Blue Flower

There were 6 of us today, a big pile of sand was there, so we filled all the sandbags we had ready to place on the pier and brick floor. The latest sandbags did not have strings to tie them up, so we improvised and cut off the excess string from bags on the wall, none of us had a knife, and the saw was missing so we resorted to stone age tools, finding a sharp piece of slate which cut the strings easily. There is still work to be done on the wooden arch over the river, so the pier could not be sandbagged yet, but plenty of bags have been put nearby ready for this. The plan is to use the sandbags in the river which are holding the scaffold down to cover the brick floor when the scaffold is removed. 

Plastic boxes were purchased for storing finds and sheets of polystyrene were brought along so we took them to the mill and stored them in the large green lockup. Some finds will be on display at the heritage centre. Today’s finds were a piece of coprolite, a knife handle and two nails. These were recorded and stored in one of the new boxes.

We also put rubble down on the sloping area leading up to the riverside track, as this was becoming very slippery. The recent high winds had blown down some of the fencing protecting the tunnels so this was put back and the fence posts hammered back in. The sign on the opposite bank was removed while the timber arch was installed so this was put back in place.

The upstream brick floor bolts and brackets were dug up again to see if we could find the other end, but although the full length of one bolt was uncovered the other end was within a solid piece of wood, so it was photographed and the floor put back ready to be covered over. The large brick base near the containers was dug at the edge last week and today we tried to see how deep the foundations are, but it was difficult to dig any further down.

Up river from the blacksmiths area, the river bank was cleared of weeds to try and find the trench entrance, as a photo taken from the opposite bank showed a possible opening, but nothing was found. We looked at the wheel to see how to lock it to the metal plate to prevent movement. This could be achieved with two bars padlocked together over the top and bottom of the buckets and metal plate.

We decided to cover the cistern top with geotextile and soil because if the brick top was damaged by frost it could collapse in and destroy this feature. While working here we looked at ideas for having a hinged cover with a wooden or metal flap and grille over the hatch, so both could be hinged open for viewing and access. We measured out enough geotextile to cover the top but it was too tough for our slate axe and we struggled to cut it to size. We started to cover it with soil but then had to shelter from heavy rain. By 2pm it was still raining hard so we finished early. Next week we will bring a knife and cut out the corner for the hatch and cover the rest with soil.

Tesco were due to join us today, but due to staff illness they were unable to attend. They have been invited to join us again soon but in the run up to Christmas the store will be very busy, so we may not see them until the new year.

Graham Bartlett      Interactive Plan         Volunteer       Previous      Next       

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