There were only four of us this Tuesday so we tried cleaning the wheel pit with water power. With Christmas nearly upon us, the team today consisted of Martyn, Colin, Headley and Richard.
While Martyn and Richard mixed and poured concrete, Colin and Headley spent the morning clearing the bottom of the waterwheel pit. Colin shifted buckets while Headley shovelled rubbish from the bottom of the pit while trying to keep the water from filling his wellies. There were some interesting finds in the mud. One was a long chisel that we lost several weeks ago that we knew was in there somewhere but the broken gin-trap was a surprise. Another find elsewhere on the site was a glass bottle embossed “Parry’s Worcester”.
Once Headley’s feet were thoroughly wet and cold a decision was made to flush the last of the mud out by opening the penstock valve and letting whatever water was in the mill pool onto the wheel. Judging by the amount of mud being carried away downstream, this has worked well. At this point we adjourned for lunch.
After lunch Martyn and Richard tried to make a start on the side wall of the wheel pit. The lower part of this wall was built from large stone blocks, only roughly squared, all of which are scattered around the site. Imagine a three dimensional jigsaw puzzle with pieces that you can only just lift and you might have some idea of why we made little progress.
Colin and Headley opted for a (slightly) drier job and spent the afternoon session on the channel for the PTO shaft. By the time the light was fading we were all getting a bit cold, so we packed up smartly and headed for our homes.
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