JCB Work at Shelsley Mill

JCB at work

The highlight of today’s session was the JCB work put into reducing the bank alongside the mill. Dave loves playing with the little JCB 801 and also got some advice and instruction from a professional who was working in the farmyard.

Contractors are clearing the building rubble from the farmyard and agreed to let us use their tractor and tipper trailer for some earth moving while they ate lunch. Opportunities like this are too good to miss, even if it means some rapid re-arrangement of the site.

Before we could get the trailer to where it was needed we had to move the old timekeepers’ hut that has stood near the President’s Barn for some time. A few fence posts as rollers and a good pull from the JCB eventually re-located the hut at the end of the open barn, out of the way for now.

Moving the old timekeepers hut

With that done and a certain amount of rubbish carted away Dave was able to get on with the excavation of the bank. If the JCB had headlights he would probably still be there!

Colin and Drene are back from their trip to Australia and were pleasantly surprised by the progress made in their absence. It was good to see them back, and hopefully they will get over the jet-lag soon. No sooner than we get one regular team member back we lose another as Martyn is off to South Africa soon. On the other hand, Martyn’s recent record of part-time working means that we might not notice he’s gone.

The wall is nearly finished!

Elsewhere on site, Max and Derek raised the height of the tufa wall alongside the waterwheel. This is now as high as it is going to get, the rest of the wall will be built in brick, using the stonework as a base.

John, as ever, laid bricks. Inside the mill the largest pier is virtually complete and we will lower the beam onto it next week when the mortar has had time to set. All three of the smaller piers have now been started, although the one nearest the door hasn’t risen very far. These three smaller piers are against the wall that the JCB work is intended to make a bit dryer than it is at the moment. The banking seems to have been extended over the years, holding damp against the brickwork and rotting the floor joists, hence the piers to support the shortened joists.

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