As members of the Inland Waterways Association we make use of any advice that’s going. So when we asked for some advice about the Spondon winding hole from the Civil Engineer retained by the IWA we were delighted when he offered to visit. Howard Worth lives near Telford so we are quite a hike for him. All the more reason to make the most of his visit.

A welcome party was arranged in June at Sandiacre. As is often the case several events collide so Chris started the day at a breakfast gathering by Marketing Derby listening to the directors at Derby County explain how investing in and trusting people is the way to succeed. Fortunately Chris was able to join Howard, Eddy, treasurer Chris and Mike Snaith from the IWA at the site of the Sandiacre lock excavation.

We’ve been concerned about the approach to the excavation and more importantly the levels at which to take the canal. Should we go up by two lock heights and then struggle to get under Springfield Ave and Bostocks Lane, or should we stay lower to make the crossings easier and disturb the Cockayne’s bridge foundations? And which approach works best with the sewer pipes across the line? A good start to the day!

We also visited Bostocks Lane, the M1 underpass on Longmoor Lane, the Risley Road crossing in Breaston and the Draycott section. Similar questions followed – best levels, bridge options, could we convert Draycott from a ditch to a canal without upsetting drainage? Then on to Spondon for advice on how to get the winding hole finished. Should we line it to retain water? How do we build up the walls? Do we need lime mortar? etc. etc. All answered in simple pragmatic terms so now we are getting back on site – “just doing it!”

Of course the day had to include a visit to Pride Park to outline the plans for the Arm boatlift. That’ll be good background for later developments. Then a short stop for some food and a look at the rail crossing, the Harvey Road crossing and the T12 intersection. We packed in a lot and know it was a good investment of time to prepare for later.

Then would you believe it but Chris had an evening talk to deliver to the Long Eaton Heritage Society to update them about the canal plans and progress. We’re told it all went well and interest levels and support, particularly for the Sandiacre excavation, were high. Not all days are so productive!

Photos show the group during the day pondering various aspects of the Canal

DSC_0202 (1) IWA July