The weekend was looking like numbers would be sparse until Eddie Jones of Kescrg rang and said that their site for the weekend had been flooded out and could they join us, this made the numbers more respectable (and they supplied a cook!)

The work for he weekend was to continue laying the pipes for the St. Johns backpumping scheme which by now had reached the top of lock 10. Unfortnately ...

... some of the local low life had rolled one of the pipes unto the canal and our first job was to recover it.

The pipe proved to be damaged but was ably repaired by Steve Davis and his trusty angle grinder.

Whilst pipe repairs were being carried out we took the opportunity to reinstate the towpath where the previous section had been laid, not that much fun as we had to first load the dumper by hand, well by shovel.

We finally got going with Gary at the controls.

Its quite unusual to be interrupted on a WRG dig by boats but the Basingstoke is almost unique in this.

The boats were assisted through the lock by us to avoid the need for the boaters to be near the working area.

The first length of pipe being picked up ...

... and lowered in.

As the pipes are being laid to a fall (1:500) the trench gets quite deep by the time it reaches a lock hence the need for trench sheet supports.

Once the pipe has been jointed its all hands to the deck to backfill the trench ...

... but its not all Work Work Work!

We laid two lengths of pipe on the Saturday but on the Sunday the softer ground adjacent to the lock coupled with a minor leak meant that we did not have sufficient trench supports ...

... so we backfilled the trench ...

... withdrew the trench sheets ...

... made good the towpath, packed up and went home.

Sunday was not a complete wash out, we determined a method of working the next section and also carried out some more towpath reinstatement.

I cannot finish without mentioning the Mega roast meal on the Saturday night cooked by Maureen, you can certainly come back on more London WRG digs, in fact our next dig on 6th/7th July is an official joint dig with Kescrg on the Wilts & Berks, book your places now!!