So far this year, our work parties have seen us at a variety of sites
along the canal. We started off in January by installing a new balance
beam on the swing bridge at Sankey Bridges, and lowering the height of the
wooden fence round Winwick Dry Dock and Winwick Lock.
In February, we went back to Hulme Lock to fill a skip with rubble left
over from our November bash, when, with the aid of the Waterway Recovery
Group(WRG), two dumpers, and a JCB plus driver, we dug out the by-wash
In March we embarked on something different: "Way-Marking in Sankey Valley
Park". The weather was good and five more posts were erected at Old
Double Lock, Calland's Farm, Old Whins Road, Wagon Lane, and Coopers Lane.
At the end of March we were out again, this time to work on the Barmere.
The project was to cover the hold with hatch covers imported from France
by our chairman David Long. (But that is another story). Our first job
was to pump out all the water which had accumulated since the new bottom
had been put on. This was done with a pump kindly lent to us by WRG North
West. During this process the hatch covers were pulled up into place and
securely tied down with rope. Then the foredeck was covered with an old
tarpaulin. When pumping was finished and the last of the water had been
removed with buckets, the stern deck was also covered with tarpaulin,
which was again securely tied down.
I would like to say at this point "thanks" to all the volunteers who turn
out in good or bad weather, and get stuck in, get wet and dirty but enjoy
it (well I think they do).
Also a message to those who would like to come out but cannot think what
they might be able to do to help. Just come out and join us! We’ll find
you something to do.
For details of the next work party, contact Colin Greenall telephone
PENKFORD BRIDGE CLEAN-UP
Stuck in the pipeline, waiting for CUTTINGS to be published is the
following account of the work undertaken when SCARS volunteers took part
in the Mersey Basin Campaign’s tenth anniversary clean-up on Sunday,
October 8th 1995.
Our task was to clear rubbish and reed growth from the water on the east
side of Penkford Bridge with the help of St. Helens Ranger Service. In
particular Arthur Bradshaw, who spent most of his time behind a strimmer.
We cleared a channel through a badly overgrown section of water, cut down
overhanging trees, cleared the footpath of grass and cleaned up the
brickwork of the towpath wall. By the end of the day, we had filled a
skip (kindly sponsored by British Gas) full of all kinds of rubbish which
varied from supermarket trolleys to old shoes, plus rotten wood and various
kinds of vegetation.
After such a successful weekend, it was decided to continue our good work
on the west side of Penkford Bridge, and so on Sunday 29th October a
similar operation took place and the result was another skip full of rubbish and vegetation.
Now water flows under the bridge once more. Judging by the increased number of
fishermen on this section, SCARS has made a few people happier by its work
Once again many thanks to the St. Helens Ranger Service for supplying us
with a skip and to Ranger Arthur Bradshaw for his help with the strimmer.
HULME LOCK BY-WASH DIG
Another restoration project account held up was this very high profile one
about the continuing work involved after the uncovering of the Hulme Lock
site near Winwick.
After what seemed like weeks of preparation for this event, the weekend
of 18th and 19th November finally arrived . The weather was cold and
frosty but dry.
As members of SCARS and WRG arrived, so too did the equipment. Two dumpers,
of three ton capacity each, hired by SCARS, and a JCB supplied by Warrington
Work began by fencing off the site with red and white hazard tape. Warning
notices were erected to keep the public off the site. The JCB began work
on the by-wash, its remit being to dig out to a depth of one metre. With
the aid of the two dumpers, progress was good and by late afternoon the
by-wash floor was exposed at the northern end.
On Sunday, final clearance was made of the by-wash lip, and the island
which separates it from the lock was cleared down to coping stone level.
All the waste which had been dug out and tipped onto the line of the canal
at the northern end was levelled by the JCB.
Two other important jobs were also undertaken. Firstly a skip supplied by
Warrington Ranger Service was filled with old wood, concrete and brick
etc.; secondly the fence alongside the lock chamber was reduced in height
and repairs made good to damage caused by vandals.
Many thanks to WRG volunteers John, Lawrence, Maureen and Poppy the dog;
and especially to Bob Dewry for the dumper tuition. (SCARS now have three
qualified dumper drivers); thanks also to the driver of the JCB who did
everything we asked; to Hewden Plant Hire of Penketh for the dumpers; to
Fletchers of Frodsham for the JCB; and to Rick Rogers of the Warrington
Ranger Service; plus SCARS volunteers Ron Johnson, Ian Hornby and Cynthia
Greenall. Colin Greenall
Work Party Organiser
To Ron Johnson, Cynthia Greenall and Colin Greenall on passing out as WRG
qualified dumper drivers.
FUTURE PROJECT - HULME LOCK
This Summer should see the start of rebuilding the Bywash Wall. So if
there are any bricklayers out there who would like to show off their
skills with a trowel, please come forward and help us to complete this
Canal Cuttings Issue 3.4 Index
Web Edition Edited by Phil Long