Pipe Dreams

It’s summer and the foreshore is looking fine, albeit a bit muddy. Our Vauxhall visit last weekend dodged the torrential rain that we’d seen in the past couple of weeks, and in other regions of the country, and we had a beautifully warm and sunny day for our visit. So scorchio that Roger had to wear his sunhat!

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The plan for this visit was to, at least, make a start on recording the gas pipes near Lack’s Dock. We weren’t sure how this would go as they are quite big and go out  quite a long way into the river, and we weren’t expecting a super low tide. Nevertheless we thought that we could at least get started on them.

Our first problem arose as soon as we took the permatrace out of the packet. In order to get the drawing to fit on the permatrace we would have had to draw the pipes at a much smaller scale then we really wanted. We also couldn’t get to measure the full extent of the pipes because the pipes disappeared under the river some way out and, even at low tide, the river wasn’t low enough for us to be able to get to the end of them.

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In the end we decided to do a rough sketch and get some critical measurements, then later try to get some bigger sheets of permatrace or, more probably, knock up and giant sheet out of several smaller ones.

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So we spent our time clambering about on the pipes and wading out as far as wellies would allow to get some of the key measurements. For example, the lengths of the pipe sections, pipe diameters, connector diameters and depths.

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One thing that we noticed while we were doing this was that the pipe diameter seemed to decrease the further into the river the pipes went. We wondered if this was to help keep up pressure in the pipes, but we don’t know enough about gas production so we’ll need to find out a bit more.

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Anyway, we have our measurements and sketches and will pick this up again at a lower tide.

Our next planned visit coincides with a good low tide and, as we’ve been concentrating on the industrial archaeology for a bit, next time we’re going to do a bit of monitoring of the prehistoric timbers and bronze age structure. Hopefully it won’t rain too much on the meantime. FROGs, the date is on the Ning.

Just as an aside, when we were on the foreshore, a survey boat was going up and down the river, presumably checking the river bed.

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TTFN

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