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Training weekend report & photos
waterway recovery group
Volunteers restoring waterwaysNo 187 June - July 2001Training weekend report & photos
Contributions......are always welcome, whether hand-written,typed, on 3" disk (please include hard-copy)or by e-mail. Photos also welcome: slides orcolour or b/w prints. Please state whether youwant your prints back; I assume that you wantslides returned. Computer scanned photos alsoacceptable, either on disk or as e-mailattachments, preferably JPG format. Send themto the editor Martin Ludgate, 35, SilvesterRoad, London SE22 9PB, or e-mail email@example.com. Press date forNo 188: July 8th.
SubscriptionsA year's subscription (6 issues) is available for aminimum of 1.50 (please add a donation if pos-sible) to Sue Watts, 15 Eleanor Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 9FZ. Cheques to"Waterway Recovery Group" please.Visit our web site http://www.wrg.org.ukfor all the latest news or WRG's activities
In this issue:Chairman what's MKP on about? 3-4Training weekend report 5Canal Camps preview the very latest news 6-7Cavalcade report from Little Venice 8-9Camp Report Easter at Droitwich 10-11Bookshop auction of canal books 12-13Directory of WRG and canal societies 14-15Diary camps and working parties 16-18Letters to or from the editor? 19ProgressDig Deep 20Brick-cleaning by machine! 21Dig reports NWPG, BITM, LWRG 22-25Logistics whose kit is it anyway? 26AndertonAbseilMartin's for the high jump! 27Bankside discovers tachographs 28-29Bits & Pieces 30Noticeboard 31Backfill 32
And next time......hopefully there will be reports and photos fromthe summer's first Canal Camps. Please do try toget them in by the press date, because (a) there'sa chance that if your report appears in theAugustissue you might just tempt a few more people tobook on for the camps that haven't happened yet(b) the following issue tends to be very tight forspace and (c) youdon't reallywant to readFIVEDroitwich camp reports in October do you?
Cover photo: This year's training weekend involved more training in manual skills - levelling, bricklaying andscaffolding - unlike the previous years' which have tended to concentrate on vehicle and machinery operation- see p5 for report and photos. (Martin Ludgate)Below: The beginning of May saw the culmination of over 25years work when the Huddersfield Canal reopened. Although not without teething troubles, it is a remarkableachievement in restoring an 'impossible' canal. And although the recent work has not concernedWRG, beingdoneby contractors and funded from theNational Lottery, it would never havehappenedwithout the early inputfrom Huddersfield Canal Society - and WRG - volunteers. The Mayor of Huddersfield is seen cutting thetape, where a new tunnel passes under a factory that blocked the route in Huddersfield. (Harry Arnold)
Its started !
The first Canal Camp of the season has alreadyhappened over the Easter week with vital investiga-tion and preparation for the reconstruction of theDroitwich Junction locks. If Marcus has managed tosqueeze a break from his very busy revision sched-ule then you should have a Camp report in this edi-tion. However a brief summary would be: lots ofbricks, concrete, digging and wallowing around inan awful lot of sticky, smelly mud together with tripsto fine country pubs. For more pictures and com-ments from the Easter Camp see our web pages -www.wrg.org.uk.
Now as the chap in charge of ensuring decentprogress over the Summer camps I should move onfrom this by saying that all of this means that Droit-wich is now fully prepared and will be a great sitethis summer. However I really want to thank all thosewho attended and gave their all (in fact Glen andAdrian are still looking for their alls). There was agreat atmosphere and I truly thank everyone one ofthe 35 or so people who attended, it would be greatto see you again this summer.
Two additional points of note: This camp benefitedfrom regular visits fromBritishWaterways chapswhowere keen to see if they could help in anyway andshow us tricks of the trade they had picked up, andwhile the rest of the country seemed to be drenchedDroitwich played its usual good weather card andwe enjoyed working in shorts and T shirts. I canpersonally guarantee both BW and the weather willbe at least as good this summer.
And a final special mention to newcomers Brian andSue who fitted in a treat (much to their despair Ishould imagine).
