Just a quick post tonight with an update on progress on my new bridge at Bradfield. On Thursday I worked for the first time with a new waller, Michael Howard. We dug out and laid concrete foundations for the first abutment and prepared the site for starting walling on Friday. The water level thankfully was as low as I have ever seen it, perfect for digging deep foundations. It felt like spring and the curlews were calling.
On Friday we were joined by Brian and Steve and made rapid progress. Here we have dug and concreted foundations for the other abutment and Brian and Michael are starting on the walling. Meanwhile Steve was steadily moving the ten tons of freshly quarried gritstone down from the top of the bank.
With two wallers the job progressed very quickly.
I want the abutments to look like a dry stone wall at the end of the day but to have the strength to withstand substantial flood water so we used mortar joints and will backfill with concrete but the face is not pointed.
And this was about as far as we got.
I am delighted with the way it is looking, the line of the abutment and the sweeping curve up into the path are going to be superb when it is finished with a gently arched bridge. We hope to get close to finished on both abutments tomorrow and then Tuesday I will be getting ready for a fully booked spoon carving course which starts Wednesday. I actually spent most of today gathering materials and have some perfect willow (courtesy of John the fireman who came on one of our first spoon courses and continues to produce beautiful work) and some nice fresh birch.
At the same time along with my fellow HCA committee members we are getting final arrangements sorted for our big forum and launch event at the V&A a week on Tuesday, busy but exciting.