EMagazine – 12th August 2015

Greetings All,

THE ANNUAL DUCK RACE. Monday 31st August 2.00pm at Llangynidr bottom Lock.
This is almost upon us and as the ONLY fund raising that goes to running MBACT it is most important to us. Could all members please sell as many tickets as you can and send them ALL, sold and unsold, back to Fourteen Locks in the envelope provided.

THE LLANGYNIDR AGRICULTURE SHOW. Sunday 30th August.
The last big push to sell tickets and a great day out in the country, volunteer ticket sellers will be most welcome.

TREDEGAR HOUSE Saturday, Sunday & Monday, 29, 30 &31 August.
Tony will be operating the Trip Boat on the Lake at Tredegar House on these two days. All volunteers and Trainee Boatmen please contact him direct on 07970 413803 (after 21st )
.
CANAL-A-THON. Sunday 6th September. From Pontymoile to Brecon.
Come and support your team or just watch the fun from Pontymoile, 8am, via Goytre Wharf, approx 10am, via Llangynidr, to Brecon. Entertainment and food available at Brecon Rugby Club, close to the Canal Basin.

THE A.G.M. Saturday 19th September, 11am at the Ty-Coch restoration site, Cwmbran.
Directions. Turn left off Hollybush Way 50m from the roundabout on the A4051 between Malpas and Cwmbran. There will be a site visit after the meeting.

See you on the Cut.

Bernard

WATERWAYS FESTIVAL ON THE CRUMLIN ARM, THIS WEEKEND 18TH &19TH JULY

Greetings All,
At last I am in a position to tell you there will be,

A WATERWAYS FESTIVAL ON THE CRUMLIN ARM, THIS WEEKEND 18TH &19TH JULY.

Boat trips will be run by MBACT and the Islwyn Canal Association.
The Islwyn Lily will cruise from Pontywaun to Wysom’s Wharf,(Darren Bridge), and the Edith-Elizabeth will cruise from Pontywaun to the end of the Canal near Forest Drive.

HOW TO GET THERE Post Code NP11 7FQ
By train from Cardiff on the Ebbw Vale train to Crosskeys and walk 400m to Pontywaun.
By bus from Newport on No 151 or X18 to Pontywaun Bridge.
By bus from Abergavenny on No X74.

Enjoy a day out, come and see what has been done at Pontywaun, see what can be done by putting boats back on the canal, and stop for Tea at Wysom’s Wharf.

Could volunteers, crew and trainee boatmen, please contact Tony Pugh on 07970 413803

EMagazine – 22th March 2015

Greetings All,

Welcome to all our new members and those who have changed their e mail addresses in the last year.

On the subject of Membership comes the news from Wyn Mitchell that you can now join the MBAC Trust or renew your existing membership on line. Access to the system is via the MBACT Website   www.mbact.org.uk

Boatman’s Licenses. To operate a Trip Boat carrying passengers one needs a Boatsman License. MBACT has several boatmen but we need more and to this end our chief boatman and Health and Safety officer, Tony Pugh, has recently started familiarisation days.

Most of the canals in South Wales are in the hands of Local Authorities, Associations or Trusts, each one of these will have to ensure that any operator on it’s waters are competent, but probably has little idea how to ensure this. We could land up with a different set of licensing rules/procedures for each stretch of water. This would impact on the operators who move their Trip Boats from place to place for local events. In the case of MBACT’s “Edith-Elizabeth” which has operated on water owned by C.R.T., Torfaen, Newport, Caerphilly, Cotswold Trust, Hereford and Neath, we could be looking at 7 licenses for each boatman! This was already a problem when we went to Resolven for the Neath Trail Boat Rally. A unified approach among the authorities would be the best way forward and so far, Torfaen, Newport and Caerphilly have expressed agreement. Watch this space.

Holiday Flat in Torquay for one week.
This was the First Prize for last years Duck Race, kindly donated by the Rev. John Collier, which has kindly been donated back to MBACT to help raise funds. The value ranges from £250/week in the winter to £600/week in the summer and it was agreed by the committee last night that it should be actioned in the E-Mag until 31st March 2015. The highest bid over £250 by that date is the winner and bids can be sent to this e mail address.

Canalathon
Entries for this years Canalathon started 5 minutes after entries were opened! If you wish to enter please do it on line via the MBACT web site and follow the links. Entries will only be accepted at Fourteen Locks if you do not have a computer ( in which case you won’t be seeing this!!)  If you don’t want to enter but would like to be involved on the day, we will be looking for volunteers closer to the day, Sunday 6th September.

