Saturday 10th November

With a minidigger until midday it was another 8am start this week. Before we extend the gravel surfacing inside the main gates we need to lay a drain across from one side of the gates to the other.

Even with mechanical aids its was hard work: rain the night before had turned the site back to "battle of the Somme" mode; the clay was particularly sticky and each scoop had to be prized from the bucket; pushing a wheelbarrow away from the excavation along the track of sleepers was sheer graft.

After lunch with the trench dug attention turned to laying the drain.  As it would be relatively shallow it would be cased in concrete across the entrance.

Digging the trench in mud

Mixing concrete was also hard work but at least you did not risk loosing a boot in the mud.  Slowly the bed was formed and trimmed to the required level so the pipe could be laid on the bed in the trench.  Time for a tea break.

As the day wore on the task of mixing concrete felt more onerous.  Eventually the pipe was covered of the full length that had been laid.  A chck on the levels showed that a little more concrete was required on top of the pipe for protection, so the last two mixes were completed by the light of the car headlights.  As Colin said, I started in darkness this morning and we will finish in darkness".

Thanks to Chester, Colin, Stefan and Peter for keeping working until the pipe was laid, the site tidied and a temporary fence erected around the trench.

Thanks to Chris, George and John for driving the digger, prizing clay out of the digger bucket, pushing barrows and help with the setting out in the morning.