Thames & Severn Canal
At just over 28 miles long, the Thames & Severn Canal is the easten section of a waterway that is referred to as the "Cotswold Canals". It meets the Stroudwater Navigation at Stroud.
On the Thames & Severn Canal there have been two main projects in 2019: Weymoor Bridge and Inglesham Lock, undertaken with the assistance of WRG camps and Cotswold Canals Trust (CCT) volunteers.
The restoration of the structure of Inglesham Lock is now complete. In 2009 CCT acquired the lock from British Waterways and had a deadline of 15 years to complete the work. The trust continues to clear vegetation upstream of the lock.
Weymoor Bridge is also now complete and in active use following the building up of the approach embankments and laying of a tarmac road. Substantial coping stones in the style of those found on the surviving original bridges provide the most important feature of this stunning heritage restoration.
On the remaining NLH-funded sections, there has been some really good progress on Phase 1A during the last year.
Back in 2015 volunteers from CCT undertook the enormous challenge of stripping and rebuilding Ham Mill Lock; the timescale of a year was achieved. During and following the rebuild, an off-side wall adjacent to the bridge below the lock was found to have collapsed, and the 40m-long by-wash culvert to the lock had also failed – these features took longer to repair than the lock chamber itself! The good news is that work has now finished, and vessels can pass through the lock. This was a great historic moment as the last coal barge worked up through the lock in 1934.
The replacement pipeline at the Goughs Orchard Siphonic Canal Feeder has been installed. This will transform the amount of water available in the Stroudwater Naviagtion upstream of Stroud and enable it to be used more generally.
Finally, CCT volunteers have successfully transformed the historic Lodgemore Bridge in Stroud. Having been restored previously to a manual hydraulic lift-bridge and failed, the trust took on the task of electrifying the structure and it is now a fully operational electric-hydraulic bridge.