So whether you are a newcomer to Waterway Re-covery Group or an experienced Camper comingback for another year you will be very welcome andthe time to book is NOW. Head Office reports thebookings are coming thick and fast as our sites areopening up and the recent hot weather has remindedeveryone of the fun in the sun they had last year.The Canal Camps committee reports that the plan-ning is all going to plan (but then they would say thatwouldnt they?) So send your bookings in now toavoid missing out on the fun.
As part of this preparation for the summer we ranthe Training Weekend where instruction was givenon a wide range of skills. My special thanks to allthose who gave time to patiently pass on their expe-rience in so practical a manner (even the First Aidtraining had a practical session!). A report appearon Page 5, along with a load of embarrassing pho-tos, however I hope everyone enjoyed themselves.The Bank Holiday was rounded off by a days filmingfor our new safety video. This will be out on generalrelease but there will be a few gems missing fromthe finished product.
I cant quite decide onmy favourite out-take but thereare a selection on the back page, and don't worrySpencer - no one else could say 'lesiglation' either!
Come and see us
Some events that we will give you a bit of warningabout. If you live in the Midlands (or even furtherafield) and are still not entirely convinced that WRGis for you then we will be hosting a display stand atthe Inland Waterways Exhibition in Birmingham on30th June/1st July. Come and see us and we willgive you a fairly truthful description of what this dig-ging lark is all about and you can see if we are thesort of people you would want to spend a weekendwith.
Also for those IWAmembers whowant to knowmoreabout us we shall have a fair sized presence at theIWA AGM. The organisers of this years AGM atBanbury wish to make it a bit more of a mini festi-val over the weekend and want the event to leave alasting legacy.
Therefore as a thank you to IWAwe shall be puttingin somemooring facilities for boaters to use for yearsto come. So if you are interested about where someof your IWA subscription money goes, then comeand see us there on 29th September
In an attempt to add a little new blood to the WRGBoard we have appointed four new Directors.
"Who are these new top brass type people?" I hearyou ask. Well Ill give you the descriptions we gaveto IWA Council when seeking their appointment -see if you recognise them?
XXX is a highly valuable team member of WRG,and in particular NavviesAnonymous and Logistics,In the past year XXX has taken over the running ofthe WRG Logistics group. XXX currently overseesthe maintenance and expansion of all WRGs campkits, vans, trailers and specialised equipment. XXXis also an excellent plant operator and instructor whohas contributed many hours to our training week-ends and camps.
YYY is one of WRGs most professional plant op-erators, particularly in the field of large plant andcomplex construction projects. YYY has providedconsistent support to local projects such as the Li-chfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust andthe Barnsley Canal Group with advice, workingweekends and plant operation. YYY is also very goodat encouraging new assistant leaders to join ourcanal camp teams.
ChairmanCan you guess who the newWRG board members are?
ZZZs outstanding project management of the OverBasin project in 1999-2000 was rewarded with theChristopherPowerPrize this year. ZZZbringsexcellentproject planning and implementation skills, plus strongsite and engineering knowledge to the Board of WRG.
Therewasneverany timetocomplete the fourthdescrip-tion. But suffice it to say that when his name was men-tioned all Council members said Oh yes, we all knowhim. For the answers to these four whoisits see theinside back cover, compare it to the rather shorter listin issue 186 and work our who the new ones are.
Enclosedwith this 'Navvies' is an insert regarding newregulations that affectanybodywhodrivesorwhowantstodrivewrgvehicles.Pleaseread itcarefully foryourownprotection. We are not doing this for fun these are reallaws that may result not just inWRGgetting into troublebut with you being fined. There are many, many excep-tionsandclauses to the rules, however we have delib-erately tried tomake our guidelines simple so that youcan easily see how to stay within the law.
And whilst on the serious subjects
One of our sites recently was the scene of what couldhave turned out to be a very serious accident. Themistake was made in two parts. The first part wasthe common error of the wrong tool for the job,however the main mistake concerned nothing morecomplex that someone passing a scaffold pole tosomeone without thinking of the safest way to do it.The result was a crushed finger and a trip to Casu-alty for the person concerned. So the important les-son to learn is always stop and think is this the cor-rect way to do this?, even (especially) for the