(March 2005). I've just heard that a dig at the Pump House site has revealed NO evidence of the caisson!
Pictures just released of the excavations at Barrow Hill on the Dorset and Somerset canal
Good News! The adit from the Combe Hay Pumping Station has been found thanks to sterling work by Richard Hignett and Adrian Tuddenham.
Very briefly they drew a straight line from the pumping station to the various old shafts back towards the Lower Reach at Rowley Bottom. There they found a brick-built "khazi' (aptly named) with water in it, nearby was a shaft. With the aid of a diver and waterproof camera they were able to ascetain that this was indeed the 'other end' as when the diver was lowered, the horizontal brick-lined adit was discovered - and all matched with the original Boulton & Watts drawings! Please see "Weigh House No 38 "
Stony Littleton Aqueduct has been partly restored (well, cleared of vegetation). For more detail see "Weigh House" No 38.
The Society would like to extend our condolences to the family of Clare Philips, one of the stalwarts of our walks, who has suddenly passed-away.
Latest casisson dig nr Lock 5 is inconclusive. Read all about it in an extract from the Nov 2003 "Weigh-House"
Work continues at clearing the Combe Hay locks
Roger Halse has now stepped down as Chairman and Editor (of "The Weigh- House").
We send him a our very best wishes and would like to thank him for the dedication and hard work over the years. Without Roger as the chief instigator it is doubtful whether we would even have a Society. Roger will continue as an ordinary member.
Member Len Bampflyde (great grandson of Charles Bampflyde, Engineer in charge of the Dunkerton pumping engines on the SCC).
We semd our deepest condolences to the family.
Ken Clew, author of "The Somersetshire Coal Canal & Railways" has died after a long battle with cancer. Our condolences to his family.
Ken's book was, for many of us, the starting point, in a long fascination of this most interesting of canals.
There is further news from the Engine/Pump Site. We have uncovered the capping of the disused well and found (with the geophone) that there is probably a solid connection a long way underground between the well and the engine foundations. There should be another work party on that site in the Spring.
Concerning the adit to the base of this pumping station site:
You will now find it is drawn straight and with two intermediate shafts - This is because Richard Hignett came up just before Christmas and found the spoil heaps from what appear to be the intermediate shafts. It all adds up to a straight adit. A very exciting find because it was made from a prediction based on engineering calculations, we didn't just blunder about and trip over the shafts. Richard actually reasoned where they should be and went straight to them. We are kicking ourselves for not spotting them before, one of them was only yards from where we were moving wood; but, of course, we didn't have his knowledge.
The base of the chimney stack has been uncovered.
Steps leading down to this base from the engine house have been excavated.
An inspection chamber under the bed-block of the steam cylinder of the engine has been exposed
Between the boiler and the leat an additional flue passage has been discovered.
An inspection channel 12 feet underground has been partly excavated. This leads directly into the well itself. The clay plug was only partly dug uout. We will return in the Spring.
BUT, please note that for safety reasons the whole site has been infilled and the footpath tidied-up and 'improved'.
Midford Viaduct Work started in June/July 2000.
Specialist Masonry Contractors (St Blaise Ltd), have started work using stone from the Limpley Stoke Quarries. The work is meant to be finished in Jan 2001, but the heavy rains and the need to build partial dams across the R Cam will mean some delay.
is now clear of all of the destructive ivy etc. All (!) we need to do now is to ensure that other vegetation doesn't take over. Congratulations to all involved for a job well done.