By Richard Booth
What a day at Rowsley today!
I’ve missed 3 weekends because of my French holiday . Since the last two or three weekends before I went missing were spent shifting prodigious quantities of stone, I turned up happily this morning knowing that, in my absence, the team would have completed such heavy work, and I could look forward to a day of light duties in the sunshine. Fat chance – I arrived to be confronted with another brooding 20 ton heap tipped slap bang where it had to be shifted before any further progress could be made on anything – oh joy!
Having forgotten my shovel and rake I was dispatched to the local farm equipment shop by my well-prepared colleagues Graham, Andrew, Mike and Steve to rectify matters, so the Society is now the proud owner of one shovel plus the biggest rake you’ve ever set eyes on!
Very soon our new neighbour at Rowsley, and fellow train enthusiast, Pete Waterman turned up and was introduced by Jackie where we all talked about our plans for the site.
All this talking, of course, had moved us on from the damp and dreary morning into the hottest part of the day with the sun climbing ever higher. We thus returned and attacked the 20 ton heap with gusto; for the first five minutes! Was it Tennessee Ernie Ford (or equivalent) who sang .. “You load 16 tons, and what do you get: another day older and deeper in debt”? In this case you only need to change the last three words to read …”lathered in sweat”, and you’ll get some idea of what we suffered. Stoically we managed another half an hour before we were forced to retreat for lunch and another cuppa.
Then back to the stone and the very slowly diminishing heap………we turned again to the heap of stone, which, under the blistering sun, was developing an almost malevolent air of its own. Five minutes later we were drained again and back down to earth. Suffice it to say that we did, eventually shift the lot, and here’s the photos to prove it !
Now we are genuinely ready to move to the next stage. The sleepers are in position ready to receive the container which is due to be delivered towards the end of the week. It will probably take us at least two more weekends to get it racked out, and loaded with all the ex-Sheffield stuff from under the tarpaulins, during which time, hopefully, Jonathan will have got a definitive steer from the Council planners as to what type of foundations we’ll need for the shed. The ramp is ready (or will be after a whacking) for stone or concrete lorries to back up it so there ought to be nothing left to stop us cracking on. We’ll need to hire a mini digger (and operator) for a day to do any digging required on the foundations before we stone/concrete them, and to cut the trench for the utilities, but we’ve agreed in principle to do this, and Jackie has given it her blessing today.
And, of course, a certain Jaguar estate owner just couldn’t resist trying out the slope……..