Crumlin Arm
At the Working Group Meeting at Caerphilly in February, the Crumlin Arm Action Plan 2015 was tabled and well received by the group. The detail given to the obstructions and their possible resolution shows how technology has changed since the last survey was done. The engineer Kevin Kinsey is enthusiastic about completing the works at Pontywaun and clearing the silt at The Darren in good time for the event in July.
y Roberts Bridge
We all know Harry Roberts bridge is on the boundary between Newport and Caerphilly sections, but who was he? Any family history, anecdotes or other information will be welcomed.

The Cwmbran and Pontnewydd Water Festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday 20th and 21st June, don’t miss it. All events are shown on the website.

See you on the cut.

Bernard

EMagazine – 12th January 2015

Greetings All and a Happy New Year.

To start with there are the Events for 2015.

May 21st and 22nd. Education Days at Goytre Wharf with our Trip Boat.

May 23rd, 24th, and 25th. Trip Boat operating on the lake at Tredegar House.

June 13th. The Cwmbran Big Event.

June 20th and 21st. Pontnewydd Waterway Festival at Five Locks, Boaters are encouraged to make the trip, weed cutting and dredging will have been carried out. The Trip Boat will be operating on, the as yet, isolated section below Five Locks and the centre of activity will be in the adjacent Glenside community hall.

July 25th. Pirates Day at Fourteen Locks.

July ???   Possible event on the Crumlin Arm. Limited dredging has been promised by June.

August 31st The (world famous) Duck Race preceded by the Llangynidr Show on Sunday 30th.
(Ducks are still being recovered from the A4042!)

September 6th. The Canalathon, from Pontymoile to Brecon.

The Community Boat is still at the Power Station, final welding needs to take place to make it weather proof, it will then be moved to Herons Rest where Richard Lewis has kindly made space for us. (On dry ground at present).

Masonic Lodge No 4562 (Crystal) presented our Chairman and Treasurer with a cheque for £500 at a function in Newport recently. Their kind donation will go towards our education program which is being run in conjunction with Fourteen Locks Canal Centre.

Bridge No 36, Wellington Bridge. Just before Christmas a ceremony was held on the Ty Coch site to thank all those who have put so much into the project this year. However, a surprise number on the agenda was a presentation by Lord German to Cllr. Bob Wellington, leader of Torfaen Council, of a Bridge sign naming it the “Bob Wellington Bridge”. Bob has long been a supporter of MBACT and the restoration of the canal, the naming of this, hitherto unnamed bridge in the middle of the Ty Coch flight, is a lasting tribute to everything he has done.

The Crumlin Arm has already seen activity this year with a survey of various obstacles by consultant Patrick Moss and Caerphilly member Christina Hadley accompanied by Roger Francis, Richard Dommett and myself. Patrick is currently surveying the canals economic potential for the partnership and Christina is into European Funding at Caerphilly (get the drift?). Christina has taken on a huge task and needs all the support she can get both inside and outside Caerphilly C.B.C.

“The Waterworks” project at Ty Coch has placed the order for the first pair of lower “modular gates”, the top one having already been installed with a minimum of fuss. The new workshop building has made a huge difference to working conditions and the access road has speeded up  supplies of materials.

Finally, the “Cross Party Workshop” at Cardiff Bay, originally scheduled for Monday 12th Jan (today) has been postponed and has yet to be rescheduled.

See you on the Cut.

Bernard.

EMagazine – 5th November 2014

Greetings All.

Lock Gate photo
The Waterworks, Ty Coch.
Regular readers will be aware of the great work being undertaken at Ty Cock south of Cwmbran. Funded by The Heritage Lottery, the Waterworks project is restoring up to eight disused locks and canal structures while providing training to volunteers in heritage and canal maintenance techniques. The project is now half way through it’s second year and restoration work is progressing well. It’s also attracted it’s fair share of publicity with national T.V. and press coverage.

To build on the success to date, additional volunteers are needed to help with a variety of tasks. These range from vegetation management, pointing with lime mortar, restoring stonework, carpentry and a host of other activities. Whatever your skill level the project would like to hear from you if you are interested in volunteering and able to commit a day or more during the week on a regular basis. Volunteering provides an opportunity to put existing skills into practice, learn new techniques, meet fellow canal enthusiasts and make a real contribution to the future of the waterway.

