Blue Flower

Scaffold has been removed from the water wheel and on Wednesday two of us walked down the riverside path. The view across the river shows the new brickwork and the wheel with its new steel buckets really well. We noticed steel strips have been fitted to the gate frame where the sluice boards slot in. The arch is now permanently fixed to the walls and dowels have been fitted in the joints. The frame is the first feature of the mill to be seen when approaching from either side, and it will look even better when the wood mellows to a darker colour. All the Geotextile sheets are still in place although the one over the hammer mill was flapping in the wind. We saw a buzzard near the mill, and further down near the pumping station bridge we saw a Kingfisher twice, but as usual we could not get a picture. On the way back we saw two Barn Owls hunting over the fields and sitting on the fence.

On Thursday there were five of us working and we met at the yard to look at the railway wagon which was moved last Saturday. There is a lot of work to do as it needs refurbishing to use as a visitor center and volunteer base at the bone mill. Using numbers printed on the side of the wagon, we researched and found it was made in 1957 at Warrington.

The first job was to clear up at the barn where the wagon came from, so we all went there and finished sorting through the wood we moved out of the wagon. Most of it was tidied and covered up ready for use as fuel on the logburners in the house, and the rest was burned on a big bonfire. When we were moving the wagon, the machines churned up the grass beside the driveway, so this was repaired and levelled using a garden roller found on site. Puddles were forming in the driveway so earth was barrowed from near the entrance and put down to fill them in, then it was rolled flat. There are a number of other items that need taking apart and burning including a barn and tree house so we will have more working parties there, as we all enjoy a good bonfire.

After lunch four of us went back to the yard and started working on the railway wagon. We removed bolts holding plywood panels to the frame and most came out easily, but some had to be ground off. A few of the wooden panels have now been taken off and we tested a needle gun which removed the rust and scale from the metal frame effectively. When taking out the top bolts using a ladder we were able to inspect the roof which is badly rotted and needs replacing. The door width and overall internal height were measured for working out the interior layout. A pair of metal canopy supports has been fabricated to enable the wagon to be covered while working on it, as most of the work will be done over winter when we can’t work at the mill, as the site is covered up to protect from frost and the track is very slippery.

We looked at ideas for the internal layout and discussed what we think is needed. Volunteer seating, a kitchen area and storage for supplies were suggested. We then discussed plans for next week, as Thursday is Christmas Eve we will have a working party on Wednesday 23 December instead when we will continue working on the railway wagon.

Graham Bartlett       Interactive Plan            Volunteer          Previous      Next

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