Work Party Report 12th May 2012
Once again the Trust Work Party took place in bright sunny weather which was appreciated more by one group of volunteers than the other. The main group undertook more clearance work on the track bed whilst the remaining attendees spent most of the day in a place where the sun doesn’t shine!
Work on clearing vegetation from the track bed is now complete from the Ogilvie’s Way footpath to a point some 200m further on into Baddies Wood. The main aim of this work is to allow access to the track bed by foot and to make possible future access by vehicle. Despite the recent heavy rain the track bed now has no standing water and this is testimony to the recently completed drainage work in Baddies Wood. The image shows the cleared track bed in this section of Baddies Wood.
The second group spent much of the afternoon exploring the subterranean splendours of Chirk Canal Tunnel. At first sight this might seem to have little to do with restoration of the Tramway. However since the track bed passes over the tunnel the owner, British Waterways, is rightly concerned to limit any potential damage to the tunnel and thus there is a planning condition with this aim. The particular task on Saturday was to search for the two shafts that were used to construct the tunnel and to establish their proximity to the GVT. The position of one of the shafts was already known but the second took a bit of hunting for. It was only located within the tunnel by the fact that the brickwork used to seal it was on the different type to that used elsewhere (see image). On the surface the shaft would have emerged within the boundary of the Chester –Shrewsbury railway which was probably the reason it was blocked up. An interesting afternoon and one that left all concerned in admiration of the workmanship of Telford and his colleagues over two hundred years ago.
On emerging into the daylight there was just time to start the condition survey of the retaining walls on the track bed, and by close of play that at Chirk Station had been surveyed.
It was very pleasant to be able to show two visitors from Cambridge around parts of the track bed, having made a special journey to visit us.
The next work party is on 16th June and new volunteers will be made most welcome. Tea, coffee and cakes provided! Contact Ian Davies (07929 260962 or 01691 777985).