The Wendover Arm Trust Working Party News, issue 109, June 2015


ISSUE 109 June 2015

Re-watering Phase II

Being short of copy for this newsletter I thought that it would be a good idea to give a pictorial view of the re-watering of Phase II to date (see included photos).

Many of you seem unaware that, at the 1996 WAT AGM, Phase II was agreed to be the restoration between the former A41 bridge, not Drayton Beauchamp, and Phase I at Little Tring. The Trust was very fortunate in that having successfully argued at the public enquiry in 1989 for a navigable bridge under the proposed Aston Clinton By-pass, the end product was restoration of Phase II for 450 metres by the Highway Authority plus a further 250 metres through Drayton Beauchamp Bridge re-lined by the then BW due to alleged leakage, all at no cost to the Trust! Canal bed clearance of Phase II progressed through the years, including from 1997 when Phase I commenced, and the pick-up was finally driven from Little Tring to Drayton Beauchamp in 2005 ready to start work at the far end.

May and June Working Parties

Nothing startling to report except that pipe capping in Stage 3 is progressing well but in short lengths because of the difficulty in placing concrete with an excavator where there is no side access until we round the present bend.

At the May working party the new cabin was erected at Whitehouses (see photo).

Because so many volunteers were away on holiday the June working party was shortened to three days, Friday to Sunday.

On the Sunday the Trust held another very successful Open Day at St.Mary’s Church, Drayton Beauchamp. There were six parties of visitors to see work in progress and it was very cheering to find that most visitors were attending for the first time.

July working party

Ray Orth is off cruising and will be away for the July working party. Tony Bardwell will be in charge and I would ask all who can attend this working party to let Tony know as soon as possible on 01296 634973 if you have not already done so.

In the days when we had our Annual Boat Festival the working party at the Festival took the place of the June working party after which many volunteers left for their annual boat trips and we did not have a July working party although sometimes worked a Saturday and Sunday. We then had a nine day working party in August to make up for lost time.


We recently heard that there was a leak in the new lining installed on the Buckingham Arm. We first thought that it was the new plastic ‘Sahara’ lining being used for some restoration schemes but then heard that it was Bentomat that had leaked. Apparently it had failed completely and the Bentonite turned sandy. The manufacturer replaced the faulty Bentomat that came from a different supplier to the one WAT use.

We have had no leakage that we are aware of and during recent times when the flow of water has completely stopped from Wendover the only loss of water in our 350 metre Stage 1 has been from evaporation. If the Bentomat had leaked the canal would have emptied! We recently had to cut through the Bentomat core in the bund at the end of Stage 1 and found that it was exactly as expected with no deterioration since it was laid in June 2010, five years ago.

The latest news is that it was not Bentomat (with Bentomat granules) on the Buckingham Arm but Bentofix that has a solid core of Bentonite. Bentofix was used by Balfour Beatty for the Aston Clinton By-pass diversion and we have heard of no problems to date.

Chiltern IWA Branch weekend trip

Friday 25th to Sunday 27th September 2015

Many of our volunteers are members of Chiltern IWA Branch and regularly join this annual outing.

If you would like to book on this very enjoyable social weekend, please contact Colin Bird,

Address 11 Hillrise, Manor Road, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey. KT12 2PE

Tel:01932 248178,

The Cake Stall

Margaret and her helpers had a very successful Open Day when they made a profit of £554 in 4 hours. This is 50% of the profit they used to make at the 2/3 day Festival although they did not have the competition of the tea tent at the main festival site.

General Notes

We operate as a self-supervising group under CRT and all volunteers receive and sign for the Trust’s Restoration Handbook that includes full Health and Safety requirements for the restoration works.

The handbook is the property of the Trust; if you leave the working parties for any reason, please return your Handbook to either Ray Orth or myself.

Hard hats for use at all times and high visibility jackets to be worn on sites with mobile plant in use are kept in the store at Tringford and must be drawn/returned there.

One first aid kit is kept in the store and one in the Nissan Cabstar and each qualified first-aider will have their own kit with him/her when on site.

Also available in the store at Tringford are ear defenders and goggles that must be worn when using strimmers, angle grinders, concrete breakers and the like. CRT will supply hard hats, gloves and footwear with reinforced toecaps on request.

We normally work from 9am to 5pm (or dark if earlier!). There are breaks for morning tea/coffee, packed lunch and afternoon tea/coffee. We take our own food and drink.


So you can plan your diary ahead, the following are the dates of future working parties in 2015:





Friday 3rd July to

Thursday 9th July

Stage 3

Stage 3 pipe capping.

Friday 31st July to

Thursday 6th August

Stage 3

Stage 3 pipe capping.

Friday 4th September to

Thursday 10th September

Sunday 6th will be a

Restoration Open Day

Stage 3

Stage 3 pipe capping.

Friday 2nd October to

Thursday 8th October

Stage 3

Stage 3 pipe capping.

Friday 6th November to

Thursday 12th November

Stage 3

Stage 3 pipe capping.

Friday 4th December to

Thursday 10th December

Stage 3

Stage 3 pipe capping.

Roger Leishman, Restoration Director.

7 Hall Park, Berkhamsted, Herts HP4 2NU.

Tel: 01442 874536,