Dig Report

Inglesham, June 2019

Final Chamber Clearance and Landscaping at Inglesham Lock

27 June – 1 July 2019

Following the big push over the late May bank-holiday weekend dig to get the structural rebuild complete and the scaffolding safely back to storage, a further long weekend was planned to pick off all the finishing off jobs and landscaping to bring the project one step closer to completion.

One of the main jobs tackled over the weekend was the final backfill and landscaping behind the north chamber wall. This required all the material from the bund above the lock, along with all the stockpiled topsoil carefully stored since the start of the project. It was a close-run thing, but enough material was found, and by the end of the weekend a billiard table finish was achieved complete with copious handfuls of grass seed.

Also on the list of jobs was adding additional securing bolts to the bottom stop-plank cill. When the cill was installed during the first 3 weeks of WRG Camps back in 2014 the bolts used were not to the design specification, and Roy was concerned for the long term integrity of the structure. So a temporary damn was once again professionally installed between the bridge and the Thames, and the sandbags and stop-planks were removed. A task that is significantly easier and cleaner to state than to do.

Finally, the cill was exposed, and the longer coach bolts could be sunk into it to Roy’s satisfaction. There then just remained the task of replacing all the stop planks, firmly wedged in place – and rebuilding the sandbag dam. This time the sandbags were built up with a gap between them and the stop planks which should make eventual removal once the lock gates are installed – probably in many years time – significantly easier.

As well as the landscaping and work on the stop planks, while the chamber was pumped down a team worked on the final clearance, re-exposing the invert and removing all the silt, rubble, spilt mortar and a pointing tool or two that had fallen in during the rebuild.

One final very important task tackled over the weekend was the construction of the commemorative obelisk – a brick pillar suitably topped with a fake stone hat which will display plaques to record the groups who contributed to the Inglesham project, both physically and financially.

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