04 February 2019

A Window on the Canal

by: Bob H.

Our Patricia is currently both working hard with our dedicated dredging volunteers, in both dredging mode and being used as a classroom.
Today started off as normal with our access to her via the back garden of one of our fellow volunteers. We opened up, carried out pre-start checks, started the engine to warm through, turned on the gas and made a brew of tea or coffee. As we sipped, the engine warmed the hydraulic oil and cabins and the day’s programme was discussed, as was our developing training programme.
Then onto work. Dredging.
The empty hopper was pulled alongside and mud, silt and debris began emerging from the murky depths. The “Dry Boys” have reached well across the canal, so we “wet Boys” are completing what they can’t quite reach.  A first! A window on the Bed of the canal.
First time for a while this metal window frame has any light passed through it.
We are making steady progress as the existing operators get to grips with Patricia’s very different (to Dredger No. 5’s)  characteristics.

As we dredged away, Ice Breaker Margaret very slowly came by thank you chaps).  We felt a little sorry for them, so while we dredged, they moored alongside and we used our wonderful facilities for a brew for them too!
Our numbers are at the moment somewhat depleted by a number of operators and trainees getting deeply involved with the massive refit job of Dredger No. 5 at the Western Depot.  When SHE comes back into service, and familiarisation Training is completed, mud will be moved in vast quantities!