Audlem waterway medical bulletin

Published: Friday, 19 March 2021

THE Shropshire Union Canal is somewhat indisposed at Bennett's Bridge at Audlem, writes Dave Martin.

This has been caused by a prolapse of a culvert under the canal. There was known to be a health problem with the culvert in Spring 2020, and indeed an inspection was made by the insertion of a camera, a procedure known as culvertoscopy.

AudlemUpdateWhilst the patient was clearly not in good health the problem was not deemed terminal, so a policy of active surveillance was instituted.

Indeed, the patient survived the busy boating season, but the winter rains in January caused a catastrophic injury and a prolapse occurred. Thanks to the care given by waterways healthcare staff, a disaster was avoided, but the patient was very sick.

Open canal bed surgery has ensued, with a culvert-ectomy. The patient then suffered piles beside the old raft launch site. This operation caused the bridge to have a nasty case of the tremors, from which it has recovered with no apparent damage. A complete culvert by-pass followed, using canal grade black plastic, as can be seen from the photograph.

All that's now needed is for the patient to be stitched up and the new waterworks tested for leakage.
Then Canal & River Trust consultants can sign-off the patient as fully recovered, hopefully in time for Easter.

[Our grateful thanks to Dave Martin for permission to reproduce and to Alfred Overton for alerting us.]