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
RICS members’ journal Modus ‘crunches the numbers’ on the challenge the construction industry has to become more circular.
The Royal Town Planning Institute(RTPI) has issued research from across the UK and Ireland into how authorities can measure the outcomes of planning.
The Welsh Government has given the green light and a further £10M to a major new programme that will transform social housing across Wales, boost the economy and open the door to a new Welsh industry: the Optimised Retrofit Programme (ORP).
Culture across the country benefits as Lifeline grants from the latest round of the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund will protect a further 162 heritage sites across the country.
Now the building long touted as a potential home for the Scottish Parliament stands as a symbol of a divided Scottish capital.
One of Britain’s last AA telephone boxes saved
AA Box 161 has now been listed. The telephone boxes were a sanctuary for motorists in distress, but of the hundreds across Britain just 21 remain.
The IHBC has noted that it fails to emphasise the need to carry out appropriate repairs as the vital precursor to installing retrofit measures.
A mapping tool that provides contractors and their suppliers with a central database of local Materials Exchange Platform (MEP) projects to help cut waste by finding a home for unused materials has been launched.
An air raid shelter, a pillbox cleverly disguised as a roofless cottage, a rare Chain Home radar defence tower, and a war memorial have been granted protection.
A planning application has been submitted by Derby City Council to knock down the Assembly Rooms – which has played host to the likes of Elton John, Iron Maiden, Take That, etc.