Whats Happening ?

The end is nigh?

Trevor and Adrian prepare the RB22 for work.  The batteries are installed, connected up, the engine started and the clutches warmed.  All is ready for action.  Adrian has already jacked up 3 of the previously cast coping ‘stones’ onto battens of wood so that lifting strops can be easily slipped in underneath and attached to the crane’s hook block.  While Adrian is running up the crane’s engine, Ian who had already arrived is joined by David and Carol.  Between them they attach the strops and, one at a time, with Trevor directing  lifting operations three blocks are lifted and laid on the edge of wharf wall  in their respective permanent homes.  They still need to be tweaked and leveled but it is decided to delay this until the remaining 2 blocks are lifted into position.  This lift requires considerable more care since these blocks were only cast 2 days before and are still very ‘green’ and soft. Apparently concrete continues to harden for up to 60 years but, sadly, Adrian and crew cannot afford to wait that long for the blocks to be indisputably set!

Having put 5 blocks on the wall the next step is to level them, get them properly aligned and concreted in, with any gaps beneath the bottom of the block and the top of the wall infilled but this is put temporarily on hold until after a break for tea!  Barry, who arrived just at the end of the 5th lift, begins making the final modifications to the wheel recesses on the bottom of the lead tub boat.  Blocks of wood have to be cut to size and shaped to accommodate the wheels and their restraining straps.  Notches have to be chiseled out  for the bosses on the wheel hubs to allow for ease of rotation.  The straps which support the wheel axles were made quite some time ago but are lacking fixing holes so once Barry has shaped the wheel recesses  to the necessary dimensions he marks and centre-punches the points through which holes have to be bored.  Carole and Ian set up a pillar drill and begin the task of drilling 32 x 10mm diameter holes through 4mm thick mild steel which keeps them out of mischief for the rest of the day.  By the point at which everyone has had enough and failing light is making continued work difficult, three of the coping stones are dry-set in place and ready to be back filled with concrete and all but one of the 8 wheel straps have all their fixing holes bored.  Everyone is well pleased with the day’s progress.