27 March 2019

A Destination Canal

by: Bob Hallam

This week, the Western Depot and Wet dredging team has been the destination for two very different organisations.
The first on Monday, came about by an unusual connection. BobH (and wife Lynn) are members of the CaRT "Boating Buddies" scheme.  They fairly regularly get to take members of CaRT staff - who may never have been on a canal boat - on their Narrowboat for a day.  This can be (and is) anywhere in the country during the Summers out on "The System".  The staff get to see and hear of boater's views, and Bob and Lynn get to find out about a lot of the "back office" stuff that goes on. 

Anyway, the arch organiser of the BB scheme is Damian Kemp, the head of Boater's Communication and Consultations. He was interested in both our dredging operation in CCT and BB's views on canal matters generally- as well as creating a new podcast for CaRT!  On arrival, he was amazed at how much work goes on at WD. It seems - if I understood correctly, that we now carry out as many repairs and fixes as almost any CaRT region workshops!  Needless to say, he was very impressed by our dredging operation and the support from all the volunteers in all the teams.  We await the podcast! 

Don't know how many of our readership use Facebook, but one item on their is the CaRT restoration page.

A few weeks ago a picture of Patricia was posted on there.  A short time later, BobH was asked to ring Rod Gordon . He's a member and frustrated dredger crew volunteer for the Grantham Canal Society!  After making the call and arrangements, Wednesday saw a fact finding visit from the Grantham Canal Society, 

with 4 of their volunteers- again with dredging as their main interest. (We must be doing something right!)

Again they were very impressed by all they saw, the "tour" took in the Western Depot ("Look at all these volunteers and equipment!") and a long look at Dredger No. 5 rebuild (fantastic!) 
We discussed all the necessary documentation we have produced for dredging and operation of the plant, then went off on a Whistle Stop tour, taking in The Ocean, the Ryeford Dredging site, (almost drooling over all the plant especially the long reach digger and Patricia) then off to Ham Mill where BobA showed the repairs he and his hard-working team have been battling with. 

Finally, they had a long chat with MartinG about Ham Mill Lock and project planning. 

A busy week and more connections made to other organisations.