The Kennet and Avon Canal

posted by Ian Lewis in Club Meetings

What a good evening we had last Wednesday! We were joined by Graham Horn who’s a Blue Badge Guide – so he knows a thing or two!

He certainly knows a lot about the Kennet and Avon Canal – and that’s what he came to tell us about – and who better as he’s been a volunteer working on its restoration – so it can be said he knows it intimately!!! Accompanied by slides – (yes slides!) – Graham told us all about the canal’s history from the time it was first thought of. Fascinating it was too as we looked at the challenges of constructing a waterway – the building of locks, bridges, tunnels and aqueducts to take the canal up, down and through hills and over valleys. He described the digging and lining of the canal with puddled clay – saying that it’s only about 4ft deep (hence the use of flat-bottomed boats). Then there were the problems of water supply and the use of steam powered pumps to keep the water level up such as the one at Crofton. Graham’s been involved in the restoration project for years and so was able to give us a first-hand account of the rebuilding of locks etc – including the famous (or infamous if you’re working your way up and down) flight at Caen Hill near Devizes.

As a lot of us spend time photographing the K&A it was useful as well as interesting to have all these facts imparted to us – so thank you Graham for coming along and giving us such a good, informative evening! 

 

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