The stonemason, the builder and holes in the dining room ceiling

 

Pillars in the dining room

Pillars in the dining room

“DID your husband mention we were going to have to drill through the dining-room ceiling?”  Stuart the builder asks innocently. “Or did he bottle it?” He bottled it. “I thought you needed to hear it from a professional,” explains Ian, not very convincingly.

 

So here we are with not just holes in the ceiling, but iron pillars and bars in the dining room, to support the stonework above, where they’re blocking two doorways into the main body of the chapel, and making a new one in the middle. Stuart explains why – something about making sure that the 100 tons of stone above the doorway don’t come crashing down – and gets on with the job. He’s arrived four days early, with Ashley, and they assure me this is the worst and dirtiest part of the whole job. I hope they’re right.

100_0172MEANWHILE Simon the stonemason (trained at York Minster says the text on the van, reassuringly) has arrived two days late, but does such a fantastic job of replacing the corroded iron bars and resulting holes in the stonework of the main south-facing window that we forgive him anything. He didn’t even complain when Harry the dog ate his last cheese and cucumber sandwich.

We realise very quickly that our bright idea of putting books and Ian’s railway stuff (sorry, Ian, but there’s no other word for it) into a few boxes in the middle of the room and asking the builders to work round them, is not going to be an option.

We end up hiring not only a shipping container from a storage firm, but also a removal firm to take the boxes to it. Which, needless to say, are not yet completely packed. Moral of the story: plan ahead and never underestimate the mess that even the best builders must inevitably make. Like all the people we’ve had contact with so far on the project, they’re lovely – friendly, helpful and professional.

Packing up - a long, slow process

Packing up - a long, slow process

Stuff, stuff and more stuff. All still to be packed.

Stuff, stuff and more stuff. All still to be packed.

Charlie helps dismantle the railway

Charlie helps dismantle the railway supports

Work starts on the doorways

Work starts on the doorways

More packing

More packing

Simon on the scaffolding

Simon on the scaffolding

The new bars

New bars and stonework repairs

A view we won't see often from the main south facing window

A view we won't see often from the main south facing window

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under the hammer - Ian gets ideas

Under the hammer - Ian gets ideas

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