UK: Steam Dredger SND No 4 Runs Again

Steam Dredger SND No 4 Runs Again

Dredger SND No 4 is back in full working order again.

This vessel was brought back to life thanks to a £43,300 Heritage Lottery Fund grant, BBC News Online reports.

SND No 4 steam dredger was built in 1925 for the Sharpness New Docks company by the De Klop shipyard at Sliedrecht in Holland.

SND No 4 was mainly used to dredge Gloucester Docks and the Sharpness canal to a depth of 16ft and to dredge the dock at Sharpness to 24ft. At times SND No 4 also worked in the entrance and tidal basin at Sharpness. These operations continued until 1981, when SND No 4 was replaced by a diesel-electric powered dredger.

In 1988, SND No 4 became a working exhibit at the Museum, and visitors were able to watch demonstrations of the steam engine turning the buckets. Unfortunately, this role was interrupted in 1990 when a culvert failure down the canal caused a dramatic drop in dock water level and SND No 4 rolled over and sank.

The dredger was raised by British Waterways staff, and then a long programme of clean-up and refurbishment was carried out by volunteer Friends of the Museum and Museum staff.

SND No 4 is once again a working exhibit, operated and maintained by the Friends of Gloucester Waterways group.


Dredging Today Staff, October 15, 2012; Image: gloucesterwaterwaysmuseum