In September IWA's Honorary Consultant Engineer, Roy Sutton, and a team of volunteers visited the site to install profile boards so that rebuilding work could start using bricks and concrete blocks. Significant steps have now been taken to rebuild a section of the south wall. See photos of the work.
WRG volunteers spent two weeks at Inglesham Lock repairing damaged brickwork and repointing the lock chamber below the waterline. A 3” pump was installed to drop the water level to allow access. Volunteers also erected 14 bays of scaffolding in the chamber, allowing a team to start removing the coping stones. This work meant volunteers could start the careful demolition of the upper walls of the lock chamber which have been severely damaged by tree roots and frost.
Photo: Inglesham Lock coping stones numbered ready for reinstating
Photo: WRG volunteers keeping relatively dry with help from a pump
A small team of volunteers spent a weekend clearing the massive pile of rubble that WRG volunteers dug out of the lock chamber (by hand!) last summer in preparation for six weeks of Canal Camps. Other enabling works were also carried out to improve site access and a large tree stump was removed from the spill weir.
Photo: Earth moving at Inglesham Lock
Photo: Work in progress at Inglesham Lock
At the end of the summer, WRG turned its attention to the eastern end of the Cotswold Canals. Over 10 days a group of 15 hardy volunteers (with a serious love of mud) spent over 660 hours clearing Inglesham Lock chamber of the silt, glass, rubbish and vegetation that has accumulated since the canal closed in the 1930s. The work enabled IWA’s Honorary Consultant Engineer, Roy Sutton, to carry out a survey of the lock chamber.
From the 19th July - 9th August 2014, IWA's Waterway Recovery Group ran three weeks of Canal Camps at Inglesham Lock on the Cotswold Canals. Volunteers from England, Wales, and as far away as Italy, made significant progress towards the restoration of the lock and contributed over 300 volunteer days to the project. The work will allow for a full survey of the chamber to be undertaken by one of IWA’s Honorary Consultant Engineers, once the rest of the lock chamber has been cleared.
WRG and Kent and Essex Sussex Canal Restoration Group volunteers cleared a large volume of silt and debris from around the wing walls, entrance to the lock and under the bridge, to allow for the stop plank grooves and damaged brickwork to be repaired. Once the grooves had been repaired, volunteers installed new stop planks and put in a sand bag dam as a second line of defence against the river Thames. In 2015 WRG hopes to run further Canal Camps to start restoration work in the lock chamber itself.
2012 - 2013 - Administrative work
Administratively much went on behind the scenes with work on risk assessments, method statements, designs, permissions and Construction, Design and Management documentation. Several visits were made by the IWA Honorary Consultant Engineer, Roy Sutton, who provided invaluable advice on the proposed restoration works and design of the stop plank grooves. Waterway Recovery Group volunteers involved in the project spent 2013 focused on ensuring the lock chamber can be accessed by volunteers safely. This included meeting with temporary dam providers, OnSite, and working on designs and method statements for the repair of the stop plank grooves and installation of the stop planks.
With snow on the ground, work started slightly before 2011 with the arrival of WRG Forestry and assorted camp followers between Christmas and the New Year. A number of trees that were growing in the footprint of the proposed landing stage and were adversely affecting the lock structure were reduced and the arisings cleared. London WRG followed up on the last weekend in February with stump removal, scrub bashing, and clearance of the coping stones on the lock garden side. Work to clear the forebay area up to the remains of the upper stop plank seal and expose the lower faces of the upper wing walls was also started using WRG’s own excavator 'Blue'.
A ten day Easter WRG camp at the nearby Eisey lock allowed a splinter group of volunteers to start the construction of a new entrance track and 'hammerhead' turning area, again using WRG’s excavator 'Blue' and recycling brick rubble from Eisey. The site was also brush cut and an initial line of fencing erected on the lock garden boundary.
2011 saw another three Canal Camps and weekend digs which saw potholes repaired, construction of site access, and clearance of the invasive species, Himalayan Balsam. Steel mesh fencing was installed along the boundaries open to public access.
Excavation was carried out on the by-wash culvert and the unsafe culvert structure was dismantled. The significantly disrupted walls in the offside gate recess were also carefully cleared, bricks cleaned, the paddle gear holes were cleaned out and the upper gate sill invert cleared. Robust timber arch formers were made up for use in the re-construction of the paddle holes and by-wash culvert.
Having recorded the extent and condition of the spill-way the top part was covered over with fabric and soil placed back over in a protective layer as this was the only works access into the forebay.
Investigative work took place expose the roots of an errant ash that has wrapped itself around the base of the SE corner of the bridge parapet wall and squeezed the stonework horizontally over by approximately 30mm.
The first bricks of the re-construction were laid on the off-side paddle hole and culvert.