Kent and East Sussex Canal Restoration Group

9th - 10th June 2012

A day out on the Sussex Ouse...

Report by Stephen Davis

For various reasons there were no sites available to host us for a whole weekend at the beginning of June, so instead Mick, Gary, Roy and I headed to Isfield lock on the Sussex Ouse for a day to assist the locals with a big concrete pour to stabilise the tail of the lock and enable the next phase of the restoration.

We last visited Isfield about 5 years ago, when we helped with the initial clearance of the tail of the lock, including removing the remains of the bottom gates.

Removing the bottom gates in 2007 (David Miller)

Since then the local group have made good progress rebuilding the lock walls, hampered only slightly by the regular flooding of the whole lock site by the neighbouring river.

The tail of the lock crosses the old course of the river, and this change in ground conditions has meant there has been significant movement of the structure over the years. Roy had designed the reinforced concrete pad for the local group, and the job for the day was to mix, pour and vibrate a new slab to provide a firm foundation for the tail of the lock.

As it turned out the local group had a good turnout, so there were enough people to rotate the work force, and as the day progressed the hole filled with concrete and the pile of ballast and cement bags went down without anyone collapsing from exhaustion.

Lock view (Stephen Davis)

Mid Pour
(Stephen Davis)

Finally by about 4 o'clock all that remained was to tamp down and skim off the surface to leave a job well done.

Finishing off (Stephen Davis)

Done (Stephen Davis)

Our help was greatly appreciated by the local group, and gave them the confidence to go ahead with attempting such a large pour in one go.


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