Canal Regeneration Project
Work has now started on the project. The contract for ground works
at Lower Wharf and the extension to the Crescent car park has been
awarded to Cormac.
The Barkhouse Green, Lower Wharf is now fenced off as Cormac instal
a soakaway under the grassed area to take the drainage from the wharf
and adjacent buildings. (see photo). When completed they will set up
their base on the Barkhouse Green and start work on the extension of
the overspill car park. There will be no major works during July and
August to minimize disruption.
The revised plans for the workshops and extension to the Visitors'
Centre are to be agreed by the Planning Committee of NCDC at a meeting
on 19 June 07.
Agreements have been secured with landowners to the logistics involved
in the dredging of the upper reaches and work on the restoration
of the locks at Rodds Bridge and Whalesborough which will
begin in the
The Abstraction licence for the use of water at Helebridge is now
in force at 50% to river Strat and 50% to canal. In times of normal
this should be adequate but it is likely that in low rainfall periods
this regime will cause problems for the canal.
Negotiations with landowners and NCDC concerning land acquisitions
are continuing and are positive.
The report on the survey of the embankment near the sea lock which
leaks and has had collapses in the walkway surface shows that this
is the only place where there is concern for this. Further concerns
have been expressed about the need to drain the Upper and Lower
Basins to ensure proper dredging and removal of large items.
working on the overspill car park adjacent to the Crescent
car park which should
be completed by the time of publication of "The Tub Boat".
Canal Tub Boat
Bude Stratton Town Council have located a conservator who is able
to do the recommended stabilisation work on the tub
boat owned by the council and kept in the Barge workshop at Helebridge, nr Bude.
The Conservator, Richard Barnett, has associations with the Maritime Museum at
Falmouth. The work should be completed during the summer.
The Society has indicated to the Council that it would want to
make a contribution to the cost of this work from the Project
Fund, which has monies which can be
used for this purpose.
Cornwall" Charity Gig Boat event
Between 18th & 25th
May 2007 Charleston Gig Club circumnavigated Cornwall in their gigboat,
Tormentor. This event was a joint fund-raising
event for the gig club and RNLI.
Tormentor was rowed from Charlestown, near St Austell eastwards to the
Tamar estuary and upriver to Calstock. It was then loaded on to its trailer
and pushed from Calstock to Bude arriving in the late afternoon on Friday
20 May. It was launched into Bude canal near Rodds Bridge and rowed down
the canal to the lower basin. The club stayed overnight in Bude as guests
of Bude RNLI.
The following day, 21 May, at about 8.45 am Tormentor was lowered into
the lower basin and rowed to the sea lock where it was locked out into
the Atlantic Ocean to continue its circumnavigation.
The rest of the trip involved overnight stops at Padstow, St Ives, Penzance,
and St Mawes, returning to its home port of Charlestown on Friday 25
May, a total distance of some 300 miles and the first time such an event
has been done. Well done, Charlestown and your fine gig "Tormentor."
to Tavistock Canal and Cann Quarry Canal
10 am on 19th May a group of 18 members met in Tavistock to walk the
Tavistock Canal to Lumbury Aqueduct which is the extent of public
The canal is 4 miles long and linked Tavistock to the port of Morwellham
on the river Tamar. It opened in 1817 to carry copper ore from local
mines. The last commercial traffic was in 1873. Since 1930 it has survived
by providing water for the hydro-electric plant at Morwellham. The walk
was very peaceful and attractive, much of it through wooded areas which
border the canal. After about 1 mile is Crowndale bridge, close to the
site of Crowndale farm, the alleged birthplace of Sir Francis Drake.
The farm was demolished in the 1850s and the stone used in the construction
of Lewtrenchard Manor.
Further on the canal crosses a gully by means of a narrow cast iron trough.From
this point one can see the impressive railway viaduct which carried the
Plymouth to Tavistock railway - now long defunct, its 12 stone arches
stretching across the Lumbren valley.
Passing under the viaduct is another length of wooded banks with fine
ancient beech trees stretching skywards and below in the valley the river
Lumbrun rushes on to join the river Tavy away to the east.
Ahead is a 'lock' where the canal narrows. It has a lift bridge but
only one gate. It is not a lock as in conventional canals as
there is no change
of level. It is a device to control the flow of water, a sort of
stop gate to allow the canal to be drained down on the other
side. The hydro-electric
company does drain the canal to allow manual inspection of the 1&1/2
mile tunnel that takes water to the turbines at Morwellham.
