Blue Flower

There were two volunteers on site today, it was raining to start with so we stayed in the car for a while and discussed the Narborough School visit last Friday and the Whaling Course last Thursday.
The school visit went well, the pupils enjoyed their day and were enthusiastic and interested in the mill.
Following the success of the school visit, the idea of having a family day where partners, children and grand children can visit was discussed.
The visit to Kings Lynn museum for the whaling course was well attended and included a walk along the quay to the nearby Greenland whaling exhibition. However there was conflicting information given as it was stated that whale carcasses were thrown back into the sea and only blubber was landed, this was queried by members of our party and confirmed, but later the talk said whale bones were used to make dresses and corsets.
The recent article in the EDP was also discussed. This stated the mill was built in the 1820s but we believe it would have been in 1830s, but the article was comprehensive and interesting and should give good publicity and awareness of the project.
We discussed the idea of having a Christmas gathering on a Thursday in December with a firepit and food for the volunteers, and some cakes for Graeme as a celebration of the work done, with a relaxed atmosphere as a contrast to all the hard work we have done. Having a fire would also give us the chance to clear some of the unwanted wooden pallets and fallen branches etc.
We also talked about the plans to cover up the site and agreed that covering the top of the new walls with sandbags would be the first part of this as soon as we have a good number of people in a working party. Tesco have offered to help with this by sending staff to volunteer and we are in discussion with them about it.

Two people from the river authority were working on the opposite bank checking the wildlife and plants to monitor the effects of changes to the river made a few years ago to give it more natural characteristics after it was straightened in the old days to make it navigable. A group of four walkers also passed who read the sign and noted the website, they were from Durham and we had a conversation about Durham Precision Engineering at Newton Aycliffe where I used to work in 2009. We tried to recruit them as volunteers but they said it was too far to travel.

The wet weather prevented us from cementing loose bricks around the hatches, so the downstream wall return was cleared of soil ready for the top course of bricks to be laid, as this is due to be done soon. Many finds were among the soil in this area including a nail brush made of bone and a large sheet of metal with slates over the top found in situ. Several other items turned up, for details and pictures see the finds log. When soil had been removed from the top of the wall it was washed by using a bucket on a rope to get river water and clean the top layer ready for new bricks to be laid.

Suggestions are invited from volunteers about where to site the grindstones. These have been put by the containers to keep them safe from site works, but we need to put them in a permanent location soon where they can be seen from the opposite side of the river. They also need to be put at an angle so water flows off them to prevent frost damage.

A small area of the river was dredged recently and the resulting spoil heap was examined, the metal detector found a large sliding door bolt, and an animal jaw bone with teeth, and other bones were discovered. Some finds from the building area had been left in the container which were recorded in the finds log. Something was seen on the river bed so it was retrieved with a rake and found to be a rib bone.

Before leaving site we walked to the blacksmith area, the river here has been cleared of weeds and brambles and looks more attractive. Part way down the bank is a flat concrete area and today we noticed some small pieces of coal and something written in cement when it was wet, which reads VW 1946. This could be worth pursuing to see if anything was going on there in 1946, so another mystery to try to solve.

Graham Bartlett    Interactive Plan            Volunteer       Previous        Next

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