Blue Flower

Blog 5/11/15 by Graham Bartlett

When we arrived on site there was a large pile of sand and more sandbags, so all 4 of us spent most of the morning filling sandbags to protect the downstream wall, and this is now covered all the way along. The next section to cover up will be the brick pier the other side of the water wheel which we will start next week.

A new lock had been put on the large container to replace the broken one. Brand new tools had been provided, a shovel, fork and rake were waiting for us, and also a crome for getting weeds out of the river. I also mended the old rake as the handle broke off last week. Later in the day we cleared the mill side bank of weeds which we started a few weeks ago. This side is now clear from the blacksmith area to the wheel. This now makes the opposite bank look untidy so next week we will probably clear that as well as untangling weeds from the scaffolding which have built up again. A family of swans was near the wheel the whole day and seemed un-concerned by us working in their river, although we gave them a wide berth. A lady walking her dogs went past on the opposite bank and we watched the dogs fetching sticks thrown into the river.

The bearing footprint noticed last week was measured up as well as the sloping trench which we believe is for a belt pulley, to see if the sizes match machinery of this type. Research will be carried out to see if we can identify the machinery used in this area.

We dug an area near the cistern top to try to find an outlet. A channel through the brick floor led to a metal rod in a hole, and beside it was a cavity filled with earth. From within the cistern we could see earth in one corner of a recess, so this was prodded until it fell out, and the team above broke through into this from their excavation. We believe this is where a pipe would have run to pump water out for use, probably into a steam engine.

The upstream brick floor was dug to identify where the various channels ran from and the round metal feature with a notch, set in the ground was fully uncovered, we think this is the base for a machine. When the excavation work was complete we replaced bricks and made and fitted foamboard covers to protect the openings from frost.

The existing finds were re-organised, some items like glass were in carrier bags and these were transferred into the resealable bags which Tesco gave us. Some boxed items had got wet so were put in more suitable boxes. The shelves were re-stacked using large cardboard boxes which virtually doubled the useable space. Plastic crates are being organised for long term storage of finds.

Todays finds were limited to 5 pieces of pottery, a small bone and a nail, see picture below. We intended to oil the water wheel bearings but have run out of oil. Before clearing up we walked round the site, watched the swans, and agreed it is a lovely place to work.       Interactive Plan            Volunteer    Previous      Next

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