MCC Branch Work Parties 2021

Annual Review in Pictures

Christmas 2021



Green Lane Farm Section

Despite the snow, hedge laying was carried out and the first tentative work on a bridge across the Pudding Brook was started.

Hedge laying in the snow!

The start of a bridge across Pudding Brook


Green Lane Farm Section

Work started on clearing the off side bank past Green Lane Farm Cottage, to create a footpath and allow access to the towpath.

Clearing vegetation to create a path

The bank wasn’t particularly level in places!



Vegetation was cleared to the East of Upper Pound, with a temporary Heras fence installed. Work also started on the removal of a very large tree stump close to Bottom Lock.

Installing a temporary Heras Fence

The large tree stump put up a fight. It didn’t want to move!

Green Lane Farm Section

A bund was created across the canal to link the temporary footpath on the off side to the main towpath. Numerous fast growing willows were removed from the canal.

Ray & Digger creating a bund across the canal

Tirfing skills came to the fore to remove the many trees



Work began in earnest on rebuilding the walls of the Dry Dock. The large tree stump was finally removed! Bottom Lock was drained and we began to remove years of accumulated silt. Work began on re-casting the sluice walls.

The eastern wall of the Dry Dock

Tree stump removed!. The triumphant team!

Bill clearing silt whilst Ray looks on!

The newly cast sluice walls

Green Lane Farm Section

Willows finally removed and temporary bark path past farm cottage started. Hedge tidying also took place.

Section cleared of willows. Look, the canal still holds water!

Using barge boards to create an edge for the path

Aga tidying up the hedge

Laying the bark covered path



Work on the West wall of the Dry Dock began. The leak by Double Bridge was located and fixed by trenching and back-filling with clay. Re-casting of the sluice at Bottom Lock was completed. Re-profiling od the West bank to the side of Bottom Lock was carried out and access steps were installed.

Laying the concrete foundation for west wall of Dry Dock

Digging out a trench in order to line with clay.

The completed re-cast walls of the sluice

Re-profiling the west side bank of Bottom Lock



General maintenance, grass cutting and track repairs. Silt from Bottom Lock removed.

                                                        Grass cutting at The Meadow                                                                                               Improving the surface of The Green Track

          Removing the silt. Brian's not afraid to get dirty!                                                                                  A view (N to S) of Bottom Lock                                                                               


Dry Dock walls continue to rise! Surveys carried out on walls of Bottom Lock.



The Dry Dock wall continues to rise. The summer heat didn’t stop us!

Surveying the walls of Bottom Lock

Green Lane Farm Section

Grass cutting of towpath and section opened to the General Public.

John battling through the grass on the towpath

And what a difference he made!

Pudding Brook Section

Clearance started. The initial temporary bridge was rebuilt with the help of corporate volunteers.

The view of the Pudding Brook Section. Daunting!

But once started we made good progress.

The initial temporary bridge

Jeremy (L) with Corporate volunteers


Seven Locks

A change of scenery! A day out to clear and maintain the towpath.


Storage container from Seven Locks relocated to Pewsham. Brick work on Dry Dock progressing well. It actually looks like a Dry Dock for the first time in many decades!

John using the All Terrain mower to good effect at 7 Locks

Craning the storage cabin into place

Ray extending the concrete foundations

The Dry Dock takes shape!



It's autumn and therefore reed pulling time! Work on Dry Dock continues!

Clearing the reeds at The Meadow

Basil(L) and Roger working on the Dry Dock

Green Lane Farm Section

Tidying up hedgerow and general maintenance continues.

Fiona tidying and replanting the hedge



Ready for action! Another good weekend turnout!



At the end of the month, with reed pulling complete, cutting back of the off side began. A welfare cabin was purchased and installed.

Tidying of the off side bank begins

The newly purchased Welfare Unit

Pudding Brook Section

Hedge line created. Towpath clearance continued at a pace, including the occasional removal of larger fallen trees.

Howard Yardy instructs in the art of Dedging

A fallen tree across the towpath. Dave & Mark soon cleared this!



Clearance of off side bank completed.

Barry(L) and Gary continue to clear the off side bank

Completed. The full width of the canal can be seen.



Clearance to allow access to the Wing Walls on the East side of Bottom Lock. New fence installed to the East of the Upper Pound, with hedge whips.

Clearing the vegetation

Fence posts in place, rails to follow. Hedge whips planted – hardly visible but will soon grow!

Throughout the year

Maintenance of all equipment. With many thanks to Bill for all his hard work.

                                                            Bill with a few of the myriad of tools he maintains

Additional Work - not shown in pictures

Throughout the year:

Brick cleaning - a never ending, and at times, thankless task, but still very necessary! Special thanks to Brian for the many hundreds of bricks he cleaned this year.

Tree felling and logging.

May to October (as required):

Cutting of grass in the children's play area by Top Lock and the surrounding areas, plus general maintenance.

Grass cutting in pounds between Top Lock and Bottom Lock.

Grass cutting in the Meadow and around Double Bridge.

Tidying of hedges and canal banks.

Howard Wilson

Branch Webpages & Digital Comms Officer

December 2021