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Sykes Hollow Hut - Before
Sykes Hollow Hut - Before
Sykes Hollow Hut - After
Sykes Hollow Hut - After
Sykes Hollow Hut - After
Sykes Hollow Hut - After
Sykes Hollow Hut - After


We have now completed 136 Work Parties, involving 1,773 Volunteer Days and 7,302 Hours.
This is making a major visual difference to the Middlewich Branch for the benefit of all the canal's many users.

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WORK PARTIES 127 to 131
Monday June 12th to Friday 16th 2017


Eight third year joinery students from Reaseheath College have refurbished a canal side structure which was likely to be scheduled for demolition by Canal and River Trust. The students undertook the project as part of their 3rd year NVQ Level 3 final exams after their tutor was approached by SUMBA (Shropshire Union Middlewich Branch Adopters) — a local canal volunteer group who were keen to see it restored.

The brick built hut, a half mile from Venetian Marina on the Middlewich Branch canal, was used as a manager's office for the Cholmondeston clay pit which was operational from the late 1960s to 2002 — the clay being used for canal repairs. In 2009 the area was turned into a popular mooring and picnic site with tables and barbecues, but the hut was in a bad state of dilapidation and needed complete refurbishment, including a new roof, door and window etc.

SUMBA obtained a community grant from Cheshire East Council for the building materials and the students fitted the work into their syllabus — the on site work requiring 266 hours of their time over five days between June 12th and 16th.

In true canal boat carrying tradition the students were transported to the worksite each day with the materials and tools in Canal and River Trust's 72' historic workboat 'Malvern'.

In the coming months the site will be further enhanced with a disabled friendly picnic table and jetty. The table will be made by 'Men in Sheds' in Crewe using wood recycled by SUMBA's volunteers when they repaired the nearby Brickyard bridge. An interpretation board will also be installed detailing facts relating to the Middlewich Branch canal including the clay pit.




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