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One of our volunteers gets ready for the battle with the scrub that has grown around Topsham Lock Cottage. 

FRIENDS OF EXETER SHIP CANAL

Easter Monday, 5 April 2021

The Friends at work —
this is what we are about!

Dear <<First Name>>

The Canal Friends began work at Topsham Lock Cottage on Good Friday with a great day and good progress. 

Project co-ordinator Bob Lucas reports: ‘I reckon during the day we cleared dense bramble from around 50 feet of the garden from the house towards the ferry, just over half the distance we intend to go.
 
‘In addition we cleared ivy from the house and cleared part of the fence which divides us from the lock.

‘A steady stream of passing canoeists, hikers and cyclists chatted to us and all were very supportive of our objectives.’ 

The exercise also showed the potential demand for the refreshments that the Friends are hoping to provide later this year for visitors to the Lock Cottage. ‘I am now convinced this would be a winner,’ Bob says. ‘The cottage is perfect for what we need and in much better condition than I expected – great for two exhibition rooms and cafe.’

Grahame Forshaw, Harbour Master, and Colin Acton, Waterways Team Manager, showed the volunteers round the cottage. However the Friends will not be able to move into the building straightaway because repairs are needed to the roof.

In the meantime the outside still needs plenty of attention. ‘We will repair the garden furniture that is already on site. Lots of plans for future improvements too!’ says Bob.

Anyone interested in helping with the project, inside and outside the house, please make contact with Bob

Tale of a tree
A rumour circulated on social media that a familiar oak tree on the cycle path side of canal tow path towards Double Locks was to be felled (pictured below). The Friends investigated. The City Council’s tree manager has confirmed that there are no plans for the tree to be removed. 
 
Updates follow soon in the next newsletter on the Heritage Harbour; discussions with ECQT about our plan for a Road Map for the future of the canal and basin; and the future of the SecAnim factory site – how should this canalside land be used to complement the waterway now the factory has closed? If you have ideas, please email me

Look out for your own copy of Making the Canal Matter Again, the Friends' revival plan and vision for the canal and basin. We have had the document printed as part of our campaign for the waterway and every member will receive one. So will city councillors and other decision-makers!
 
Finally, here is a link to the Spring edition of Exe Press, which contains an article about the Heritage Harbour on page 12. 

Do continue to take care of yourselves even though lockdown restrictions are being lifted. I hope we will be able to meet at a Canal Friends event soon.

With every good wish
John

John Monks
Chair
Friends of Exeter Ship Canal
jbmonks@btinternet.com
01392 493559


This tree is not for felling. The City Council has quashed rumours that the oak on the canal tow path towards Double Locks is not due to be chopped down.
 
STOP PRESS
Our volunteers returned to Topsham Lock Cottage on Easter Monday and the photograph shows the progress in removing the brambles.
'Sadly, we found the picnic bench and table that we intended to repair had been destroyed by vandals over the weekend. It will need building from scratch. This may mean a rethink in what we place in the garden and how we must consider security,' Bob Lucas said. The volunteers resume on Friday, 9th. 

We are always keen to welcome new members who are supporters of the canal. If you know anyone who may be interested please feel free to forward this newsletter to them.

Membership is:
Individual – £8 a year
Family – £15 a year
Lifetime – £100

Corporate or business membership can also be arranged.
For all membership enquiries please contact:
Mick Green, secretary 
michael.green@endorsehr.co.uk
 
Copyright © 2021 Friends of Exeter Ship Canal, All rights reserved.


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