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.

Find us online

Visit our website at

Join our mailing list

Brockham Community Email, Bulletin and Alert list

Cancel Join now

Latest posts

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!

Click here for image 2

Click here for image 3

Click here for image 4

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

Click here for image 2

Click here for image 3

Click here for image 4

Click here for image 5

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).

Click here for image 2

Click here for image 3

Click here for image 4

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..

BERT Work Party - Sunday 8 October

The purpose is ditch clearance, with a primary focus on the main drainage ditch that meanders from roughly the Middle Street Allotments to Old School Lane.

We aim to clear overhanging vegetation and rubbish blocking the water path along this primary route which was the cause of the flooding of so many homes in 2013.

Please arrive at 9:45 am for a prompt 10:00 am start. End time is at or near 12:00 noon.

We will meet at the old doctor's surgery in Wheeler's Lane, across from the school.

BERT will supply gloves and tools but do bring your own if available to increase capacity and reduce the time to complete the task.

Just an hour of your time will make a huge difference!

BERT Stall at the Fair

Preparations for the Victorian Village Weekend have begun with the arrival of the fun fair rides. Simon and the Young BERT team were putting up the flagpoles around the green this morning.

BERT will be having a stall at the fair, where we will have some of the equipment - pumps, lights etc. on show and a chance for you to get involved in seeing how some of it works.

We will also be providing cups of tea / coffee (for a donation to BERT of course!).

We would love to see you for a chat and a cuppa - whether you want to talk to us about becoming a BERT volunteer, or whether you just want to find out more about what we do in the village.

If you have sold anything via community email and have not got round to sending in a donation, feel free to add to the donation bucket on the stall!

Hope to see you there.

BERT Have Had a Busy Morning!

Even when there are no floods to worry about, there are always jobs to do!

The nettles around the bridge have been strimmed by Simon and Young BERT in readiness for the Nursery duck race next week.

Bob T and Trevor have been using the BERT camera to try to find what causes the flooding problems near the junction of Wheelers Lane / Oakdene Road - see pic.

The camera pictures can be uploaded to YouTube and are available directly to MVDC so they can take any remedial action. Amazing!

Young BERT in action this morning

Young BERT in action this morning under Team leader Simon Budd, in Nutwood Avenue and Nutwood Close following flooding on Friday. The difficulty in Nutwood Avenue could not be resolved mainly because there are ongoing works and the new drain does not seem to be of sufficient size to cope with heavy rain.

In Nutwood Close two drains were lifted with great difficulty and found to be full of soil. Six garden bins full were taken from each drain. A third drain was “discovered” underneath a great deal of tree debris in the road. This too was emptied with great difficulty as it was full of roots. A round manhole cover could not be removed as it has been tarmacced into the surface.

Residents will be aware of the need to keep the road swept of tree detritus and litter probably from dustmen to stop this material being washed into and blocking drains.

It was said that the large leylandii trees in Nutwood Close are the subject of a dispute between SCC Highways and the housing association that now owns a former MVDC owned property. This does need to be resolved and the trees cut back to reduce the opportunity for washing vegetation into the drains and blocking them putting homes at risk.

The Flood Forum are asked to deal with the contractors to ensure the new drain in Nutwood Avenue is considered up to the task and to bring Highways and the Housing Association dispute to a resolution

Bob B

Click on these links or more images of the morning's work:







BERT Deployed Today

Thought you would like to know that at about 1615 this afternoon a call was received from 4 Nutwood Close where there was a threat of water incursion into the house. Workmen have been in the road addressing this issue for about two weeks but a new drain did not help. A second drain is completely blocked by tree debris.

Click here for second photo - after owner swept water away for 15 mins but it was up to step

Trevor Hizzard responded at once supported by Simon Budd as he entered the village from work. Mr and Mrs Heppenstall (BERT volunteers from Nutwood Avenue) turned out. Other BERT members volunteered but were not required.

More sandbags are being obtained and will be left at Nutwood Close.

A successful small operation but we do need more people to pop up from the list of BERT volunteers. It is appreciated that the majority of you are at work.

Thanks to all those involved.

Bob B