Operation Bridgett – building an AFS pipe bridge

Rob Leese, who organised the event writes:

Operation Bridgett achieved its 2 objectives of passing water across a reproduction aluminium pipe bridge, and to serve as a trial run for the Derby show. There were one or two challenges (euphemism for problems). Chris Lamb’s Dennis didn’t prime at all, and Dave Madden tinkered with the pump for an hour trying to get it to work. Chris’s Dennis was replaced by Rob’s trusty LPP, but this also had difficulty priming. Chris’s suction hoses were then replaced by Rob’s suction hoses, and water started to flow at last.

The bridge itself took over an hour to build, and it was recognised that building the bridge was too time-consuming to be done in the arena at Derby, so it was decided that the bridge would be erected at Derby on the Friday evening then dismantled on Sunday after the show closes.

The high resistance of 2 delivery hoses and their branches made matching of the pumps in the relay too sensitive. This was not unexpected, but the field test proved the point. So the low pressure relay at Derby will empty into a portable reservoir to act as a buffer, before being lifted out and pressurised for the delivery hoses and branches.

Draining the legs on the bridge caused some amusement, when Tony kicked the clamp off the first end cap and a five foot high fountain of water gave him a good soaking. [Otherwise known as a ‘missed photo opportunity’. However, as you can see from the gallery, there were three more! – David]

We also had a visit from the wildlife rep at Mercia, who asked us to keep clear of a couple of rare nests. One was an Oyster Catcher’s clutch, towards the top end of the peninsular.

We had an unexpected seal of approval when the Vulcan flew over Mercia Marina on its way to and from the National Arboretum at Alrewas, where a memorial to the Falklands heroes was being unveiled.

About lowdhamstation

I am a director of a small (and very technical) business, a committed Christian, a Reader (and preacher) in my local village church, husband to my dear Frances, am interested in heritage railways, and heritage fire engines. I currently run a group that displays wartime and early post-war fire engines at 1940s re-enacting events and steam engine rallies. O yes, and vintage cars and motorbikes, and we live in a Victorian railway station.
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