ROSEMOOR RESTORATION REPORT FROM TONY NICHOLLS - 17th December 2018
For our final session of 2018 we were blessed with good weather – a dry day with wintry sunshine which meant we were able to make progress on a number of fronts.
Our first priority was to release the shuttering from last week's casting and point this in. This took some time as the canal bed was very soggy after the recent heavy rain but the work was completed without too much difficulty. The finished length of casting looks really impressive. Once the stonework has 'weathered in', the structure should look and feel quite authentic.
RHS Rosemoor had provided a mini excavator and driver as promised and he was quickly put to work scraping off the topsoil in front of the lime kiln. It soon became apparent that there was a greater depth of clay here than we had anticipated and several tons were removed. As this is useful material, we will store it for potential future use. The excavation revealed what appears to be a wooden floor although there is a possibility that this is the remains of the original wooden doors from one of the arch ways which were removed and deposited here when the kiln was being dismantled. Further excavation may throw more light on this.
Elsewhere, further repairs were carried out to the lime kiln wall and footings were poured for rebuilding the outline foundations of the kiln walls.
Finally, we closed the flap valve at the upper sluice to allow the basin to fill with water. - something we have all been looking forward to! During the short time we were on site, the water level rose by about a foot so we expect the basin to fill quickly. It will be fascinating to see it properly 'in water' and looking once more like a working canal. This was a satisfying note on which to end 2018 – a year in which a great deal has been achieved.
The list of Rolle Canal Society walks for 2019 will be available soon.
Amazing things have been happening at Sea Lock, with nearly 200 years worth of mud and silt being cleared from the basin. A full report will follow soon....