From November 2015
All images are copyright Ian Povey
Week 33: w/c 7th December 2015
Large stone delivery undertaken. It is intended that this will be the last stone delivery prior to the Christmas break; with all pieces being installed by then. Two operatives working on piecing in the new stone, and two operatives undertaking the remedial works to the mortar repairs and pointing. Piecing-in of new stone on pinnacles has been undertaken to a suitable level, to allow the weather vanes to be installed. Crack found in a mullion, on the west window. Contractor verbally instructed to carry out pin repair.
This week the glazier was onsite to refit the Lower Ringing Room windows. All existing glazing, except for one small quarry, has been reused. These now work perfectly and the glazing has been cleaned so is now transparent. Metal window guards have been installed in the small windows, on the south face. These have been constructed from stainless steel, to maintain durability. The east and west windows have been cleaned and existing guards replaced.
Steeple jacks onsite to re-fix the newly restored weather vanes. They have been repainted and re-guided. They have also been fitted with new, self-lubricating bearings, to prevent the need for maintenance.
The bronze cradles have also been installed, to support some fragile stone cusps, on the pinnacles. Each cradle has been tailored to suit the individual locations and shapes. The bronze is already starting to ‘weather’ down and blend in with the stone colour.
Staffing levels have noticeably dropped again. Enquiries made to site manager, regarding additional staffing. Staffing levels have dropped again, running up to the Christmas break. Pressure on contractor to raise staffing levels has to be maintained.
Week 34: w/c 14th December 2015
Continued piecing-in of new stone at higher level. Works to top of tower complete, apart from two stones which will be carved on site. Repair of finial above west window (damaged by scaffold erectors) fixed in place, with stainless steel rods.
Project meeting undertaken on the 17th December.
- Quotation requested from the contractor to undertake additional cleaning works under the arch.
- Quotation is awaited for the alterations to the scaffold.
- Cost for replacement of rainwater downpipes discussed. The quoted price of over £20,000 is too expensive and was declined.
- Idea of redecorating the existing downpipes has been suggested, although it has been advised to undertake these works in warmer, dryer months.
- Requested that the contractor provide emergency contact details, in case of any issues over the Christmas break.
- Requested by the contractor that site operatives return to the workshops next week, rather than working onsite, as it was stated that more progress would be made. This was approved by the Project Architect, as long as the site is secured sufficiently, for the extended absence of a site presence.
Additional hard hat tour was arranged for some people who could not attend previous tours. All who attended enjoyed looking at the tower in more detail. During a final site inspection, small rust stains were noted on the restored weathervanes. This was shown to the contractor, who is going to make enquiries with their subcontractor. The weathervanes will be inspected again in the New Year.
An ‘Overrun of Time’ report issued to the PCC with details in the slip in programme. Financial report issued to the PCC, to outline the project’s healthy position. Disappointing not to be finished by now, but looking forward to re-mobilising in the New Year and getting all works completed. The site was formally closed on the 18th December and will re-open for the week commencing 4th January 2016.