About BERT

Brockham Emergency Response Team is a volunteer community resilience group - helping the community as 1st responder during floods or other threats, supported by BEVs Brockham Emergency Volunteers. It also provides a Local Community email news/alert service - to receive or re-subscribe to that, please enter your email address in the Join Mailing List box provided. A full log of BERT work and deployments can been reviewed using the Find Us Online link below.

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BERT Ditch Clearing Today

Two of the BERT team were at work ditch clearing today in Wheelers Lane. The fence had collapsed behind the old doctor's surgery and was causing a blockage in the drainage ditch that would almost certainly have caused flooding issues if not sorted, as it is a key point in the drainage system.

Wood sheets, corrugated metal, garden fencing and leaves were removed from the ditch.

Daved on the job

Zoe & Daved after the clearance (looking quite pleased with their work)

Well done guys!

Young BERT in action

This morning Young BERT cleared the leaves from the drainage ditch alongside the church, including the path, to the Old Surgery in Wheelers Lane. It was as always hard work undertaken cheerfully alongside our latest female recruit (we are always seeking recruits!).

Having first thing this morning worn their Bonfire hats to help re-turf The Green, then BERT headwear followed by Young Farmers caps as they assisted Martin Clipperton and a number of other local farmers to remove an ancient binder from the Red Barn. The binder it is hoped, will be restored to its 1930/40s appearance.

BERT would like to thank yet again, Councillor John Muggeridge of Bushberry Farm for allowing the use of his JCB and to take the leaves from the ditches. It could not have been done without his support.

The removal of vegetation from the ditches has become a critical issue for BERT who are considering using contractors with chippers so biomass products can be produced.

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Bob Bartlett


For several practical reasons, we have taken the decision to postpone the Work Party that is due to take place this coming Sunday (26/11).

If you see Simon and Young BERT out and about on Sunday, they are going to clear the leaves in the ditches in Wheelers Lane and by the Church Hall, but a new date will be set for some time after Christmas to clear the main drainage ditch, along with any other issues that may have arisen by then.

If you had planned to join us, we hope you will be able to find something to do with your Sunday morning that will be as much fun as digging a ditch. Difficult we know...

We will of course let you know the new planned date as soon as it is available.

Floods: How to stay safe when disaster strikes

Many lives have been lost throughout the world this year as the result of floods. This short video is being sent to all BERT and BEV volunteers :

BERT Work Party Sunday 26 November

Calling all Brockham residents - whether you have joined us on a previous Work Party or would like to come along and help out for the first time - we would love to see you on the day - even just an hour of your time would be helpful.

BERT Work Party Today

The weather was kind to us and we had a good turnout for this morning's work party - particularly as it is busy bonfire building time, which means that Simon and Young BERT have other work to keep them busy!

First, Bob Thomas formally thanked Ollie Neale who, as you know from recent emails, raised over £400 for BERT via his triathlon fundraising efforts. The donation has been used to fund a pump - now known as 'Ollie’s pump', which was signed by Ollie.

Image - Ollie signing the pump

Work was undertaken to clear the main drainage ditch from the allotments off Middle Street to the Tanners Brook and on to the bridge in Old School Lane.

Image - Material removed by BERT from ditch by pavilion

Image - Clearing the ditch in Oakdene Road

Drains were also cleared outside the school and church to prevent flooding. These drains fill with leaves and seem not to be a part of the regular council cleaning probably due (at least the church drain) to parked cars.

Image - Clearing leaves from drain by the church

Image - Drain gets some personal attention from Gary!

A crack identified some time ago in the bridge in Oakdene Road has been reported to SCC Highways. Though it was not visible due to the pile of vegetation, the bridge wall on the north side of the bridge was also cracked.

Image - Crack in bridge

Work started on the main drainage ditch was almost completed, but not all - a second work party will be organised after the bonfire.

Thank you to everyone who turned out - it was agreed that it had been a very useful morning's work.

Ollie's Triathlon Results

From Kelly Neale:

Thank you to everyone who supported and sponsored Ollie in his Triathlon on Sunday. Including Gift Aid we have raised over £400 for BERT, Thank you.

(The event page will still be open for a few more weeks for if anyone would still like to sponsor)

Ollie: There was a lot of waiting because my mum always gets us to places way too early, and the race was delayed, so we had ice cream and tried to follow the route to see where I would need to go.

The water was warmer than I thought it would be, which was lucky because my wetsuit was a bit big so let in water. I’m sure it was a lot further than 200 metres.

The bike ride was sometimes difficult because it started to rain and was really muddy, but cycling is my favourite part.

There were a lot of very serious competitors in the race, lots of them from Triathlon clubs, but I was just doing it for fun, and I teamed up with another boy during the race. At the beginning of the run, I got a stitch and had to walk a little, and my friend walked with me, later he got a stitch so we walked a bit again.

There was coke at the finishing line It was harder than I thought, but I haven’t trained a lot because I’m always rock climbing!

My little sister wants to do the triathlon next year- so watch this space!

(swim photo) I’m near the back with the white swim cap on!

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BERT note - We really appreciate that Ollie chose to use this event to raise funds for BERT activities in the village. We are hoping that he will be able to join us at the beginning of our Work Party on Sunday 8th October so that he can meet some of the BERT team and we can thank him properly!

Jubilee Terrace Residents in Action

Members of BERT assisted residents of Jubilee Terrace, Strood Green to clear the main ditch alongside the road which was one of the causes of houses flooding in 2013.

Time has passed since the flood but the risks are still there so get together with your neighbours and ensure the free flow of water. BERT will help with specialist tools.

This particular task took one hour and will put a number of minds to rest

Bob Bartlett

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BERT Team Leader Training Session

This morning we held a BERT Team Leader Training session.

The morning included briefing on Team Leader’s proficiencies (Bob Bartlett), Safeguarding (Zoe Collins), Health and Safety (Daved Shanks), operating with electricity in a wet environment (Trevor Hizzard) and operating pumps and generators (Steve Thorpe - ably assisted by BERT Chairman Bob Thomas).

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Thanks to Daved for organising a really useful session.

Also for information, since being awarded charity status, The BERT Trustees have been busy producing the necessary policies and procedures required of voluntary organisations. We are pleased to report that we have now completed most of the required documentation.

Sending Notes to BERT

A reminder please that if you want to contact us here at BERT HQ, please use the email address If you send in an item and type in the address that we send our community emails out on, they tend to get lost somewhere along the way..