A Finish Off Day

A finished pier.

The Court House team have been working on the mill-pool dam, removing all the insecure brickwork and clearing the spillway. It works! The heavy rain has almost filled the top pool so that the ornamental cascade was actually flowing. This does mean that there must be a leak somewhere as the water level was not high enough to come over the top of the cascade. This is not our problem, but it is difficult to ignore something that is going to have such an impact on the environment around the mill and the hill.

The team for the day was made up of Colin, Headley, John, John, Derek and Richard. Martyn put in brief appearance wearing a suit so it was obvious that he was not intending to work. At least we know he remembers where the mill is. The rest of us made the most of a beautiful sunny day with hardly a cloud in the sky.

After a week’s holiday in Eastbourne John was delighted to be back to laying bricks. His first job was to finish off the piers inside the mill, just the last course to tidy things up. The top picture shows one of the piers in its finished state. That done, he returned to the retaining wall above the waterwheel that we took him away from to build internal piers.

The control wheel for the sluice box.

Derek and the other John worked to clear and burn the brushwood and fallen branches from around the mill. Apart from a brief period when they appeared to be trying to smoke out the builders working on the roof of the long barn they had a successful day. The area is almost tidy now and does look much better.

Colin and Richard worked at the top of the centre post to finish off bolting the top bearing into place and then Colin assisted Headley while he drilled and tapped a couple of holes in the top of the sluice box for a blanking plate. Richard spent half an hour or so getting the key for the sluice box hand wheel to a proper fit. All we need now to finish off this job is a nice wooden handle. The lower picture shows the hand wheel, still lacking a handle.

I’ve just noticed that this is the 50th article in the restoration diary and that doesn’t include the history articles. We have done a lot of work and made good progress but there will be lots more to write about in the months to come. Next milestone has to be the 100th article!

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