The canal now bears left and crosses the Lumbrun valley on top of the
massive embankment built from the spoil from the tunnel. The river
Lumbrun passes through the embankment by means of another tunnel.
Having crossed the embankment a minimum 60 feet above the river the
way forward to the left is barred by a gate, the way beyond leading
tunnel being private property . To the right there are very few remains
of the branch to Mill Hill and it is not in water.
After the obligatory group photo by the gate we turned and retraced
our route at a slightly quicker pace as we were all ready for our lunch,
which was most welcome when we reached Tavistock. This is a walk that,
apart from its historical importance, is beautiful, peaceful and is
Refreshed and full of vittles, we planned our route to the Cann Quarry
canal which is adjacent to the river Plym to the east of Plymouth.
Fortunately, Norman Richards, a member from South Molton, is familiar
with that area
and led us on the trip to the car park at Plymbridge, a lovely excursion
across the edge of Dartmoor between Yelverton and Plympton with glorious
views of Dartmoor and Plymouth Sound.
Plymbridge is about halfway along the canal so the first part of
the visit was down the southern half. The Cann Quarry canal has
of being unusually small and unusually short-lived. It is only
two miles long and 6 ft wide. It was constructed in 1825 to
to be loaded
on to a tramway to be taken to the main line of the Plymouth & Dartmoor
Railway. It opened in 1829 but operated for fewer than 10 years.
The operation and transfers were too troublesome and so the owner,
extended the tramway all the way to the quarry, running beside
the canal. The stone setts can be seen in places beside the canal.
removed in the first World War. Also in the valley is the route
of the Plymouth and Dartmoor railway, some of which is now a
Two of our members left for home here. Again the canal, which is
in need of some repair, runs through woody areas. This section
1/2 mile and then the route of a former railway being restored
by the Plym Valley Railway Co. comes into view with cleared banks,
canal bridge, and track laid down to their depot close to Marsh
Mills, Plymouth. The depot opens only on Sundays so we found refreshment
a nearby mobile fast food unit. We then returned by the same route
to Plymbridge and called it a day.
All in all it was a good day out with lots of interesting things
to see and the weather improved as the day went on. It is likely
will be repeated possibly next spring - watch this space.
I don’t think we are going to get defined seasons any more. Winter
slipped calmly into spring with a mixture of fine warm weather and
cool torrential rain – sometimes all in one day! The change in
weather pattern has certainly affected the growth of the flora. Cow
parsley, cowbane and hogweed have now reached six feet in height and
cause a problem when it gets wet and falls on to the footpath. We have
been able to keep the path clear so far.
I have seen a number of frogs now so my fears of not seeing much frogspawn
earlier in the year have been dispelled.
The repairs to the lintel above the door of the wharf building have
been done and it is now deemed safe to enter. A barn owl has been using
the building as a resting place but unfortunately has not decided to
nest there. Two squirrels have taken up residence here too and compete
with all the birds for food. We have visitors in our holiday flat who
are enthralled with the animals and wildlife they can see from their
kitchen window. They say it’s real life ‘Spring Watch’.
now have ten free-range peafowl and one peahen with three chicks.
The peacocks are in good voice at this time of the year but I don’t
think our neighbours are close enough to be bothered by them. After
all, we expect and accept the many country sounds and smells -
unlike the residents near Paignton zoo!
I was saddened one day when the dogs found and trashed a dormouse
nest and killed the occupant. I do hope there are more of these
in the area. It does illustrate that dogs should be closely supervised
on their walks to suppress their instinct to attack wildlife. Having
said that, today the dogs pointed me to a real live turtle struggling
to get through the stock fence by the stile. It is the size of
a large dinner plate. You will remember I reported seeing one in
two years ago but I can’t imagine it’s the same one
migrated so far. It is now a resident in the wharf.
of IWA Restoration Committee to Bude
On Saturday 28th April 2007 the IWA Restoration Committee bi-monthly
meeting was hosted by the Society. This committee known as Rescom takes
a national overview of the waterways where reconstruction is, or has
been. carried out, giving advice, support and, in some instances, funding
to promote projects. So with the waterways world it has an important
role to play. The committee does its business in the morning and then
meets with the local society for lunch and discussion followed by a
visit to the canal or waterway of that area.
