So, as we left things last week “Grace” was sat outside at Rowsley and 14901 was ready to head off for a week's holiday in sunny Bury. So first thing Monday it was down to see the swap over. Andrew had the day off, and ran a few errands to Matlock sorting out a replacement fan belt for the winch engine, meanwhile a ramp was assembled, and with all sorted Grace was rolled down and whisked away by Charlie, and I brought 14 901 over and on to the bottom of the ramp. The 14 was loaded and headed north up the A6 with Andrew in pursuit to see it off and through an FTR.
These weeks are anything but normal, though come to think of it, I don't know what is “normal” at the Briddon Country Pile. On Monday Steph and I headed back to darkest Norfolk to return our grandson from his long weekend with us, and although there was muttered talk of “doing some work at the shed after you get back” there wasn't really much chance of it.
Here we are, nearly half way through the year. The longest day has come and gone. Wimbledon is in full swing. This time last year we were digging a test hole for the Structural Engineer, seeing site clearance finally underway at Darley and refitting the repaired turbo to 14 901.
Today is our 40th wedding anniversary. Weeks ago I told a certain director who was planning out the loco rostering to keep the weekend clear just in case we wanted to do something to celebrate the occasion. But the wires got crossed, and I was rostered as usual on Saturday and have next weekend clear. Steph meanwhile, with pragmatic foresight (if you can have such a thing) had offered to help Lynn in the “Break Van” cafe at the railway today as it was the annual bus-rally. But I am not entirely mean and miserly – I bought her a lemon muffin.
According to the counting system within the software that runs Weekend Rails, this is the 200th edition of the blog, which began back in July 2010 on Railnuts. It has become a part of the Briddon family tradition over that time: indeed, we often find ourselves hunting back through it as a means of checking dates when things happened. If you are a new reader, feel free to trip back down my memory lane. If you have been with me for all or most of that time – well, I'm touched, but you should consider getting out more!!
First of all, let me thank all those who e-mailed during the week offering their best wishes after my daughter's nuptials. She and her husband are now somewhere in Japan and hopefully enjoying every minute of it. For us though, it is back to normal.
This week seems to have been directed very much at “the shed”. On the one hand I have not quite kept up with an average of grouting one column per day – the weather has not been kind and some of our foundations, being 300mm below surrounding ground level, do not drain readily after rain. But anyway, on Tuesday I headed over to the planned cladding supplier to go through the specification and requirements for the roof.
So, what of the shed floor? Well, the e-mail arrived on Monday complete with a re-statement of the reasons why, but not really answering the questions I'd raised – a sort of “We are the experts, don't question our motives”. But their response might have been more effective if they'd remembered to attach the drawing itself. I got that on Tuesday, and despite having sent them a CAD drawing showing (a) the stools that we'd made after they'd insisted on lowering the foundations to 300mm below ground level and (b) exactly where the internal concrete panels had been located, they insisted that these points had no relevance to their drawings. Insofar as the purpose of the floor slab is to weigh down the foundations and ensure that our overhead crane, tearing up and down the building all day and twice as fast on Sundays, doesn't cause the whole caboodle to shake or waltz down to the river that may be true, but it is a bit galling to have them insist that their sectional drawings are “correct” when they cannot be true to what has actually been built.
At 08.30 Monday morning an e-mail polarised in my Inbox containing Revision C of the plans for the shed floor. My revised spec to the Structural engineers, which had included a large amount of “as built” information on CAD, had limited that area where the Mattersons are to be used effectively down to one quarter of the building. Thus while this retained the “nuclear shelter” concrete thickness, the remainder of the floor could be reduced to “normal” standards.
Right, make yourself a cup of tea, or pour a beer, because this might take some time. And for once, when sometimes I feel guilty that there is only one, or even none, in the way of photographs, this week there is lots to report and lots of pictures to show it with.