So we have all but finished the building, the last big job was to finish the access ramp, which had been delayed by the lovely, wonderful, fascinating archaeology test pit that was where its foundations were going to be.
And that is done … Wednesday, we have an air tightness test, which is essential for Building Regulations, and then soon we will have the Building Control Inspector come and (hopefully) sign us off.
There are still odd jobs to do, putting up the soap dispensers and a paper towel holder in the loo, for instance. But nothing critical.
John, putting in a handrail
Viv and John M. working on the decking
Viv, making handrails
Viv, still working on handrails (not sure why I always get a back view)
the decking finished, theres work to be done on the rails yet!
At the very beginning of the construction, our Mission Statement was to build a high quality facility, and now we are reaching the end of the journey, the quality of the workmanship and thought that has gone into the Bluebell Centre is becoming apparent … in particular, the floor, recycled Oak from Pitzhanger Manor, collected, stored, moved, cleaned, laid, sanded, and now finished! gleaming and looking oh so beautiful.
Some other photos to complete the story to date
Now the site is cleared, we relandscaped it; there was a fence along here, but we are replacing it with a hedge.
the Team celebrate Christmas ….
there was a leak … here someone (Debbie, I think) hoovers up the water. Sadly this means that the Lab. Floor had to be lifted and the insulation removed.
Archaeology, finished for the year … so we backfilled the trench, a layer of sand to define and separate the discoveries from the infil, for the benefit of future archaeologists.
The Old hut has been cleared (a lot) and tiidied, and is now much more useable too. More work to do in here …
Floor sanding in progress;
The cause of the leak; a pipe joint gave way; seems the olive did not grip on the fitting
Len working on the new hedge line; we’ll underplant with whips and cuttings soon, in the hope that they root.
We had a skip;here it is, arriving, with some of its “fodder” – water damaged cupboards that we need to get rid of.
All welcome; wildlife have moved in already
The floor before sanding
The old Level Crossing gate (on the left) has come back into use, and we ve widened the opening to make it easier for the contractors, by adding this second smaller gate.
the floor before sanding
the finished floor
John Morrell doing something with the Electrics in the control cabinet
A fox has been seen ….
We ve started to move in to the Bluebell Centre. The first thing to go was 0ur Records Cabinet, a fireproof, beast of a thing; we needed lots of people to move it, so put out a call and did it on a Conservation Management Morning when there were able bodies aplenty. And we rebuilt the teaching circle, are putting in a new hedge, the Archaeology is finished, and there was a Birthday …
The move went well, and now the cupboard is restocked …
we were worried the cupboard would escape ….
tipping it on its side
7 strong men (and me!)
into the bluebell centre, and back the right way up
sliding it into the laboratory
the teaching circle
and Happy Birthday Charles!
Part of the Reserve Recovery … getting the Railway Gate back in place, and putting in a new gate.
& we re putting in a new hedge
Happy Archaeology team … the dig is completed
and this is what it is all about. explanations to follow …
The Records are Home …
The Bluebell Centre has arrived … we’ve had some beautiful Oak Letters “in stock” for a while (and had some fun playing with them … ) and today, very, very carefully, they were put up. And the effect is wonderful ..
Suddenly the building has identity and character.
That’s not the only progress today!
The Bluebell and the Bluebell Centre …
Part of the tidy up is to create a timber store so spare timber is kept available for use later.
what a team … they have put so much into it .. from left, John Sears, John Morrell, and Viv Cane Honeysett. Thank You all!
John OH SO Carefully putting those precious letters up
a cold and frosty morning, and seasonal headgear is in vogue
Cold, frosty, but very beautiful …
John sorting out the guttering
Let the archaeology continue!
One of the “to do” jobs was the guttering … we’d decided that it ought to be done by a Contractor, Southern Gutter Systems, to whom thanks … they even ran of an extra length for the boot room, at no extra! Much appreciated guys!
On reason was the choice of material … we’ve used a seamless, formed on site aluminium. As it’s aluminium, it will never corrode, and it is readily recyclable at the end of it’s life.
Being formed on site, there are only joints where it goes round corners, so less to leak and maintain. and it came pre-coloured, so will not need painting. Ever!
It came on a roll, as flat aluminium strip, and a nifty machine on the back of the van rolled it out, and formed it to shape. As it came out, reinforcing struts were fitted, and it was rolled out to suit the length of the building. Then lifted into place as a single piece, and jointed at the corners.
We’ve guttered the flank and the sides; the back runs off straight into the ditch, and we’ve not worried about down pipes or chains – the discharge runs out direct into the ditch. I’m told there are plans to make gargoyles, and I’m not sure they are joking.
Forecast for Thursday afternoon is “heavy rain shower”, so a chance to test it. Photos of the wonderful machine, and those magnificent men with their guttering machine …
From roll to gutter
a short piece to go over the boot room door.
the main lenght, getting longer
the profile and a brace
We have two photographers on site, John Morrell and Deborah Worsley, and their uploads do not always synchronise, so some of these are a bit out of sync. but worth sharing anyway!
