On Monday Western Depot bid farewell to our trusted transit van as it went to a place of rest and quiet. On Wednesday we were deluged with transport requests. Collect an engine from Upton, collect steel plates from Gloucester, replace an information board at Griffin’s Mill, deliver finished logs and collect more cut logs on the way back(twice) and return the digger and borrowed kit to the lenders. And all the vehicles were frosted heavily, one so badly the doors would not open until the ice was melted with a heater.
And before we could move anything the new engine for dredger No5 had to be offloaded and swung into place. (More on this elsewhere in the blog).
The benches team of Mike, Will, Richard and Maurice had the early morning pleasure of fitting the tools and materials, fully assembled bench and information board on its 5 foot long legs into the Mitzi loading bay and securing it. The legs of the information board are so long because of the depth to which they are set into the ground. Mike’s expectation of breaking through frost hardened ground was confounded with the first strike as the spade sank easily into the ground. The sign board adds background to the memorial plaque Pvt. Howard Pegler set into the bench. To read more of Pvt Pegler’s bravery and enjoy the bench enjoy the towpath walk along this recently dredged stretch of the T&S canal.
Meanwhile the thinly populated yard echoed to the ring of hammers and the electric chatter of the welder as the metal work for the new dredger engine was fabricated.
The crew of Wooky Hole , one of our workboats are based at WD. They carry out weed and reed removal and generally tidy the waterside environment of the cut. Over the last couple of weeks they have been bramble bashing at Harper’s field landing stage to great effect. The visual benefit is quite stark even though the job is not complete yet. One job that can only be done from the water is maintaining a clear air draft over the water to allow safe passage of boats and boaters along the canal. This is done with loppers, pole saws and, when necessary, chainsaws. To reduce the frequency of lopping the roof of the cabin has been (first) fitted with a collapsible handrail made at WD and fitted this week. The rail must be collapsible to allow the boat to pass under our bridges. All that remains is for the final adjustments to be made and painting to be completed and Mike W can tick off another Job.
As to the replacement van- we have been promised it ‘soon’. On Wednesday’s efforts ‘soon’ can’t be soon enough!