Annual Inspection of the Canal from Framilode to Eastington
Report of the Committee
Your Committee inspected the Canal from Framilode to Eastington on Tuesday 11th. July 1916, accompanied by Mr. P G Snape.
The piers and walls are in good order. The bottom paddles of the tidal lock gates require fitting and mitres. The basin is very weedy, but will, it is understood, soon be attended to. The top cheek of the stop-gate wants renewing or scarfing. Renewing would apparently cost about £5 and scarfing about half that sum. The pound from the mouth of the Severn (Frome?) to the junction with the Sharpness New Docks canal is not so weedy as it was last year.
As regards the cottage in Mrs. Pocketts occupation reported on last year, the leak in the roof was stopped, the window was enlarged, and the chimney put right. The lean-to roof, if made watertight, will last another year. Mr. Snape will get from Mr. S. Hopson an estimate for the work, and also for some repairs to the lean-to roof of the cottage occupied by Harris.
The warehouse is still unlet, the lower part being used by the Company to store tools and other things. Your Committee were informed that a man named Jackson, a basket maker of Westbury-on-Severn, might rent the upper floor or possibly the whole. Harris was instructed to see him and to endeavour to obtain an offer of 2/6d or at least 2/- a week for the upper floor, the tenant paying rates. If he wants the whole building, an increased rent could be asked for.
The iron-work was painted last year, and need not be done again this year. Wheel planking of elm of at least 1½ inches in thickness might usefully be put on the bridge, as there is considerable traffic over it. Harris could do the work at ordinary carpenters wages.
The mitres and bars of the bottom gates require slight repairs. The Sharpness New Docks Company is responsible therefor. Your Committee saw Mr. William Fredericks, the joint clerk, who informed us that the loading at the tip (which, though on the Sharpness Companys land, belongs to the Great Western Railway Company) is now getting on all right again, but the question is, of course, of more than temporary importance.
Walk Bridge (Whitminster)
This swing bridge will apparently last another year, when it should be again carefully inspected. Notices as to heavy traffic have been put up at each end of this bridge, and also on all the other bridges on main roads since last year. The centre standard and stanchions require repairing a matter of £2 or £3. The approach to the Bridge on the Frampton side has been strengthened with concrete and iron.
Shallow Lock Bridge (Whitminster)
The facing planks of Shallow Lock require repair, two being missing altogether. The Sharpness New Docks Company is responsible. The pound is much less weedy than it was last year.
Mr. Grey Robinsons Bridge ( Occupation Bridge)
The gate on the towing path just above this bridge wants strapping.
Bristol Road Bridge
The lock gates are still leaking badly at the bottom. The mitre of the inside top gate (this gate was put there in 1872) requires scarfing or renewing. The Canal is less weedy here than it was last year. The whole of the bank of the towing path from this bridge to Parklands Bridge requires repairing: it has been much trodden down by cattle, and has been badly broken in at least two places.
The iron of one of the mitres of the bottom gates requires renewing a small matter: there are also bad leaks in both heels. The mitres of the top gates will require to be repaired before long, and two facing planks on the towing path side also require repair.
The bottom gates require replanking and are leaky. One mitre of the top gates requires repair.
Your Committee inspected the blacksmiths and carpenters shops and found them satisfactory. They also saw one of the new lock gates for the Double Lock, Ryeford, which was lying on the wharf. They also saw the other gate in course of being made.
Subject to the matters requiring attention as pointed out above, the Canal banks and towing paths are generally in good order.
F S Whittingham.