So the boot room floor is laid, the gutters come on Tuesday; and lots of other odds and ends going on … the big, remaining jobs are finishing the Ramp (making allowance for the Archaeology test pit that is still being worked in), sanding and sealing the floor, and making the cupboards in the boot room. There are about 40 other jobs listed, but lots of them are “cleaning”.
Insulating the window boxes has involved careful work cutting and fixing insulation board, most of which has been salvaged from skips!
Window boards going in
window boards completed; and a template being made for the vertical.
levelling the drainage gulley
forming the boxking for the mullion covers .. precise work
probably a chance for a caption competition! actually theyre carefully packing the grid that will form and reinforce the wheelchair path
boot scrapers … doing a great job already!
boot room floor going in
John fixing wiring for the external light
Making good around the skirting
random pink car being repaired. I m sure theres a rational explanation.
another caption competition opportunity … actually theyre sieving the soil to pack in the ramp
Team, teabreak, sunshine
Viv pressure washing the path; not actually washing it but compacting the soil into the grid.
Team; tea, no sunshine!
Peter putting the drainage gullies in
Teamwork; Viv and John work on the mullion boxings … a perfect job!
It must be cold. Mikes wearing clothes!
Liz. working in the Kitchen
And this is what its about; the next generation, preparing the Wood so it can be used to educate, and inspire future generations of ecologists, conservationists.
They take some time, but all the work now is visible, so its important they are done neatly, well, to a high standard … so progress is relatively slow, but very real … as you can see the boot room floor is being laid, Len.’s made a beautiful job of boxing in the front of the basin unit in the corridor, with spare roof Shakes, which looks amazing, and lots of people have been working to finish the ramp, which looks great (will be better when the grass has grown)
Not the most dignified position for an 86 year old, but …
these are the insulated covers for the shutter boxes, which have been carefully crafted by Thomas, our wonderful carpenter, tailored by John Sears, insulated by Viv Cane Honeysett and Deborah Worsley and finally fitted by John S. … Perfect job.
Ingrid and John sieving the soil
But not finished, the wooden pillars need boxing in too.
Mud pies …. filling the reinforcing mesh with soil
Viv making sure its perfect
Barrowloadss of soil brought in
Boot room floor being laid
Lens making progress with the panelling
The team at work on the ramp and path
Ingrid and Deborah screen the soil so we get a “fine tilth”
It is official, it is downhill to completion; some of the jobs are quite big still, but a couple we are planning on getting contractors in to do, which will speed it up. So far we are on budget
The to do list includes …. sanding the floor, filling and sealing it (last!), and putting guttering up – we think a job for the pro’s. Today we’ve been plumbing in the basins, in the corridor, completing the accessible loo, treating the corridor with the special fire retardant paint. Completed is the fire alarm, and the intruder alarm is close to completion.
The Wheelchair ramp makes progress; there will be a plastic matrix and grass on top.
John replaced all the doors
Andy, pretending to be a plumber! the corridor will contain 4 basins (preloved, from Ebay!) so that vistors can wash their hands and not keep the loos occupied!
John S Trims the covers for the blinds; beautifully curved ply, very organic!
The Boot Room steps. completed.
Viv – thats not a huge mug of tea (honest) but the fire retardant paint.
We’ve been prioritising outdoor work while the weather lasts, so we ve been working on the steps, the Access Ramp and enjoying the sunshine; but inside work has been continuing, the accessible loo is all but complete (theres a 400 mm long bit of waste pipe to put in). The boot room is nearing completion; the steps are complete, the ramp is making good progress – we are going to build over the Archaeology Test Pit (we’ll let Kim out first) and have removable sections so the dig can continue when the weather and time permit
Peter W, not trusting the roof …
John K … laying a drain to prevent waterlogging
Viv working in the boot room
Sunshine, through our beautiful stained glass windows; what an effect
The plumber, lying down on the job ..
Boot room steps in progress
The Ramp, and the archaologists doing something important in the background
Walking (with the) Plank; the Johns at work
Gill prepping the corridor for the fire retardant paint
The wheel barrows have a rest
Debs. touching in the eaves.
Len, just why he’s taking a socket set in the loo is a mystery!
A rare tea break.
Mike and Kamal clearing the spoil heap
John K and the drain pipe (honest!).
Another rare tea break
Pow wow on the steps
I cant believe its been a month since the last blog … partly due to my being away; progress continues …. the floor is finished (but needs sanding and sealing) the polytunnel is down; the site is much clearer, the alarms are almost completed, the boot room is fully enclosed, and looking great. Loos are all but complete (need a catch on the Accessible Loo and some more hand rails, plus the basin to be fitted).
There is more to be done …. the ramp needs finishing; basins to install in the corridor, the floor to be sanded and sealed, guttering would be nice! lots of bits and pieces.
Photos, of course,say more than words
clearing the site, Mike and Ingrid doing a great job
Viv was working near a wasp nest so her bee suit came in handy.
Charles, tidying up
Boot room Ceiling;
Sealing the boot room walls.
Kim, archaeology test pit being expanded
John working on the boot room walls,
Len. working on the floor
Deborah, a finishing touch to the floor
Viv touching in the buildings paint
Boot room completed at the back
Peter putting in window surrounds
The steps, complete
The back … tidy and clear!!