Whats Happening ?

Wednesday August 18th

Adrian casts another coping stone block and then rebuilds a bit more of the damaged wharf wall.

Sunday August 15th

Chris Hassall helped by Adrian, Hilary and Ray Patt lead a private party of 26 from R.H.S.Rosemore Gardens through the woods to the head of the leat at Darkham Weir.From this point the party followed the course of the leat back down the Valley to the remains of the tucking mill and the lime kiln complex.

Friday August 13th

After dithering for a while as to the ‘intentions’ of the weather, Adrian and Norman finally decide to work on the canal, modifying the paddle-gate lifting mechanism.  Unfortunately the lifting rods which arrived with the gates are too short and the only available tube is of a larger diameter.  The problem is solved by cutting off the ends of the shorter rod and inserting them into the bigger tube after it is cut to the correct length.

The next problem is that the end of the lifting rod that attaches to the lifting rack is round and has to be fitted into a square hole.  Norman spends a lot of time grinding the round end until it is square and fits perfectly.  Which just goes to prove you can put a square peg in a round hole, or something!

He and Adrian lift the rod into place attach it top and bottom and try the winding handle.  The gate rises and falls smoothly, much to their satisfaction.  The last piece to be fitted is the ratchet mechanism.  The ratchet cog is already in place but the pawl requires a large coach bolt to fix it to the upright and that has to be acquired yet.

Thursday August 12th

Trevor and Adrian begin assembling the paddle gate winding mechanism on the other gate. Just before lunch Norman arrives and by the end of the afternoon the whole of the head assembly of the winding gear is fixed in place but not connected to the paddle gate itself.  Everything looks really good.   There is a very big tide predicted for this night (6.7metres) some Norman decides to stay over night to watch it rise.

Wednesday August 11th

Trevor and Adrian cannot understand what mechanism is used to stop the Paddle gates from sliding shut. Trevor spends some time looking at the various bits of winding mechanism stored in a large box and discovers two ratchets and locking pawls, and a connecting rod.  The problem is that this kit does not fit with the wing gear already bolted to the gate but to an older style of mechanism, bits of which are also in stock.   The solution is to change it all over.

Trevor and Adrian remove the more modern winding mechanism and begin setting up the wooden supports for the older type.  This requires temporarily fixing the main winding prop to the gate whilst four 20mm holes are bored through the balance beam.  This is finally accomplished.  Lengths of 20mm threaded bar are cut to length and the upright is permanently bolted on.

Unfortunately there is only one complete winding mechanism and that is for the other gate.  The winding mechanisms are ‘handed’ due to the balance beams being angled.