Swindon Work Party Activities during May 2023
Wednesday and Sunday work parties have continued in Swindon throughout May at the Westleaze and East Wichel locations, with a couple of new starters in the month.
Early in the month the work continued on clearing and widening the towpath as the drier weather made this easier without the very muddy conditions we had earlier in the year.
South Swindon Parish Council have again been active in this area with trimming along the towpath edges in the Kingshill to Skew bridge stretch which has helped to keep the towpath clear. Our attention then switched to providing a turning point for the dragonfly trip boat after receiving permission to work on this at the southern end of the canal at Wichelstowe in front of the new houses. We needed to update some of our equipment for this task including the repair and replacement of waders and gloves to keep the volunteers dry during the work! The work involved removing a section of soft edging including a number of stakes which required the use of a heavy-duty winch as there was no movement after the first attempt with hand tools. The work party worked closely with the boat team at all stages to ensure that it met the requirements for turning the Dragonfly.
Apart from the stakes, there was also a lot of other material and soil to be removed which required a good deal of hard graft from all the volunteers involved. Eventually the boat team were able to turn the Dragonfly around in the new turning point which now provides a long-awaited extension to the regular trips on the canal.
Work continues to widen and deepen the turning point as well as building up the edges to ensure that it can continue to be used throughout the season especially when water levels reduce through the drier periods.