Why not come down for a look and a chat to see what the project has to offer. For more information contact Richard Dommett on 07974 005 483, or Heidi Carey on )1633 648072 or on email
heidi.carey@torfaen.gov.uk.

The Duck Race 2015 !!!  You my think it is a little early to look at the next Duck Race but the ducks need sorting out and the Boat needs attention. Tony Pugh has therefore asked for as many volunteers as possible for a “Flash Mob Clean up” for Saturday or Sunday 15th-16th November.
He will supply the music. Please contact him at  pugsie@pugsie.orangehome.co.uk or our new
Volunteer Co-ordinator, Paula Cork  at paula.olly@hotmail.co.uk Paula joined a couple of months ago and is very keen, so let’s keep her busy.

Composite Lock Gates. The first Top Gate has been installed at Ty Coch, no fuss, no long reach cranes, just the guys on site.  See photo attached with our Volunteer Co-Ordinator, Paula.

Rogerstone. A meeting was held at Fourteen Locks Centre with members of the local community over issues that they have with the canal in the area. The upshot is that a formal meeting will be held to organise a voluntary  group to look after grass cutting, litter picking and the canal generally up as far as Harry Roberts Bridge. This group will tie in with the MBACT and hopefully encourage the formation of other groups along the Crumlin Arm.

Fourteen Locks Canal Centre. Breaking News. Congratulations to all concerned on the award of £83K from HLF. This award secures the future of Fourteen Locks Centre for the next 2 years allowing the team there to continue their good work and to branch out into new areas of education and community support.

Bernard Illman

Ducks in the News

Greetings All,

For those of you who have not seen a paper in the last 3 days I suggest you have a look at this, it even made “The Telegraph.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-28925165 the Fourteen Locks Centre has had comments from as far away as Brazil and Portugal! We might even get a mention in “Waterways World” next month.

A good day was had on Sunday at the Llangynidr Show but the rain put off the spectators for the Duck Race on Monday. Thanks to Rev. John Collier, our Chaplain, and all those who supported us buying tickets, donating prizes and helping out.

Duck race winners 2014
Ticket     Duck                                                   Donated by           Winners
1    573       201  Week’s self catering inTorbay for four people     Rev. John Collier    R & L Lark
2   1239       406  Day boat for three hours for up to 8 people       Dragonfly Cruises  R.Williams
3   2766     1087  Sunday lunch for two at the Coach & Horses    Coach & Horses     M.Jenkins
4   2512       970  Meal for two at the Dragon Inn Crickhowell       Mr. & Mrs Paris    Fairey
5   1112       364  Barbecue Grill                                    R.Frances              Margaret Foley
6   1620       553  Bottle Famous Grouse Whisky                       Mike Phillips          Mrs Walford
7   1054       346  Bottle of Bordeaux                                Ron Shackle           Allun Nutt
8   2219       829  Wine Cooler                                       R.Frances              Lee Thomas
9   1876     1876  Bottle sparkling wine                             Ron Shackle           Mrs Morgan
10 1925     1925  Origami spider                                    R.Frances              N Jenkins

Don’t forget the Canal-a-thon on Sunday, September 14th, there will be canal side entertainment at Talybont-on-Usk and Brecon Basin.

Regards,
Bernard

Annual Duck Race on 25th August (Bank Holiday Monday) at Llangynidr

Greetings All,

The Annual Duck Race is upon us, MONDAY 25th AUGUST 2014, (BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY), 2pm AT LLANGYNIDR BOTTOM LOCK, OPPOSITE THE “COACH AND HORSES”.

The Trip Boat will be taking rides on Sunday and Monday between 11am and 4pm each day. MBACT will have a stand at the “Llangynidr Show” on Sunday selling tickets for The Duck Race and any volunteer who would like to help will be most welcome, we will be on the field in front of the hall, look for the Land Rover.

This is the MBACT’s one big chance during the year to raise funds so why not come out to the country for a day or both days!

See you there,
Bernard

EMagazine – 8th August 2014

Greetings All.

THE DUCK RACE Monday 25th August. (Bank Holiday).
The Duck Race is almost upon us, there are still many tickets outstanding, PLEASE send all tickets back to Fourteen Locks as soon as possible, preferably SOLD! I will be at the Llangynidr Show on Sunday 24th, the day before the race, selling tickets and looking for new members, all volunteers to help will be welcomed with open arms! Remember, the Trip Boat will also be running on the Monday so bring along the extended family for a day out. But before that is the :-

FIVE LOCKS EVENT. Saturday 16th August.
The Trip Boat will be operating from below Five Locks to the top of the Cascaded Locks at Mount Pleasant Road. The centre of activities will be at The Glenside Community Hall off Commercial/Mount Pleasant Road.

