Sunday, September 30, 2012

Flint walling in Stanmer Park

Another great opportunity offered by the South Downs Volunteer Ranger service and a chance to try our  hand at flint-walling.  Or rather an opportunity for them to gain a group of 'skilled' workers to help repair the miles of flint wall around Stanmer park.

Over the course of a weekend we were introduced to the basics of flint walling, the mortar mix used to hold the flints in place, selecting and laying the right shapes and sizes of flints and how to build up the wall, while taking into account existing layers.

The tricky bit is making it look neat, matching it up with existing layers of flint on either side, when filling a whole and the restriction of only being able to build up a couple of layers at a time.

While waiting for the layers to set, we got a chance to fill-in where flints had fallen out of the wall and just needed setting back in and replacing patches of missing mortar.

The wall was originally laid by Napoleonic prisoners of war over 200 years ago and is falling into disrepair where it's been blown over, knocked over or just crumbling away.

It's been patched up and repaired over the years by different groups of workers, not just in more recent times but any time since it was built.  Different mixes have been used and some more successfully than others.

Day two was continuing with much the same - although we could now work on another two layers.

There was meant to be a Day three but it was cancelled due to the weather, so we missed out on the final part - which would have involved placing the capping stones.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Busman's Holiday in South Harting

Over at my parents for the weekend and I'm invited to join the churchyard working party in South Harting.  Slightly more comfortable surroundings and not quite as hard work as my usual scrub clearance activities but an equally enthusiastic band of volunteers who meet up once a month to keep the churchyard tidy.

We were only there for a couple of hours but I tackled a large patch of snowberry, bramble and elder that had completely overgrown several gravestones alongside the wall.


Just shows how much a small group of volunteers can achieve in a few hours.  We even had a break for coffee and delicious homemade ginger cake break before finishing off the last bit.

Others were mowing the grass, clearing other areas and getting the bonfire going.Just shows how much a small group of volunteers can achieve in a few hours.
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Sunday, September 09, 2012

Telscombe Tye Heritage Fest 2012

Yes all the planning and preparation is done and now it's all over - no not the Paralympics but the Telscombe Tye Heritage Fest.

The weather couldn't have been better - although too hot for some but a glorious day of sunshine and light winds.  Very different from most of the summer.

People turned out to see the Tye at it's best and all the organisations that turned up to support the event. We had the working horses from the Working Horse Trust, the Saltdean and Rottingdean Lions laid on a great BBQ throughout the day, we had a very busy and popular children's activity area, rescued owls, the local RSPB group, Green Gym, St John's and the Cuckoo's Nest Morris dancers performed on the Tye and in Telscombe Village.

Many people made the trip up the Tye to not only enjoy the view from the dewpond but to have a go with Stoolball England, see the vintage tractors, photos of the refurbishment of the dewpond, more owls and hawks and then a trip down the hill into the village where they had a busy day with the arts and craft fair, band and refreshments in the village club which was so busy they sold out.

The day was rounded off with a fireworks display in the evening given by Telscombe Town Council - both events were free for the whole community and beyond and by all accounts very much enjoyed.

Thanks to everyone who turned out to support us and all the volunteers who gave up their time to help organise the day.

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