Whats Happening ?

Like a couple of convicts

Today Trevor and Adrian took a trailer to Beam Quarry to collect some walling stone.  The owners of the quarry, Torrington Stone (Mr Brian Setchell, retired, and his son, Peter) have kindly donated 5 tons of selected stone to the restoration of Sea Lock. Trevor and Adrian were allowed to rummage about on several large piles of different sized stones and hand-picked some really nice pieces   After what seemed like a life-time they decided that the trailer load was nearing its maximum limit of 2 tons.  Much to their surprise the weighbridge stated a load of only 1.4 tons.  The stone certainly seemed heavy enough when they were lugging it about.  Anyway the good news is that there is therefore a considerable amount more still to be collected.  The load was towed back to Sea Lock and duly off-loaded and sorted into small piles of similar sized stones.  This will make future building so much easier and it is great to have a good selection to choose from.


There are some very exciting big boys toys at the quarry but Adrian was disappointed because he wasn’t allowed to play with them!

Later in the day they are joined by Carol and John.  John sorts out and matches shackles for a lifting bar for the crane.  Trevor and Carol complete fixing the last replacement blade to the  drive of the paddle boat.

A new slip on a new block?

Adrian has decided that a slip into the wharf would be very useful.  Not only could it be used for launching and retrieving small boats but it could double as an inclined plane for the replica  tub-boats.  In order to create the slip a new wall will be required at that will need foundations.  It is decided to cast some large blocks of concrete for this purpose.  While Adrian bends 2 lengths of reinforcing bar to set into the top of the first block to act as lifting ‘eyes’ Trevor sets up the cement mixer and begins to mix a load of concrete.  Adrian next sets up a former and before long the first block is cast.  Nothing more  can be done in this line today since the last of the concrete ballast has been used up.  More will have to be ordered.

To date 92 coping ‘stones’, 8 quoin ‘stones’ and foundation block have been cast.  That’s a lot of concrete!

Full steam ahead!

Steve and Trevor complete covering the inside of the paddle boat with bitumastic paint.  Following in the best traditions of Henry Ford the paddle-boat is turning a very delicate shade of black!  Adrian does a bit of site tidying and then decides to cast yet another coping ‘stone’.  Later all three set about reinstating the petrol engine in the paddle boat.  Steve and Trevor remove it from the shed where it has been residing for quite some time and then all three man-handle it into the boat.  This is not without difficulty but never-the-less is achieved without any mishap nor loss of temper!  Trevor has another commitment for the afternoon and leaves Steve and Adrian to ‘play boats’.  While Adrian clears up after using the cement mixer Steve fixes the steering wheel and connecting shaft to the paddle-drive.  However the bearings are seized and turning the steering wheel is extremely difficult. With Adrian’ s help, a great deal of heat, bucketfuls of  penetrating oil, and brute strength and ignorance  the bearings eventually admit defeat and begin to move.  Within  a short time everything seems to be turning smoothly.   By now  the light is beginning to fail and it’s time to call it a day but what another very satisfying day has been!

Even more boat turning!

Now the the bitumastic paint  on the bottom of the paddle boat has dried Trevor and Adrian set about turning it from upside down to the right way up.  Using a block and tackle they eventually manage to get the boat turned onto its side but then have to alternately jack  up the bow and stern to re-arrange the trestles the boat is resting on in order to maintain its  stability.  They are later joined by Carol and Barry.  Barry gives his attention to fixing large bolts through the bottom of the tub-boat to finally anchor the knees in place while Carol lends a hand to  boat turning.  Eventually the paddle boat is safely and gently manoeuvred back onto its bottom.   Work can now begin to reinstate all its mechanisms.

After lunch Barry, Trevor and Adrian devote their attention to re-attaching the paddle drive to the paddle boat.  Adrian uses the Kubota tractor to pick up the paddle drive which is quite heavy and extremely awkward while Trevor and Barry guide the drive shaft through a hole in the centre of the bow of the boat.  Carol in the meantime is concentrating on completing caulking the hull of the tub-boat.  After a bit of pushing and shoving the drive shaft slides home and the paddle mechanism can be bolted on.  It is really exciting to see both boats making such good progress.

Turning yet another boat.

Now that  new steel plate  is firmly welded to the bottom of the paddle boat Steve is keen to get it painted so that re-installing the workings can begin soon.   In order to paint the bottom properly it is decided to turn the boat from its side to completely upside down.  Using a continuous chain hoist and some lifting strops the boat is finally the way up required to paint and Steve quickly gets on with the job of applying two good coats of black, bitumastic paint.  Once this has fully dried the task of turning the hull the right way up can be undertaken.

While Steve is happily painting Adrian and Trevor continue laying stones on the wharf wall.  A visit to Beam Quarry is urgently needed to collect a load of stone promised for the rebuild project.