Mud Problem
29th March 2007

The team consisted of Colin, John, Dave, Max, Headley and Richard. Martyn put in brief appearance in the morning but left to try and sort out the Stag. We all seem to have tasks to complete and work started smoothly as ever.

Nearly complete front wall

As soon as Richard had got a mortar mix going John and Dave got on with some bricklaying. John worked on the wall from the front of the mill round the corner to the side of the waterwheel pit while Dave continued to build up the channel for the PTO shaft. As you can see from the picture, John’s wall is complete as far as the start of the wheel pit, apart from the capping bricks. These double bull-nose bricks seem to have disappeared from site over the years and we are a little short of good ones. We have been given some by a MAC member and they should be arriving next week but if you know of a source of free bricks we would love to hear from you. You can use our ‘Contact Us’ page or leave a message at the MAC office.

Headley, assisted by Colin, got on with replacing the waterwheel buckets, first by cutting out three corroded buckets and then fitting two new ones. It was cutting out the old buckets that caused the problem with the mud. The particular buckets being removed where rusty but still intact which meant that they could hold water. Water is not really the right word for what they hold, it is too stiff to be drinkable and you really do not want to know how it smells. Headley had successfully cut out three buckets and their back plates and was cleaning out the sockets for the buckets ready to drop new ones in when a large glob of mud dropped from the next bucket to be removed straight down the back of his neck. It must have come as a bit of a shock because there was quite a long pause before he said anything. The rest of us thought it was hilarious.

The newly relaid floor

By the end of the day we had another pair of new buckets installed, making three pairs in all spaced around the wheel. The next step will be to make some more, along with the simpler back plates. We now have excellent templates for making up all the necessary parts and we know how to go about fitting them. Progress indeed.

Max spent the day inside the mill relaying the brick floor that was disturbed when we investigated the drainage. Before he could even start this job he had to do a lot of tidying up just to get at the floor. Mill restoration is a messy business and we are not always that careful about leaving everything neat when we get to the end of a working day. The result of Max’s labours is clear to see in the photo, a nice clear floor without any holes apart from the drains.

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