14 September 2019

Dry Docking at Ryeford

by: Mark O'B

I am currently refurbishing a cottage at Ryeford bridge and was invited to help Tony and his protege (sorry bad memory for names!) to do some proper tugboat stuff and help clear the prop on Goliath. Nicely done in a calm, efficient and friendly manner! They then left me to my floor sanding as they went up to move a hopper, lucky ducks. 

Hilly Orchard Dredging

by: Chris K.

Patricia started drudging at hilly orchard today to investigate why the tugs were bottoming out while pushing hoppers under hilly orchard bridge. 

We dredged up various sections of a cast iron ornamental fence line, car part's, a double spring mattress, near side coupin bricks and very large rocks about two feet under the surface. 

More drudging at hilly orchard next week. 
Who knows what else has been thrown off the bridge. 

11 September 2019

Have a go at this.....

Whilst passing through Wast Hills Tunnel, 2726 yards, having tickovered by Alvechurch Marina where a ‘Constellation Class' (obviously for astronomers) rental boat was moored, a thought came to mind.

In the 31 minutes it took to transit the tunnel,  thinking about what other classes might there?

Starting with ‘Co' and ending with ‘ion', can you guess the following classes:

‘I don't believe it’s Class
Imodium fan club Class
Working happily together  Class 
Crashing into bridge abutment Class
Honeymooners only Class
Brexiting remainer Class
Religious entry level Class
Folk living together Class
Scrapheap challenge Class
‘Dinky' complaint Class
For the warped and twisted Class

Answers to follow.  I have not received any Blogs of activities, so you must all be sat at home passing the time!  Enjoy.

06 September 2019

Summit working party - Sunday 8th September

by: Karen Shaw

A reminder about Sunday's work party (re-scheduled from August) from 10 am to 3 pm.The weather looks ok for us to continue to clear the Roundhouse garden in preparation for planting trees, shrubs and bulbs etc later in October, as well as strimming the banks and towpath with a bonfire. Plus, if time; continuing to board the edge of the towpath.

New members are very welcome to come along for all or part of the day. I usually provide tea / coffee and Christine a cake, but please feel free to bring along your own hot or cold drinks, and a packed lunch or have lunch in the pub.

As usual, please wear sturdy (preferably steel toe capped) footwear or wellington boots and stout clothes. Long sleeves and trousers are recommended to avoid nettle stings and insect bites. Gloves and all other PPE are provided along with all necessary tools, apart from chain saw equipment.

The site is reached by a well sign-posted AND NOW TARMACKED track to the Tunnel House Inn on the right, as you come down Tarlton Road out of Coates and after a tight bend under a railway bridge. Postcode is GL7 6PW. On arrival at the pub car park, please park on the right.

Dates for the next work parties are:
Sunday 29 September 2019 - scything course arranged by Louise Clarkson
Sunday 20 October 2019 with Butterfly Conservation volunteers 

Any questions please contact me: Karen Shaw on 07989 857435 or shawk30(at)gmail(dot)com

Look forward to seeing you.

05 September 2019

An Uplifting Project

At Western Depot we have many activities which occupy us day on day, week on week, but often there are some, that for various reasons happen but never get reported.  

For too long, the neglected forklift that rested down the back of the yard in an unserviceable condition, some months ago, made a short journey to pole position just outside the workshops.  No better place to maintain visibility.  When there was an opportunity, or a short break between jobs, something was attended to, slowly, but slowly working towards repairing the vehicle.  

All the mechanical parts were checked, serviced or repaired where necessary.  Engine, hydraulics, cab, transmission, brakes and safety systems were put right culminating in the engine firing up and all the bits working.  A sight many expected not to witness!
You know that when the paint is 'expertly' applied, the job is almost done. and most rewarding to all those that played their part in this little bit of stealth restoration.

04 September 2019

Along the Cut today

Our volunteers were to be found hard at work maintaining and restoring our canal, enjoying the sun and chatting with the passers by.

Last Monday, a large willow tree fell over between Upper Mills and the Midland Railway bridge.  It had initially blocked the towpath, but a way through had been hacked by the public.  Whilst members from Western Depot had taken remedial action, the tree had descended further, so a small armada was mustered to tackle it.

Up at Blunder Lock, the railings around the spill weir were partly broken.  A couple of rails were missing with mesh inserted as a temporary fix.  Today, a two new profiled rails were welded in position and the joints primed.

Outside St. Cyres, Weedie was, well, weeding. Most effectively.  Keeping the channel free for traffic.
Just east of Ryeford double lock, the long reach digger was in action emptying a mud hopper which had been brought down from near Dudbridge.
At Dudbridge itself, there is clear evidence of considerable dredging activities.  The bank sides are cleared and profiled, together with a good depth of water in which to navigate.
Dudbridge Lower Lock has been subject to a WRGies two week camp, the commencement of work to rebuild and strengthen the lock walls.  For now, there is nothing going on on the ground, as plans and procedures are produced for the work there to continue.