The committee took lunch with BCHS's Trustees, Neil Burden, Chairman
of Bude Canal Regeneration Project, and Iain Mander, manager of BCRP.
Neil Burden addressed the group on the history and purpose of the project
and how it should ensure the future of the canal.
After a good lunch at the Falcon Hotel the party visited the sea lock
and then walked to Helebridge and returned in the late afternoon. The
Society and Rescom both agreed that the visit had been a successful and
worthwhile venture and should be repeated in due course, probably after
the project has finished.
Day - 29th July 2007
As you will know this year our Canal Day is being
held in the Castle grounds because the Barkhouse Green is out of action
due to the works on the Canal Regeneration project.
The following is the draft programme for the day.
7-12noon BCAA competition for the 'Browning Cup'.
11 am Event opens: stalls, amusements, musical entertainment
1.30pm Presentation of the "Browning Cup"
2pm - 5pm Canoe polo on the canal for the BCHS Shield
3pm Official opening of the refurbished Castle and
New Heritage Centre by Lord Tyler
4 - 5pm Operation of Bude sea lock
5 - 5.30pm Presentation of BCHS Shield
5.30 - 6pm Event closes
All times are approximate
Bude-Stratton Town council will have other items of interest on display
as part of their Gurney Day - steam-powered locomotives, car and pedal
cycle, charity stalls, entertainments, bands, and dancing.
BCHS is grateful for the support of BSTC and the District Council in
the organisation of this year's event.
We shall have our usual table top sale, so if you have any books or bric
a brac which are surplus to requirements please bring them along to our
gazebo on the day.
Cross Bun Walk - 14th April 2007
It was a beautiful spring morning when a small number of walkers arrived
to walk from Hobbacott to Helebridge along the Planekeepers' Path.
On arrival at the Barge Workshop they were looking forward to their
hot cross bun, buttered and served with a welcome cup of tea or coffee.
Those of us who were preparing refreshments were told by Audrey Wheatley
about the wild orchids growing along by the canal at Cann Orchard and
how the rest of the walkers thoroughly enjoyed the walk.
to Rolle Canal - 8th September 2007
A visit to the Rolle Canal on Saturday 8 September 07 has been arranged.
Travel to Bideford and meet initially in the Riverside car park at
Bideford next to Victoria Park at 10 am (possibly to double up in
then drive to Annery and park by the lime kiln where Adrian Wills will
meet us and be our guide. A tour using the Tarka Trail and minor roads
will reveal various treasures of the former Rolle Canal. Lunch will
hopefully be at The Cyder Presse in Weare Gifford before returning
to Annery and
on to the tidal lock at Annery which is owned by Adrian & Hilary
Wills. You will see the restoration work that has been carried out by
Adrian and his helpers, as well as the results of a two week Waterway
Regeneration Group (WRG) canal camp at the end of June & and first
week in July.
There is a charge of £2.50 per adult. Please wear suitable footwear
and clothing. This walk is about 5 miles in total on
Workshop openings on Sundays
As usual your Trustees have been manning the barge workshop on Sunday
afternoons with attendances of between ten and twenty visitors and
Chris has headed the first walk from the sea lock to Helebridge with
ten visitors. These walks will be led twice each month until the end
of BCHS - Visual Impairment
a result of a training session with the Sensory Trust, it will be
necessary for BCHS to review the way that it presents its information
in print form and on the website. The review will ensure that the formats
comply with Part III of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. The
adjustments needed are not difficult to achieve and BCHS will endeavour
to comply with these requirements.
We welcome the following new members who have joined since March:
Mr & Mrs R Ashelford, Exminster, Devon
Mr & Mrs Clementson, Cricket Park, Marhamchurch
Ms R F Hoseason, Bude (Life member)
29th July - Bude Canal Day & Gurney Day. Castle grounds
18th Aug - Bude Carnival with sales stall
Aug - RNLI weekend (sales stall Sat 25th only)
5th Sept - Talk by Chris Jewell at Morwenstow W.I.
8th Sept - Visit to Rolle Canal - meet Bideford 10 am
16th Dec - Sherry & Mincepie Walk
Sun 24th Feb - Society AGM at Falcon Hotel
Boat issue 41 will be available in October 2007
for the next edition to be sent to The Editor, Tregea, Lower
Bude Cornwall EX23 0LS 29th September 2007