Blog

  1. Can you dig it? Yes you can! Shining a Light on the Humble Shovel

    Shovel by Courtney NashAny groundworker will know that even in these days of mechanical diggers, the humble shovel is still an invaluable tool for digging into the ground, moving earth and scooping up debris. 

    Part of the fabric of any building site, they are not an item that gets much attention – but at Drainfast we felt they deserved to shine.

    Humans have been moving earth since Neolithic times. Evidence of this comes from animal shoulder blade bones found at various archaeological sites with tell-tale wear-and-tear. They may have been attached to a wooden handle which of course has long since rotted away.

    Ancient Romans – with their knowledge of how to work metal and the desire to build – moved shovel design on to be more in keeping with what we use today. Metal and wood pro

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  2. Celebrating World Art Day with Manhole Covers

    Japanese manhole cover

    Everyone is familiar with manhole covers. An intrinsic part of the patchwork of every village, town and city, we played around and on them as children and recognise the distinctive sound of someone walking or driving over them.  But how often do we actually notice them? They are a frequently-overlooked part of the fabric of our environments, but on closer inspection, they have an inherent beauty all of their own.

    Perhaps here at Drainfast we notice them more than most due to the nature of our work but we can thoroughly recommend taking a look down at what is under your feet every day – you may find some unexpected surprises!

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  3. The Ultimate Builder’s Bucket List

    The Ultimate Builder’s Bucket List

    By now, everyone has become familiar with the term ‘bucket list’ – a phrase used to describe a collection of experiences you want to try before you die. For this month, we’ve put together this fun list of life-enhancing activities to stimulate your imagination. Which will make YOUR bucket list?

     

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  4. Underground Creatures: Myths and Legends of Earth Dwellers

    Underground Creatures: Myths and Legends of Earth Dwellers

    What unusual earth dwellers might a Groundworker come across?

    The Knockers

    These little people are well known to the Welsh, Cornish and Devon folk, especially the miners.

    They’re about two feet tall and they live underground. Rare sightings report that the Knockers often wear miner’s gear and they are responsible for random mischief such as stealing unattended tools, food and clothing.

    Their name comes from the knocking sounds that echo around a mine just before a cave-in. Whether the Knockers were warning about the imminent cave-in or causing it by knocking on the walls and supports is unknown. But the Cornish tin miners were sure that the Knockers were the spirits of deceased miners killed in previous accidents and the knocking was a warning to get out!

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  5. Construction Worker Gift Ideas – Cool & Useful Solutions for the Hard to Buy For

    Construction Worker Gift Ideas – Cool & Useful Solutions for the Hard to Buy For

    Stuck for gift ideas or feel like giving yourself a treat? No problem, we’ve got you covered!

    Here’s some stocking filler solutions anyone in construction would be pleased to receive.

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  6. 5 Top Construction Simulator Games

    5 Top Construction Simulator Games

    Ever fancied driving a bulldozer, building on the moon or creating a high security prison from scratch? With the latest construction simulator games you’re no longer restricted to the projects of your day job! Take a look at these brilliant construction simulators and see what you could create.

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  7. “That’s F for Freddie, A for Apple, S for Sugar, T for Tango.”

    “That’s F for Freddie, A for Apple, S for Sugar, T for Tango.”

    Ever heard, or had a phone conversation like that? Of course you have. But where did all those “S for sugar” terms come from?

    At Drainfast, we spend a lot of time talking to our customers over the phone. One thing we need to get right when taking an order is details such as postcodes and product codes. We often use the phonetic alphabet to make the pronunciation of similar sounding letters such as S and F distinctively clear to those we’re speaking to. But how did the phonetic alphabet all start?

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  8. Land Drainage Creates the Tallest Man Made Waterfall

    Land Drainage Creates the Tallest Man Made Waterfall

    In an epic battle to improve land drainage and prevent disease, the Romans created the world’s tallest man made waterfall in Italy. We explore this remarkable feat of Roman civil engineering called The Cascata Delle Marmore (Marmore’s Falls); the tallest man made waterfall in the world.

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  9. Geotextiles: Explained – AND they protect the world’s oldest footprints

    Geotextiles: Explained – AND they protect the world’s oldest footprints

    Geotextiles were originally intended to be an alternative to granular soil filters. They’re also known as filter fabrics, which was their original intended name. They first came into prominent use during the 1950s when Geotextiles were placed behind precast concrete seawalls. They were also used under precast concrete erosion control blocks, beneath large stone riprap, and in other erosion control situations.

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  10. A Navvy’s Life: A look at the life of the Navigators who shaped Britain

    A Navvy’s Life: A look at the life of the Navigators who shaped Britain

    The Navvies were the manual labourers working on civil engineering projects that propelled the Victorian industrial revolution.

    The term ‘Navvies’ came from a shortening of ‘Navigator’, a job title for those that dug out the numerous canal systems of the 18th & 19th Century. The term was subsequently adopted for manual labourers working on railways, tunnels, drainage and sewage systems, bridges and dams all over Britain and the world.

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