24 May 2018

Dredging this week, 22nd to 24th and what we are digging up!

by: Andrew Rendell

Thanks to the following for working on dredging this week:- John, Alex, Sue, Steve, Les, Andy, (who has been assessed and will be another operator with WRG authorisation for the Dredger), Frank, Paul and Nick.

Never surprised with what we have to deal with.
As many are aware the canals are great collectors of everyone's items. This week though a tree surgeon or enthusiast has been very careful in years gone by and laid all the sawn off Limbs into the offside of the canal. We have spent hours pulling, digging out well rotted timber up to 12 foot long, which means all the silt goes back into the canal as the clam bucket can't close. Also really old railway sleepers.
But annoyingly many large unwanted items!

Dredger deputy now on his long holiday on the canals of England so we were so fortunate that a little helper came to our attention walking over the silt towards the Dredger. It's gnome that he is a good operator so are not short handed, the only difference he doesn't talk much!
We are very close to finishing the dredging at Bowbridge Locks. The will be returning to Griffin Mill bund to remove a massive silt bund in a form of 'conveyer belt' style in early June.-
Weedy keeps on moving and now moored below a lovely buttercup field. Still not working but hopefully will be in a couple of weeks. She apparently is off west again.
One thing the dry dredging team has been grateful for is the dustbin Andrew has drilled with many holes to place in the hopper to act as a secondary filter unit to the 2 inch pump. Although we try to keep water out of the hopper it's a toss between water in or time trying not to. Jim is a hands on volunteer who is very helpful crew member  steadily getting training completed on Dredger no 5 and Annette2. The video shows the pump in use.
Some new and very useful equipment is the strop sleeves in bright yellow that stop wear and tear. Also highlights raised trip points.
We are very grateful to Les, Andy, Frank and Paul working as hard as possible to catch up with the Dry Dredging after equipment failure holding up the hopper unloading to bank.

Next week (29th to 31st May) John S. hopefully Steve C are keeping the Dredger operating with a few crew but as both many Wet and Dry team members are on holiday we hoping some volunteers sign up on "Augustus Gloop 2018" roster to support them as crew and hopper movement volunteers.

Many thanks, Andrew
(Wet Dredger Manager)