new by-pass using modern materials. Both C&RT and Belvoir Castle (the landowners) were happy with this solution so our intrepid builders got on with the job.

    The old conduit with 200 years of muck and slime.

    200 years of muck.png



    The old (on the left) meets the new. Some of the offending trees are in the background.

    knipton feeder.png

    The new outflow on the diversion channel

    new feeder outflow.png

    Over at Lock 13, work has started on clearing the path of the new by-wash. This will take the same form as the bywash at Lock 14 - a concealed pipe running behind the lock. But first, the all-important paperwork notifying the public of the towpath closure.

    l13 closure notice.png

    Then the guys got busy clearing the vegetation along the planned route of the by-wash pipe.

    l13 satrting clearance.png

    Progress with the clearance is soon apparent.

    l13 bywash clearance.png

    After a couple of weeks of efforts, the route is becoming clear.

    l13 bywash route cleared.png

    Meanwhile back at the depot, we have made good use of the slipway since it was built. It saves us a lot of money getting a boat in and out of the water. It's estimated that crane hire costs would be in the region of £1,500 per lift and as we have used the slipway 9 times already, the cost savings are starting to add up.

    The latest boat to be slipped is our dredger which hasn't been out of the water for a number of years. Here she/he/it/insert appropriate pronoun is being pulled under the canopy which affords some protection from the weather when work is being done.

    slipping  dredger.png

    Once the dredger was secured, work started on scraping and painting the hull.

    dredger cleaning.png

    ..and our own version of Banksy applied his inimitable style of artwork.

    dredger painting.png

    There's also been more vegetation clearance over at Lock 10 (near Cotgrave) and in the Gamston/Lady Bay areas at the Nottingham end.

    Work will continue during the winter period when we will take full advantage of our log burner and tea making facilities.

    My thanks to the volunteers who provided the photos.
     
  15. CH 19

    CH 19 Well-Known Member Friend

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    Great to see the progress still progressing, definately on my touring itinery for next year.
     
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  16. StoneRoad

    StoneRoad Member

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    Well done !

    There's been a lot of work & volunteers involved in this project, and still it continues.
     
  17. FearOfManchester

    FearOfManchester Member

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    Very nice @baldbof, is restoring/installing the original old winch for the slipway still on the cards? All the best for the Christmas season to you and everyone on the cut.
     
  18. baldbof

    baldbof Well-Known Member Friend

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    Very much so. The winch has been installed on a plinth and has a new cable wrapped around the drum.; it's quite hard work using it to haul a boat out of the water so we cheat a bit and use our friendly farmer's tractor to do the heavy hauling. .......and Seasons Greetings to you good sir.

    Teaser alert : I've said in the past that the powers-that-be like us to use, as far as possible, heritage materials and methods. Hopefully, I'll be able to have some photos of us doing precisely later this week - weather permitting. Meanwhile, some patience is required. ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2023
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  19. baldbof

    baldbof Well-Known Member Friend

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    One for @FearOfManchester, here's the restored winch on its plinth next to the slipway.

    IMG_3130.JPG



    Now the reveal. I mentioned in the previous post about using heritage methods in our work. Back in the day before the invention of excavators, dump truck and the plethora of mechanical devices that are used in the construction industry, methods of moving stuff about were, well, fairly basic and what could be more basic than using a horse.

    Where the clearance work in preparation for the restoration of lock 13 is taking place, the location is not conducive to using vehicles so to help moving fallen timber, a friend of the society offered the use of his shire horse to haul the logs to a location where they could be loaded onto a trailer and taken away.

    "Donk" was put to good use hauling the cut timber - a great advantage of this method was the horse did not churn up the ground in the way an excavator/dump truck/tractor would have done and the towed logs smoothed the muddy ground. It was a gentle pace of work and 'Donk' made the work look effortless.

    donk 1.jpg

    Horses, like humans, need regular tea breaks to keep them going and 'Donk' was no exception. Here he is having a well earned break - that's some nose bag'!!

    IMG_3137.JPG
     
  20. baldbof

    baldbof Well-Known Member Friend

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    I need to make a slight correction to yesterday's post - 'Donk' is not a Shire horse, he is a Belgian Draught (or Draft) Horse. Still a beautiful creature though.
     

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