Blue Flower

There were two volunteers on site today, it was raining to start with so we stayed in the car for a while and discussed the Narborough School visit last Friday and the Whaling Course last Thursday.
The school visit went well, the pupils enjoyed their day and were enthusiastic and interested in the mill.

The visit to Kings Lynn museum for the whaling course was well attended and included a walk along the quay to the nearby Greenland whaling exhibition. However there was conflicting information given as it was stated that whale carcasses were thrown back into the sea and only blubber was landed, this was queried by members of our party and confirmed, but later the talk said whale bones were used to make dresses and corsets.

The recent article in the EDP was also discussed, it was comprehensive and interesting and should give good publicity. We discussed having a Christmas gathering on a Thursday in December with food for the volunteers and cakes for Graeme as a celebration of the work done, with a relaxed atmosphere in contrast to all the hard work we have done. 

We discussed plans to protect the site from frost damage and agreed that covering the top of the new walls with sandbags would be the first priority when we have enough people. Tesco have offered to help with this by sending staff to volunteer and we are in discussion with them about it.

Out on site we saw two people from the river authority on the opposite bank checking the wildlife and plants to monitor the effects of changes to the river made a few years ago to give it more natural characteristics after it was straightened in the old days to make it navigable. Four walkers also passed who read the sign and noted the website, they were from Durham and we talked about Durham Precision Engineering at Newton Aycliffe where I used to work in 2009. We tried to recruit them as volunteers but they said it was too far to travel.

The wet weather prevented us from fixing loose bricks around the hatches, so the downstream wall return was cleared of soil ready for the top course of bricks to be laid, this is due to be done soon. Many finds were among the soil here including a nail brush made of bone and a large sheet of metal with slates over the top found in situ. Several other items turned up, for details and pictures see the finds log. When soil had been removed from the top of the wall it was washed using a bucket on a rope to get river water and clean the top layer ready for new bricks to be laid.

A small area of the river was dredged recently and the resulting spoil heap was examined, the metal detector found a large sliding door bolt. A jaw bone with teeth and other bones were also found, something was seen on the river bed so it was retrieved with a rake and found to be a rib bone.

Before leaving site we walked to the blacksmith area, the river here has been cleared of weeds and brambles and looks more attractive. Part way down the bank is a flat concrete area and today we noticed some small pieces of coal and something written in cement when it was wet, which reads VW 1946. This could be worth pursuing to see if anything was going on there in 1946, so another mystery to try to solve.

Graham Bartlett    Interactive Plan         Volunteer       Previous        Next

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