Like all building projects, things don’t always go to plan!
The start of the month saw a great clear out of the, very restricted space in front of the Cottage. Porta cabins were removed and materials stacked around the site perimeter to make space for the six ton drilling rig which turned up to drill the bore holes that will support our underfloor heating.
But it’s not just a drilling rig. To keep the drill bit lubricated and to clear away the debris of drilling, water is forced down the middle of the drill bit that then washes up the outside back up to the surface again. Here it is collected and pumped into a large settling tank where the sludge is extracted so the water can be used again.
So, besides the drilling rig there is a very large settling and water tank and a large pump and air compressor.
Four bore holes were drilled, each going down to 127meters. It’s definitely a messy process with lots of water and muddy slurry sloping about even if the weather is fine – which it wasn’t. Our bore holes were unusual in that at about 80 meters, when they cut into the sandstone layer, they came across an artesian well. No it didn’t come gushing out but it was a constant flow of very brown, iron rich mineral water that only added to the general water on site.
Drilling continued to the full depth and then two plastic pipes (with a ‘U’ bend return) were forced all the way to the bottom of the hole. The whole bore hole was then backfilled with a special cement to hold everything in position.
Eventually, after two rig breakdowns, the four bores had been drilled and capped so now all you see are four pairs of pipe stubs sticking out of the ground.
The rig and its entourage finally went away on the 29th leaving the front of the Cottage looking like a scene from a WWI battle!
And the scaffolding? At last on Monday 5th October the scaffolders were able to get on site to start the removal of the tin roof and the dismantling of our ‘tent’.
Inside, work has continued with plastering, plumbing and generally fittings along with all the myriad of small jobs that always emerge when carrying out any building work.
October will see the scaffolding coming down to at least gutter level and the roof being tiled so that everybody should start to see the changes to this remarkable building.
We are looking for volunteers to help run this wonderful refurbished building. A wide range of opportunities will be available, in flexible time slots to suit volunteers, both within our education and local history programme as well as just keeping the building operational. If you are interested, please send us an email with your details.