Friday, 10 January 2014

Mixed Bag

Well Christmas was the usual round of too many dinners whilst doing the family rounds, and it ended up seeing in the new year with long time friends Tony and Lesley.
Popped down to T-A once or twice just to check on things in view of the weather and have been pleasantly surprised to find everything OK and just how little water has got into the wheelhouse despite the winds.
The Grantham Canal Society is starting to stir again after the Christmas break and we had a work day last Tuesday. Some of the crew went out on Centauri whilst the rest of us had a go at turning Woolsthorpe locks now that CaRT has given us the go ahead. Starting at the top so as not to drain the short pounds, Top Lock (18) with the new gates was fine but Middle or Wilsons (17) was a pig. This lock has been empty for ages so we closed the bottom gates and filled it. As expected the gates were leaking badly due to drying out so loco ash which we had brought (Courtesy of the Great Central Railway Loughborough) was dropped into the water behind the gates and soon sealed the leaks. Left things to soak for a few hours to swell the gates and headed off to Denton slipway looking for fallen trees. When we came back in the afternoon lock 17 was duly drained but for the life of us couldn’t get the top gates to seal against the mitre. It would seem that there has been a build up of silt and debris behind the gates over the years, and us working the gates has pulled it in. Used a long pole to try and scrape the rubbish out with only partial success so ended up using more loco ash to stop the pound draining as dusk fell. A long day and everybody Christmas crackered.
With the problems of silt build up in mind I’ve taken some 1” steel conduit that was lying around and worked up a sweat turning it into a scraper that can be extended to 6m. I didn’t work that hard but I did get warm as it would appear that some time during the grinding and welding I managed to set fire to my body warmer. Only found out later when I found the hole.J
Down to T-A today installing vents in the doors down from the wheelhouse to the galley which was one of the recommendations during the BSS. Thoroughly enjoyable day with the sun shining in. Still a few more jobs to do but only another month before we are in the paint shop.

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