23 March 2018

Notes from Western Depot, Wednesday 21 March 2018
by: Buffs 
A cabin full of volunteers and a long list of tasks for the day. There were  logs to be cut, a bench to be fitted, work to finish on the Gough’s orchard feed to list just a few. The yard was a hive of activity in the early morning sun.
The logging team of 3 set about cutting and loading the last section of a lime tree which had been donated to the depot. The section was about 1.5m (4’6”) long and an impressive 1m or more in diameter. The chain saw men cut the trunk into discs of 10” or so, measured by a carefully calibrated boot. Each disc was then cut into smaller pieces to be loaded onto the tipper ready for the splitting team to work on back at the yard. A quick recce around the donor’s grounds identified several more loads of timber which will soon be on its way to Eastington.
Log splitting is an almost continuous activity at the Western depot with an impressive stock of drying logs building up.  More on this in another report later.
A new bench was taken to the Ocean and set just above the bridge on the tow path side giving views across the church and the trees of Stonehouse court and of course the canal. It will provide some where to sit whilst the bridge is being swung.
Work continues at the Gough’s orchard feed site to ensure that the water keeps running to top up the canal.  
Another unsung task is the collection of waterborne litter from the waters of the cut. Our work boat crews collect sacks of plastic bottles and bags, cans and paper packaging which find their way back to Eastington. When there is van load the waste is taken to one of the local authority tips for disposal. Unfortunately the plastics are not in a recyclable state. It would, of course be better if recyclable material were taken home for proper disposal.
In the yard work continues on the new mess with the lino laid on the refurbished floor and the table and chairs set into place. We only need another 30 or so chairs and there will be places for everyone to sit down. If you know of any business disposing of large quantities of chairs mention us to them.
The 1 tonne trailer now stripped of its rotten wood shell was having its steel frame derusted in preparation for repainting. It will be moved under the canopy at the end of the yard into the space vacated by the tipping trailer for painting and to have the new woodwork fitted.
We were visited by two members of the team restoring the towpath at Ford’s wharf, Ryeford. They spent the morning fabricating steel staples to lock the newly refitted coping stones together. The steel staples were made in approximately 1” square bar. Considerable heat was required to persuade the bar that it really wanted to be bent into the perfect staple shape.
Meanwhile the re building of Patricia continues…….