Canal Inspection Report 1918
From the Ocean, Stonehouse, Stonehouse, to Wallbridge.
Your Committee inspected the canal from the Ocean at Stonehouse to Wallbridge on Tuesday the 10th. September 1918, accompanied by the Clerk Mr. P G Snape.
There is an inspection chamber about half-way along the concrete wall between Mr. Winterbothams land and the Ocean containing about a 4 inch pipe running into the Canal well above the waterline.
It is not apparent for what purpose this is used, if only for surface water there would appear to be no objection to it.
Your Committee regret to see that the Midland Railway loading and unloading shed has been removed.
This bridge will require painting next year.
There is a large elm tree on the Canal bank about 50 yards from the church. If Mr. Winterbotham would consent to remove it, it would be an advantage as if it were blown down it would very seriously damage the Canal bank.
The wing wall pier on the NE requires repair, as there are several bricks out.
The brickwork requires pointing.
From this point up to the Swing Bridge the Tow-path bank needs clearing.
Stonehouse Swing Bridge. (Upper Mills)
Roughing boards should be laid in the centre of the bridge and the approach to the bridge from Vowles Mill needs repairing for a distance of about 12 feet, from the bridge, as it is badly worn by heavy traffic.
From the Midland railway bridge to Ryeford Wharf the tow-path needs making up with ashes in several places.
Opposite Sir William Marlings Cottages new planks are required in the place provided for the cottagers to draw water.
Stanley Mill Coal Pen
The bank needs piling opposite the coal pen.
Ryeford Main Road Bridge Outside
The brick and stonework of the wing walls on the S W and N W needs repair.
All the brickwork of the wing walls wants looking over and repairing where necessary.
Ryeford Saw Mills
Your Committee would be glad to know if there is an agreement under which the owners of this mill are liable for the repairs of the wharf.
The bushes adjoining the tow-path by this mill need to be removed or cut back and notice should be given to Messrs. Workman Ltd. Ryeford.
Notice should be given to Messrs. Price to cut back the yew or other trees and bushes overhanging the Canal.
From there to the double lock there is a number of willows on the tow-path many of them are leaning over the river. These (about 10) should be cut down and the sound ones split and used for piling as the river is undermining the tow-path to a serious extent.
The cills of the middle gates are leaking badly and these and the balance poles require attention.
When your Committee was there the Reliance barge was in the lower lock and the water was spurting out from the leaks and much of it falling into the barge, which was some 4 or 5 feet from the gate.
New oak paddles and starts have been fixed at this lock and the work is sound and good. They require painting.
Both below and above the bridge at Ebley the hedge overhangs the towing-path and notice should be given to Barnard that unless he does this within, say, fourteen days, the Company will have to do it at his expense.
The arm of the crane requires to be tarred or painted.
The slates and tiles on the roof of the shed need attention.
The ivy growing over the bridge needs cutting back.
Dudbridge Top Lock
The brickwork in the sides of the lock is in a bad state of repair and needs attention.
Messrs. Samuel Jefferies & Son
Have lopped the black poplar trees on the bank.
The bank opposite the Sewage Works has been piled.
The bank opposite the discharging place needs repair.
Gas Works Bridge
The false decking of this bridge should be renewed.
Messrs. Strachan & Co. Ltd.
Have cut and layered the hedge.
This bridge is in a very bad state of repair and should be replaced. The longitudinal beams and others have decayed and been temporarily repaired.
The basin needs clearing.
The brick piers of the lean-to (let to Lee) need repointing. Also the roof leaks on to the beam and the water is rotting the beam.
The pointing of the brickwork at the front of the wall of the stable let to Mr. Lambert requires to be renewed in places.
The Canal needs weeding in various degrees.
Your Committee observe that on several of the Companys wharves there are considerable quantities of stone for road mending etc. belonging to the Gloucestershire County Council, and large quantities of coal etc. belonging to various owners, much of which appears to remain on the wharves for long periods and for which your Committee understand that no wharfage is paid the goods having been brought by the Canal and having paid the usual tolls.
Your Committee understand that the towing-path has not been closed recently and suggest that this should be done.
The notices as to traffic affixed to the various bridges bear no reference to the Motor Car Act. Your Committee understand that a letter was written to Mr. E T Gardom, the Clerk to the Gloucestershire County Council, on the matter in connection with the Thames & Severn Canal, but, his reply was that the matter had to stand over until he instructed further. Your Committee suggest that he should be written to.
Subject to the above observations the canal waterway, banks, towing paths and other property are generally in good order.
Signed : F A Little
Printed: W R Bloxam.