WORK PARTY No 81 - Saturday June 11.
Wardle and Stanthorne Locks
To improve the visual experience for boaters travelling to and from this weekend's Middlewich Folk & Boat Festival, nineteen volunteers helped at two work parties outside of our adopted 5 1/2 mile length of the Middlewich Branch Canal. The intention was to give Wardle and Stanthorne Locks a refresh coat of paint and the latter some well overdue TLC due to the neglected condition of its footbridge railings and lock beams etc.
It would appear that we were not up to date with paying our "weather gods subs" as the heavens soon opened. Or was it a warning sign that we were working in two non adopted locations? Either way the result was that the water based Sadolin either fell on the ground in big puddles or created designer streaks as it ran down existing paintwork.
Undeterred our valiant volunteers at Wardle quickly erected our new pop up gazebo and tested its waterproof guarantee. Those working at Stanthorne sheltered under the luxury of the nearby canal bridge or took refuge in our work boat Gowy.
After several false starts, and further drenching of the work areas, the sun eventually came out in the afternoon and quickly dried the wood and metal surfaces - but the resulting humidity created very difficult working conditions. By the end of the day a coat of Hammerite had greatly improved the appearance of both locks' footbridges and lock side metal work and Sadolin had at least remained on some of the woodwork.
During the day another eight of our team completed their Volunteer Lock Keeper CAATS certificate at Stanthorne Lock. These extra qualifications will greatly help us at this weekend's Middlewich FAB - from Friday 17th to Monday 20th - where we are assisting boaters through Wardle & Kings Locks.
Everyone must be thanked for their dedication and commitment through some extremely testing conditions. It was good training guys - we'll have to go back in late summer and finish the job!!