25 February 2019

Warm and Busy at WD

by: Buffs

Western Depot has been shaking off the coils of this curtailed winter over the last two weeks. We mark the winter solstice with a waved handkerchief as several of the regulars jet off to warmer climes for an extended sojourn in the sun. remaining can oft be found warming hands around the workshop stove before returning to the jo Those bs of the day. This year’s very clement weather has been welcomed by our hedgerow neighbours find their voices of spring. Here and there the swans politely remind their offspring that it is time to leave by chasing them along the water and more. The ducks are starting to pair and the rookery by Pike Lock is coming back to life. Some hardy volunteers have removed some outer layers and a pair of naked arms was spotted after elevenses. The first knobbly knees of the new season cannot be far off. 

As the day warms so does the yard. Even with the reduced winter roster there is much to do and the yard often rings with the sound of the angle grinder chorus. Last Wednesday the chorus was so large that there was a queue for the sonorous tools. 

The big task of recent weeks has been the removal of some of the trees on Whitminster roundabout on the A38. This is the second big task for phase 1b that WD volunteers have supported in recent weeks. There is more detail on this elsewhere on this blog but WD fully supported the logging team by collecting 10 tipper loads of logs to be converted to saleable size for drying and sale next burning season

Jasper has been in the yard after a successful campaign over the Christmas holiday at Whitminster. She has been modified to have a similar internal arrangement as Stuart which should make handling the boat under power much easier for the boats crews of which there are many. Jasper will next see service supporting a Wergie forestry team who will be climbing in and reducing a very large overhanging tree at Blunder Lock in the near future.
The crew of Weedy have completed their replacement of the mesh conveyor on our weed cutter. They have returned the old mesh to the depot for disposal. With our recycling hats on we have yet to decide its fate as it appears to have further use providing temporary matting over muddy footways on worksites in the future. 

I have mentioned already that this week has been a heavy week for our angle grinders. Angle grinders can be fitted with a variety of discs and other tools to suit the job in hand. One large task where they have been deployed is the preparation of the engine cover for Dredger No 5. The job was to transfer the green paint from the cover to the volunteer on the end of the grinder whist adding to the syncopated and cacophonous music of the day. Here John demonstrates successful transfer of paint from the cover onto his person.
Gill, working with a black painted cover has been more successful. Her white trousers are now a battleship grey.