Tuesday, 13 September 2016

The Herald is back

As explained in the first posting of this new blog, the launch of the Hayles Abbey Herald was unimpressed by your blogger's immediately occurring holidays, but we are now back, and can report that the team has been completely unrestrained, and indeed has made great strides forward.

This report covers the activities of last Monday, Sept 5th. There were 9 volunteers on a rather damp and humid day.

Limbering up immediately on arrival by moving a few blocks is always useful to free up old joints and muscles. Blocks are never quite where you want them, and here Lyndon is sorting this out for us. Dave is very helpfully showing him where his heavy load may be released.

Horror of horrors, this was followed by a large delivery of another 120 blocks, which also turns out to be the final installment of our original order of 1200. Didn't we do well !

Better get some of these laid then...

Here the team is putting down the fourth and top row at the front of the southern end. Only a single, fifth row to go on top now.

New block supplies have been flung over the wall on to the embankment behind. Who is it that is so keen and strong this time in the morning?

A useful job in between was the (partial) removal of some of the undergrowth. Here Julian is snipping away at the heavy plant growth on the slope.

This is very necessary, as we need to see what we are doing when we start to lay the drainage pipe and start back filling. You can see that the slope is actually less steep than it appeared when covered in weeds.
We had 3 block laying teams in action with Jim H supplying a steady flow of mortar.  Shortly after lunch we had laid 120 approx blocks, which completed the back up row of blocks apart from the two extremities where the ramps are, and where the blocks need careful trimming.
Sadly, there were no doughnuts at all this time. But! An important 'but'. Paul had brought an alternative supply, viz two packs of Tesco's finest cream cakes. These were extensively tested.
So what do your reckon, Jim? ' Hmmmmmmm...'
Down by the southern catch pit, Tim's block construction to raise it to platform level was receiving its crowning glory:
A second hand drainage ring was heaved into position and carefully posed on a nice bed of mortar.

It was at this point that Tim said something apparently quite game changing, which made the others reel back in surprise. What on earth was it? Their lips are sealed. Perhaps a generous offer concerning the planned dinner at the close of works?

In the afternoon we mixed ten loads of ballast to make concrete for block filling.

 Ready for concrete..... give us all you've got!

This concrete filling is quite a slow process, as there are a lot of holes to be filled - two rows of holes, 4 deep, and as long as 2 Mk1 coaches. It is also very hard work for the poor chap on the mixer, as the demand is non stop and unrelenting. As soon as the barrow has been tipped into the holes, they are back for some more, so Jim only has moments to make up the next mix. His shovel is a blur.

By close of play we had filled 20 pairs of blocks. 

While this was going on Tim and Dave D set about laying row 5, the final one at the back.  It's a single row of blocks, against which the corbelling will sit.  Around a dozen of these were laid before the mortar ran out.

You can see the start that was made on the left.
That's it for Monday 5th. Of course we've had another day of work this Monday just passed, September 12th. We shall report on it in a day or two.

1 comment:

  1. An excellent days work ! Can't wait for the next instalment. It's like waiting for the next episode of a popular T.V. serial, in the days before computer downloads ! Regards, Paul.