THE CANAL A THON, Saturday 13th September.
Takes place from Pontymoile to Breacon with interest all along the Canal. More next time.
NATIONWIDE BUILDING SOCIETY have given us £100 in their Community Match Scheme, anyone who is a member of Nationwide is asked to look out for our name in the agencies and vote for us, this could bring us another £500 all of which will go towards finishing our community boat ” The Lord Raglan”. Speaking of which:-

THE LORD RAGLAN is once again receiving attention at SSE Power Station. The new window positions have been cut out and the super structure is being strengthened. The Power Station is closed and will be demolished so we have to move the boat elsewhere. SSE are pushing hard to finish what they agreed to do before it moves. We are still looking for a retired joiner who would be willing to help with the fitting out.

ITV, COAST &COUNTRY, Friday 8th August.
Phil was interviewed by ITV on the MB&AC and the clip will be shown on the above program.
THE SHOP. As you all know we lost the shop premisses in Newport when the empty buildings were demolished for the new development, and being as the Torfaen “Vibrant and Viable Places” is now the most important regeneration project in Cwmbran and Pontypool, we would like to move the shop to Cwmbran. Cwmbran Centre is privately owned and efforts to obtain premisses in the Centre have had no results, however if anyone could help in this area we would very much like to hear from you. A Canal Information Centre in Cwmbran would be beneficial to Torfaen, the MBACT and the public as a whole.

Thanks one and all for your continued interest and support for the restoration of the Canal, membership forms can be downloaded from our web site should you need one.

See you at Llangynidr,
Bernard

EMagazine – 18th July 2014

Greetings All,

Those of you who get the Western Mail or one of the other south coast papers would have seen yesterday of the visit to Ty Coch of a team of millionaires who were invited to do some volunteer work on a Heritage Lottery site. This was filmed by ITV and will be shown later in the year. However, if you missed it, go to http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/wealthiest-bunch-of- workmen-wales-theyre-7419784

Much has been going on in the background but could not be talked about, such as the above, but now there is a flood of information coming through.

FIVE LOCKS EVENT, Sat 16th August.
The Trip Boat will be operating from below Five Locks to the top of the cascade at Mount Pleasant road. Displays and items of interest will be taking place at the Glenside Community Hall below the five locks, accessible from Commercial/Mountpleasant Rd.

THE DUCK RACE, Monday 25th August.
The annual Duck Race takes place on the Canal outside the “Coach and Horses”, Llangynidr from about 3.30pm. Tickets will be on sale all day on site and also on the day before at the “Llangynidr Show” which is an event not to be missed in itself. Prizes include, “A weeks self catering holiday for 4 in Torbay”, “A Day Boat for 3 hours from Dragonfly Boats, Brecon” ” Lunch for 2 at the Coach and Horses, Llangynidr” and many others. Would all those who have tickets please sell them and send all counterfoils + unsold tickets back to Fourteen Locks. We rely on this money to run the MBACT.

THE CANAL-A-THON, Saturday 13th September.
This is a Canoeing, Cycling and Running event from Pontymoil to Brecon with canal side events along the Canal and entertainment at Brecon Basin from mid-afternoon. Come and cheer your team on. Entry has closed with over 50 teams of 4 including one team from Canal du Midi, France.
WATERWORKS (Ty Coch).

Luke, one of the trainees on site is now fully employed by MBACT Restoration Ltd, (funded by WAG through Training and Employment), and hopefully marks the first step in creating a full time Restoration and Maintenance Team for the non CRT length of the Canal. Still on Ty Coch, the access road is now in and the foundations for the new workshop have been cast. WRG have also just completed a very successful week long camp on site. Thanks to all the volunteers involved.
Consultations and workshops, (the other kind), are progressing on Torfaen’s “Vibrant and Viable Places” , which has to be moving by March 2015. A workshop that I attended recently included
live links from Washington, Idaho and Merthyr Tydfill showing what can be done when the community pull together.

Finaly, FOURTEEN LOCKS PIRATE DAY, this Sunday 20th July, starting at 11.00am with the Trip Boat operating all day.

See you on the Cut.
Bernard