Kent and East Sussex Canal Restoration  Group

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The Kent & East Sussex Canal Restoration Group began life in the mid 70ís, working on the Basingstoke Canal.

The canal enjoyed full support from the local authorities who owned it. With no shortages of plant, materials or expertise, most of the canal was restored using volunteer labour. KESCRG benefited from this gaining invaluable skills including lock rebuilding, lock gate construction and bank protection works.

In 1983 the group ran its first Summer work camp. This was the beginning of a new era and introduced many new volunteers to the restoration movement. Many of the leading lights in the field of volunteer restoration today started in the movement through KESCRG during this period.

With the completion of the Basingstoke in 1991, works began on other canals. These including the Wey & Arun, Chichester, Kennet & Avon, Wilts and Berks, Thames & Severn, Wendover, Droitwich, Montgomery, Huddersfield and Sleaford canals.

Although the group is based in the south east our volunteers are from all over the country, with an age range from those in their late teens to their 60ís. The group consists of a hardcore of between 20 and 30 members who regularly attend weekend working parties which take place once a month. With such a varied and knowledgeable crew, we have a very large skill base. This ranges from bricklayers to mechanics, and professional civil engineers to plant operators. Having these skills available enables us to tackle even the most difficult jobs with confidence, making full use of whatever equipment is available. We carry out all types of work involved with waterway restoration, e.g. scrub clearance, lock chamber clearance, demolition, bricklaying, stone work, piling, complex concrete casting, painting, landscaping etc.

The group carries a large selection of hand tools and some small plant including a 3" pump and a generator making us self sufficient when on site.

We operate within the Health and Safety at Work guidelines and have a very good safety record. All volunteers are given a safety talk and a personal copy of our health and safety guide and Weil's Disease information sheet. We ensure our volunteers complete a signing on sheet for each site to say they have received and understood the safety information and are aware of any dangers on that particular site. Whilst on site we insist hard hats are worn at all times and we ensure ample safety equipment is provided. We participate in the IWA/WRG driver authorization scheme.

 

Registered Charity No. 1165205