Tuesday 27 November 2012

A couple more weeks' odd jobs

Richard cleans the burr stone
 Over the past 2 Tuesdays we have pottered ahead:

  • We finished cleaning the burr stones and tun, including dismantling, cleaning and re-lubricating the top bearing, before putting the whole thing back together.
  • We sorted some of the stones in the kiln room to try to identify the ones that made up the arch.
  • We began to dismantle the launder ready for rebuilding.  This started with the removal of the wooden railings and some of the bolts holding the side joining plates.
  • We designed the fixings for two pulleys to run the rope for the sack hoist under the hurst staging where it eventually wraps round the lay shaft.
  • We continued to work on the shelling stone stone nut.
  • We made a box to contain the sand counterweight that sits on the dump valve lever.
  • We had a long meeting with Sara and Trust archaeologist Jamie Lund to discuss the project to rebuild the kiln and improve visitor access.
  • We helped garden volunteer Jim to celebrate his birthday by eating the enormous chocolate cake his wife had provided.

Mike prepares the launder
...with George

Jim and his cake

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Another busy Tuesday

Before we started, we had to have a picture of
all 3 of us with our Marsh Heritage Award

 We carried on fitting the first pulley for our revised sack hoist, first filing out the casting to fit the bolt we used as axle, then mounting it between the wooden supports.  We gave a lot of thought to the lift itself, as it would be useful to be able to hoist our "Really Useful" boxes as well a sacks.  A platform, with or without sides, attached by chains which would open the trapdoor, seemed to be favourite.  We also removed the stop mechanism actuator from the old sack hoist because it was in the way.  In the process we revealed quite a lot of woodworm activity in the roof truss - fortunately only in the outer few mm.

Richard carried on fitting the discs to the No 1 stone nut, and George and Mike cleared 8 barrowloads of rubble from the pit.  We fitted a bolt to the new "gate" across the front of the kiln.

Later we dismantled the tun and lifted the No 2 runner stone so we could hoover out all the grain and stuck flour.  We left the stone supported on blocks so we can lift it fully and check the bearing

Monday 12 November 2012

Presentation of the Marsh Heritage Volunteering Award

Bob and Richard receive the award from
Brian Marsh applauded by Dame Fiona Reynolds

On Saturday November 10th Bob and Richard, with Sylvia, attended the AGM of the National Trust to collect their Marsh Heritage Award.

The AGM itself was much more interesting than we had expected.  The big names at the helm of the Trust, particularly the Chairman Simon Jenkins, proved to be very good at fielding questions from the floor and delivering thoughtful and believable answers.

The meeting was dominated by the departure of  the Director General, Dame Fiona Reynolds.  She had obviously created a powerful impression on those she worked with, and earned deep respect and loyalty.  The tributes paid to her were very fulsome and emotional.
Brian Marsh poses with us and
our plaque and certificate

The time finally came for us to go up on the stage and receive our plaque and certificate from the founder and chairman of the Marsh Christian Trust, Brian Marsh, to loud applause from the large crowd of members at the meeting.

This may not be the place to discuss it, but I couldn't help feeling there is a disconnect between the lofty ideals of Simon Jenkins & co and the reality of the 67,000 volunteers who are mainly loyal to their property rather than the abstraction of the Trust.

The Plaque

The Certificate

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Access to the kiln

Richard surveys the
newly-hinged fence
We spent today fixing supports and hinges to the fence in the kiln room so that we could swing it out of the way to improve access.  Anything is better than having to climb the fence every time, especially for those of us with short legs.

Richard continued to file the steel discs for the shelling stone stone-nut to improve their fit on the taper.

We also removed the handle and main gear from the winnower so the handle shaft can be repaired.