There are only two lengths of the Glamorganshire Canal still in water - at Forest Farm, Whitchurch and at Pontypridd.
The canal remains at Pontypridd are only about 0.5 km in length but contain a number of very significant features - the only remaining intact double lock flight, the only stone tail bridge in regular use and canal-side cottages still used as dwellings.
Because of its historical significance to the town, a number of restoration operations have been carried out over the last 35 years. These were, however, limited by the loss of a significant length of canal south of the basin and also a part of the original basin, the effect being to isolate the basin from the remaining length of canal at Nightingales Bush.
The following summarise the present principal aspirations for restoration:
contractors at Canal Basin - June 2014
Contractors Peter Simmons Construction commenced the removal of debris from the lower basin. Debris deposited in the lower basin came from demolition works carried out at the top of lock 31. Many thanks to RCT Street Cleansing Department for organising the removal.
Funding and Support
The first round of funding applications is to start shortly. The Bunch of Grapes Inn have already provided hand tools and protective gear and continue to provide support to the group and working party. Pontypridd Town Council have invited us to apply under its small grants scheme and has also set aside funds to assist with the removal of debris from the site.
We have also received support from Keep Wales Tidy and Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC in carrying out major clearance work at Locks 31 and 32 and the canal basin.
Clearance Work at Locks 31 and 32 - 2011
The RCT Tidy Towns Team did a superb job at Locks 31 and 32 and have transformed its appearance. Many self-seeded trees have been removed and rubbish removed from the locks. The photos below show Lock 32 before and after the clearance work.
The same area after several hard sessions of clearance work. Trees that were damaging the canal wall and were growing in the canal bed have been removed,
Work at Lock 31
New Site Facilities
Since work commenced on the site over five years ago, there has been a continuing need for tools and equipment used on site. As you will see in the photograph below, the latest acquisition has been a steel girder which we used to raise fallen coping stones from the lock floor.
The canal south of the concrete bridge has become totally overgrown due to neglect. PCCG members are for the present concentrating on the lock system. Later work will involve removal of this overgrowth.
This section of canal less than 10 years ago when it was in water just south of the concrete bridge.
The canal south of the concrete bridge in October 2010.
In July and August our teams worked at Nightingales Bush clearing Himalayan balsam, weed from the canal and self-seeded trees.
In March 2012 many hours were spent on the removal of tree growth from under the massive stones at the east gate recess of the lock. The photos show the appearance at the start and finish of the work.
Parts of the western side of Lock 31 were cleared of tree stumps in late August and September and seeded. The photo shows the lock following the clearance work by Peter Simmons and the re-positioning of the boundary fence.