RSP Home River Severn Tales Chris Witts

10th January 2009


Thompson River Transport have converted an old dumb hopper into a modern motor barge for work on the River Severn and Gloucester & Sharpness Canal. R W Davis Shipyard at Saul, Gloucestershire recently carried out the conversion and have included a small cabin should the need arise for the two man crew to spend a night aboard if required.


Named ELVER, she joins the Thompson fleet of three other motor hoppers, the CHUB, PIKE and PERCH. Fitted with a 320hp engine the ELVER has been designed to push another similar sized dumb hopper. The fleets main source of income is from carrying sand and gravel at the Cemex batching plant at Ryall in Worcestershire. Hopefully in the near future sand and gravel will be transported from the gravel pit to the Cemex depot at Gloucester near to the new Netheridge Swing Bridge over the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal.


The first job for the ELVER was a six week contract in moving blue clay along the River Severn from Upton upon Severn to Worcester. With the assistance of the CHUB and PERCH 16,500 tonnes of blue clay was moved for the Environment Agency flood defence scheme.

New Mud Hopper on the Severn

The ELVER with a load of blue clay mud for Worcester

Photo courtesy of Thompson River Transport

Two dumb hoppers at the Cemex - Gloucester Plant

Photo Chris Witts

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