30 January 2019

A Sad Departure
by: Buffs
Monday saw the final departure of the Transit van which had been the transport workhorse of WD for 11 years . The 5 seats of the van had been the mounts of the many and varied volunteers based at Eastington.  The covers stored the dust of the canal worksites carried on the trousers of the volunteers as the Stroudwater was brought back to life.  The wooden floor of the load bay scarred by the many and varied loads of tools, benches, mud rimed buckets and the detritus of a day’s work being brought back to WD.   It also brought the tables and chairs which filled the old caravan and now the palatial all-purpose base for the burgeoning number of volunteers. Before the van left we carefully recovered some souvenirs – the carpet pieces used to soften the burden on the rusting floor, the batteries which will be re tasked, the jack, which was only recently put to good use on Dredger No5 and the rear passenger seats.
We waved farewell as she was dragged hesitantly from the yard to her final date with the fiery furnace to rise again phoenix like from the flames as a bean tin or a Rolls Royce…….
Workpunt Jasper keeps snug under her green blanket. She is in the yard for some upgrades based on user feedback.
The cold of winter mornings flushed with frost lingering in the shade until lunchtime has reduced attendance to a hard core of stalwarts.  These hardy chaps and chapesses can be slow to arrive but then it takes so much longer to layer up to keep out the cold and, this week, the biting wind.  There was an anticipation of fallen trees sent tumbling by the weekend high winds but as with the previous two windy weekends there were none on our patch.  David, our logmeister, has kept the logs team busy with donations of wood from around the patch to be collected, reduced to saleable size and stacked to dry.  There are also a number of deliveries to our more regular customers to be made.
The regular readers of this blog will know that the yard is seldom quiet.  Sometimes it is the rasping call of rooks and more often the raucous scream of an angle grinder on steel.  Occasionally the angle grinder in the right hands can provide an impressive light show.  While Andrew was providing the musical accompaniment for workers playtime he added a spectacular light show.  The sparks generated by from a higher carbon steel he was cleaning up turned the grinder into a Catherine wheel lighting up the darker recesses of the workshop.