Blue Flower

The wagon was moved to site last Saturday so we loaded up with fire extinguisher & fire bucket, books and photographs for inside the wagon as well as tools, drinking water and bird nesting boxes which were taken to the mill. The wagon looks good in its final location, the main doors give a view of the wheel and the kitchen window looks out to a field.

There were 9 volunteers working today. David put books from the Heritage Centre about waterways on the bookshelf and pictures of the restoration in progress on the display panels with historic documents and maps. Graeme connected an external gas cylinder to the stove.

Dennis made some bird boxes and these were put up in trees around the site by Dennis and Adam, with additional ones down the track on both sides of the river. While on the opposite side they noticed the box of cards on the notice board was empty so Graham put some in a plastic bag with stones to weigh it down and threw them across the river so they could refill the box. We passed the ladder to them over the pier as it was too big to take with them. On their way back they found a branch to use as a Kingfisher stick.

Eddie and Debra brought bricks over from the heap and cleaned them up and stacked them by the end wall ready for finishing the brickwork which will be done on Saturday. John and Graeme dug out earth from near the wall and found a small sheet metal sluice gate, a bone and piece of clinker.

We had our lunch in the wagon, tested the stove by making tea, and used the built in seating for 8 of us who were there, John brought sausage rolls for us again. Debra has bought some wild flower seeds which we will plant with grass seed in front of the wagon when the area is covered with soil. This should give a good view from the wagon and the footpath. Graham measured up the area so grass seed can be ordered, its 63 sq metres and we have just the right amount of wildflower seed for this.

In the afternoon the Kingfisher branch was trimmed and cut to size, drilled then screwed to the large wooden post in the river, we hope this will encourage Kingfishers and Wagtails to sit on it where we can see them. Adam spread out sand to dry, then filled the fire bucket with it and put it in the wagon with the extinguisher.

Dennis and Adam worked on an area next to the cistern where a metal rod with threaded end was found, it looks like a control rod, similar to a gear lever. Investigating with a trowel revealed traces of wood around a concrete structure, but we could not see where the other end of the rod goes, so Adam went into the cistern to look and take pictures but we could not see the other end of the rod. There is about 20cm of water in the cistern so we need to pump it out and go right in and see what’s going on. Finds from this area were a key, lead slate hook, and Debra found a large metal staple in a spoil heap.

Graham recorded all the finds of the day. The large metal plate found two weeks ago was shotblasted and covered with a light spray of zinc to preserve it, this was labelled and put in the container with the rest of the finds.

Back at The Maltings Dennis and John stayed on to continue working on the temporary bridge they started last week. This will be used for open days so people can cross from the footpath to the mill.

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