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Spring Cleaning - Watermill Blog
23rd February - 4th March 2010

The weather is slowly releasing its wintery grip and  we are Spring cleaning in preparation for the forthcoming season.

Teams have varied in size, with just two of us on the 23rd, when it snowed again, up to a turn out of ten on the 4th.

The Spring cleaning has helped to quantify the level of our problem with rats. Clearing away all the evidence from the winter lay-off has shown that we only have the occasional visiting pest, not the infestation that we feared.

Traps have not been sprung and bait has mostly been left untouched, so we hope we have the problem under control. Scrupulous hygiene will be essential in future, particularly with grain and meal.

Snowdrops by the cascadeThe mill pool has weathered the winter well not least because the Court House team diverted the stream to a small holding pool that feeds an ornamental cascade. This keeps the worst of the silt from reaching the main pool, as well as looking good.

The pool is attracting wildlife and we have seen moorhens and ducks on and around it. We have also found the clear marks of a small deer near the water's edge, but we haven't identified what type it is yet, either Roe deer or Muntjac from the size of the slots.

Work has resumed on re-building the Bamfords Quick mill and Finton has found a length of line shaft that can be used to extend the existing shafting in the hayloft to drive it. We have re-fixed the necessary shaft support and hopefully we can find some bearing shells to fit the plumber blocks that we already have.

New guard ropesWe have also found a length of shaft to retore the overhead drive to the downstream stones. Again we need to source plumber blocks and bearing but we are making progress.

Kim arrived on the 4th with some stainless steel stanchions to support guard ropes inside the mill. These are intended to warn visitors away from the moving machinery and the  steps. As there was no such item originally we decided these were best made obviuosly new.

A list of jobs has been drawn up and there is still quite a lot to do, even though most of the jobs are more about maintenace than repair. Watch this space for more details.

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