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West Vale News
West Vale Welcomes Nationwide Volunteers

26th March, 2014

2014 3_26_NW1 2014 3_26_NW2 2014 3_26_NW3
On Wednesday we welcomed back
a large team of volunteers
from the Nationwide Building Society.
Over 30 enthusiastic staff from the
finance department came to the
canal-side park in Shrivenham.
They worked hard clearing the banks of
the canal for around 200m and tidying
the park. Another group planting
numerious new trees along the
boundary fence. Fortunately the
weather was not unkind and just sufficient
wind blew to carry away the smoke
from the bonfires. All agreed that it was
a great day and the difference
was very noticeable.
 2014 3_26_NW4 2014 3_26_NW5

 

 

 
West Vale mid-week work-party

6th August, 2013

This week we hosted two teams of volunteers from companies in Swindon - Nationwide Building Society and the Wyvern Theatre. Fortunately we have plenty of jobs to do so there was no rivalry. 

Two Nationwide teams worked on improving the towpath between Stainwick Lane and Station Road, Shrivenham, and a crew from the Wyvern, in t-shirts advertising their Jack & the Beanstalk panto, continued to create a new section of towpath to the west of Station Road, with their second team clearing the site of a proposed new culvert. The weather was unusually kind, dry and not too hot and everyone appeared to enjoy a day out of the office doing manual labour in our tranquil location, although some were a little concerned by the abundance of insect life!

 

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Waterway Recovery Group Camp at Shrivenham

18th July, 2013

WRG returned to West Vale to continue work on Steppingstone Bridge with a full camp of 18 people. No wonder it was popular, it was just like a Mediterranean holiday - blue skies from dawn to dusk, temperatures in the 80s, golden sand, warm water and accommodation with a not-so-mini-bar!

A pity then that there was work involved and that the sand had to be mixed with cement and that the water, though warm, was rather muddy and had to be pumped out from under the bridge. Notwithstanding these hardships, the team got stuck into repointing parts of the parapet walls and cut and fixed substantial coping stones to one wall. Plus they shifted lots of the muck from under the bridge, rebuilt a stone wing wall and repaired brickwork on the invert under the arch.

At the end of the week, the results of the group's effort can clearly be seen and the bridge is a step closed to completion thanks to Bob Crow and his team.

Site prior to WRG campSite prior to WRG campSite prior to WRG campPumping out

Shifting the sludgeRepointingRebuilding the wing wallWall complete

Repairing the brickworkFinishing the coping stones

  5th July, 2013

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Waterway Recovery  Group  start week long work camp at  Shrivenham

The Trust  welcomes members of the Waterway  Recovery Group  who  start a week long work camp on Saturday 6th July.

The volunteers  from all over the country  will be carrying out  work  on the final  parts of reconstruction of Steppingstones Lane Bridge which carries a bridleway over the  canal  near Shrivenham. Work will include installation of the coping stones on the bridge parapet  and re-construction on the approach wing walls.

The images show a recent inspection of the site by Trust Directors  in preparation for the work camp.

 
Holiday Inn have a Work Day Out at West Vale

September, 2012

West Vale Branch held another of their popular work-parties for company volunteers. This time, we had a dozen eager staff from Holiday Inn, supplemented by 7 Trust volunteers. Work continued on creating the new towpath between Station Road, Shrivenham and Steppingstone Bridge.

The strongest tested their strength against the tree stumps still left in the towpath, several others helped to move the gravel surface from the closed section of the bridleway to the new approach to Steppingstone Bridge and a third team continued to clear the towpath westwards. The weather stayed dry (just) and all said that they had had a jolly good time!

Moving gravel  Stump removal I'm told there is a canal here somewhere!

 
West Vale work-party with RWE npower

August, 2012

West Vale were pleased to have a mid-week work-party with two dozen volunteers from RWE npower. They got stuck in to clearing the towpath from Station Road, Shrivenham to Steppingstone Lane Bridge. 

For some time the permissive footpath along this section has been on the south side of the canal where the ground is sort of level after the dredgings were deposited there some years ago. However, this path is subject to flooding and the original towpath was to the north of the canal, so we took advantage of this large band of helpers to start clearing the northern bank.

By the end of a long, hot day it was possible to traverse the full 300m from Station Road to our bridge at Steppingstone Lane.

Looking west from Station Road Bridge   Where to towpath should be!  Approaching Steppingstone Bridge 

Much further work is required before we can open this section to the public, but thanks to the staff of RWE npower a great start has been made.

 

 
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