Swansea Canal Restoration
Swansea Canal Society, working with Glandr Cymru – the Trust in Wales – made contact with John Evans as one of only three men alive who knows how the historic canal was buried in 1973, having been the engineer appointed by Glamorgan County Council to take on the project. He’s now on board to help the restoration effort, and has been advising volunteers on how best to bring Lock 7, now the site of an old highways depot, back to life.
Martin Davies, a trustee of the Swansea Canal Society, said: ‘John has shed new light on what happened on the day the lock was buried. He had to reduce the height of the lock chamber sides by five feet and remove a quarter of its length to level out the ground surface for a new council depot, but so sure was he that one day the lock would re-emerge that he repointed all the surviving stone work. It was then buried together with one hundred yards of piped canal. We hope that the Society and the Canal & River Trust can restore both lock and canal and reward John's act of faith.’
The Swansea Canal originally stretched the sixteen miles between Abercraf and Swansea, and like many of the UK’s inland waterways fell out of use, closing to commercial traffic in 1931. The following fifty years saw much of the waterway filled in, leaving only six miles and six – out of an original thirty six – locks in water.
The restoration effort has been boosted by the huge commitment of local volunteers, who have clocked up over twenty five thousand hours’ work on the waterway in the past three years alone. The Swansea Canal Society has also recently been awarded a ‘Green Flag’ to recognise the canal’s environmental value to the local community.
Nick Worthington, waterway manager at Glandr Cymru, said: ‘Swansea Canal Society have made huge progress in the restoration of the canal, and we’re really grateful for the massive amount of work they put in. Getting one of the original engineers on board is a big step towards bringing lost parts of the waterway back into use, and the recent Green Flag award shows how much the canal already brings to the community.’
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Institute of Historic Building Conservation.
- IHBC articles.
- Swansea Bay tidal lagoon.
 External references
On Læsø, houses are thatched with thick, heavy bundles of silvery seaweed that have the potential to be a contemporary building material around the world.
For the first time in its history, England’s largest festival of heritage and culture will feature online events as well as in-person activities. Heritage Open Days (HODs) returns in September, thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) shows the scale of the ‘missed opportunity’ if we continue to separate heritage policymaking and economic policymaking.
The resource format has proved to be a successful way of providing guidance for local authorities on crucial policy topics.
Insight into the smart ways to design building services to ensure they perform as designed without being over-engineered
Historic England (HE) has awarded £250,000 towards the restoration of the Union Chain Bridge, built in 1820, spanning the River Tweed near Berwick.
One of Ireland’s most distinguished architectural historians explores the differences between ‘restoration’ and ‘repair’ and Conservation ethics in issue 163 of CONTEXT.
Architects say buildings should be protected – to fight climate change, reports the BBC on recent evidence given to the Commons Environmental Audit Committee (EAC).
It includes articles on Rethinking Retrofit to not waste carbon and not damage buildings, Assessing Moisture in porous building materials, conserving the Burns Monument using lime grout and injection mortars, Curated Decay, and more.
Welsh company The Environment Study Centre (ESC) has released a new online course for professionals seeking a qualification in dealing with the retrofitting of older and traditional buildings.