The UK partner meeting in Bath (3-5 Oct 2022) got off to a tricky start as UK rail strikes caused travel chaos. Buses came to the rescue though and all went well in the end!
On Monday evening CRT technicians and heritage expert, Morgan Cowles introduced partners to the city’s deep lock and Bath Pump Station (PS) and led a general tour of canal.
On Tuesday we visited Caen Hill PS at Foxhangers on the Kennet & Avon Canal to see the Trust’s pumps and control panels at this important Green WIN trial site.
Back on the bus to the spectacular lock flight at Devizes, everyone saw the immense challenge faced in the area pumping water back up the flight of 29 locks. Canal & River Trust volunteers were happy to discuss their work at the site and how it’s also promoted as a tourist destination in its own right.
We then visited the historic Crofton Pumping Station and steam engine. This is still fully operational but works in tandem with other ‘pumping solutions’ nearby – which are currently being re-engineered at a cost of £1.8 m to the Trust.
Once again volunteers from the K&A Canal Trust and Crofton Beam Engines were on hand to show us round the site and explain how steam powered beam engine works.
In the afternoon it was on to another historic pump site; the Claverton water wheel and historic pump. Again this is still operational though a modern pump and control system at the site managed by Canal & River Trust handles the heavy duty pumping. Nigel Taylor from the Trust explained how this works and the complexities of managing and improving this site – which is not helped by its proximity to the railway line.
Time was found to review pump / panel testing progress and to refine the schedule (Liège & in situ) and to review our activities programme to the end of the project end. On Wednesday morning we had a limited partnership meeting – where a short workshop session discussed common water management and hydrology issues and measures to address these before everyone headed off a bit earlier than planned to make sure they got home…