New Year Greetings from East Vale branch to our fellow members and to all our Landowners without whom we could not be doing the work that we do and whose patience is always appreciated
A busy period at the East End this quarter: Where shall I start? We had a visitation from the reporter for the local community magazine, who put together a very reasonable report on the work this end along with a few nice photos.
We have continued to work at West Challow in preparation for the permissive footpath and this is nearly ready. In doing so we came upon the buttresses of the West Challow arch bridge and discovered that some of the coping stones had been placed into the verge roughly marking the bridge parapets position.
The Branch has been very community spirited this quarter, for example helping the Abingdon crew to re-profile the landscaping at Jubilee Junction to significantly improve the laminar flow across the flood plain (very technical that last sentence for which I thank my source of information).
East Vale crew also turned out in force to help out at Moredon (Swindon) to finish the job of clay puddling that the WRGies didn't have time to do on the bonfire bash work party!!!
In addition, if that were not enough the trusty team helped out at Latton to keep the good work going forward and teleporting the hospitality cabin to it's new venue ready for the next Latton extravaganza!!!
However, having made so much progress on the ground in the East Vale area, we've had to regroup and spend significant time clearing up from the ravages of mother nature. This includes clearing fallen trees, general tidying of the towpath and banks.
Just before I was due to go to press with this the East End Quiz Night was held at Drayton. My thanks go to Ruby and George for the fine organisation. The quiz was won by a four person team mostly from Abingdon but including myself (hem! hem! modesty, Brian please)
Also just received is the excellent news that we have now completed on the lease over the stretch of canal at Childrey, and can now start putting our plans into action for the spill weir at the east end of the section where the ditch runs out. As regards other structures, we are looking at drawings for a replacement lift bridge at Kings Hill between the Challows, and also considering a replacement arch bridge for the Childrey/West Challow Footpath.
The new Wantage and Grove circular walks leaflet is proving very popular and I would like to do a second walks leaflet covering the Challows and Childrey. Watch this space. We are also delighted by the positive comments we have received about the West Challow work and Jubilee Junction.
In the last months I have given several of my canal talks. I must thanks the Oxfordshire Branch of the Inland Waterways Association whom I and my technical wizard Mike visited on a very cold evening in November. At the end of the evening they gave a generous donation to trust funds, for which I thank them again. Further talks are already booked for next year, including the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust Reading Branch on the 29th Feb.
Of course there was also the AGM at Wootton Bassett. The venue was good as were the refreshments, and I really enjoyed the walk through from Chaddington summit bridge back to Templars Firs. Glorious!
We are thankful too for the new members who are coming along.
Do please come along and join us at either or both of the social meetings and workparties.
So finally a big thanks to all our members, the stalwarts of the work parties, and our landowners for their co-operation and help in this great project.
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