John has finished the repairs to the brick steps at the front of the mill after a much drier day at Shelsley Watermill. He is glad to have finished this bit but he hasn’t seen what we want him to do next!
We had a number of visitors this Thursday including Tim Booth from the Midland Mills Group. Tim likes to see how we are getting on with the restoration and is a great source of technical and historic mill information. He has shown us how the control valve would have worked on the penstock box, with a wooden slide inside the box moved by the control arms outside. Obvious, now we know!
Tim’s experienced eye also spotted a problem we had not noticed. One of the beams holding up the working floor had dropped about four inches in the brickwork, causing the floor to slope gently. As soon as he had left we got busy with an acroprop and with Headley and Richard swinging on an extension bar managed to raise the beam to its correct level. This is only one of several brick piers that will need to be built inside the mill to support timber beams that have suffered from damp penetrating the walls.
The brick lining to the sides of the tailrace are now almost up to ground level thanks to Martyn and his merry band of helpers and critics and the platform at the side of the waterwheel has been cleared ready for the reconstruction of the tufa and brick wall that retains the steps at that side of the mill. We even have a cupboard, donated by Colin & Drene, to store tools and sundries in. All in all a good day.
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