IWA West Country Branch

7 February 2020

Volunteers from IWA West Country Branch recently moved an historic chain together with an anchor from the base of the heritage crane at Bridgwater Docks, as part of the preparatory work for painting the crane later this year.

The chain is believed to be the chain used by the Scraper Dredger (known in her later days as Bertha), which was used in the Docks from 1841 to the late 1960s to stir up the silt in the inner basin. Canal water was then used to flush the silt through to the outer (or tidal) basin prior to it being sluiced into the River Parrett.

Bertha spent some of her retirement at the Exeter Maritime Museum and then at the Eyemouth Maritime Museum; she is now in the South West although regrettably not available for public viewing.