Make pumps two – Lowdham floods again

Its been a busy week on the pumping side of things. With all this wet weather, Lowdham has flooded a couple of times recently.

Last week, John and I did some commissioning on the Beresford pump that we have had for some time. It was an ‘almost complete’ restoration, and we got it running in the summer. So we sorted the pump shaft packing, and now it primes. We decided to try it in anger as our first pump at the Magna Charta floods on Thursday. It starts first turn of the handle, almost every time, but we still could not get it to prime.

So John went back to the store for the Dennis pump, while I stayed, trying to sort the Beresford. Putting the blank cap on, I got quite good vacuum, and then realised that there wasn’t a rubber gasket in the first suction hose. So replace that, and away we go. [We have subsequently obtained some first-class graphited yarn of exactly the right profile, and that improves things even more. And then replacing the delivery valve seal has meant that it will now hold vacuum even better, although that hasn’t yet been tested with water].

Within a few minutes, we had three delivery lines to three ground monitors, all going well, and in half an hour or so, we had lowered the water level from near the top of the sandbags to below the kerb, and well out of harm’s way. In fact, by the time we had made up, and had a hot chocolate, the water level in the Cocker Beck had fallen to below street level, so the drains started working again.

Later that day, it was ‘make pumps one’ as water levels were getting dangerously close to the front door of a friend.

Photos from the BBC

Video of the Beresford in operation

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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