Yesterday marked the final day of the workshop, and a chance to celebrate the work that’s taken place over the past two weeks.
The day began on site early as usual, as we had the seating boards to lay, and the rear prop to install. The weather was still against us, but armed with waterproof trousers and now able to hang a tarpaulin hung from the structure, the team managed to stay a little drier than Friday!
Just after lunch the furniture team, who had been working at Hooke for the past couple of days, delivered their bench to Kingcombe to be assembled on site, and a few others stayed back to finish painting the signage.
Although the seating wasn’t quite finished, at 5.30pm it was time to have a big clear-up in advance of the Topping Out ceremony that evening. The tools were locked up, scrap timber removed, and deck-boards swept down, before we all piled into the mini-bus to clean up and dry off at Hooke Park. After a 15 minute turn-around, we were on our way back to Kingcombe!
The Topping Out was an opportunity to explain the project to the local community, present the participants with their AA certificates, and honour the new structure. Alex fixed a leafy branch to the top-most beam, following an ancient Scandinavian tradition which supposedly appeases the tree spirits which have been disturbed during the construction process. Local story-teller Martin Maudsley joined in proceedings with a spoken blessing, shouted out by the whole crowd. Amazingly, the clouds parted and the sun came out just in time for the event!
After some celebratory prosecco, beers, and lots of group photos, we all head up to the Centre for the summer Barn Dance and Hog Roast. Alex and Clem will be back in a couple of weeks to do the last day’s worth of work on the structure (watch this space for final images!) but for now it’s time to say sad farewells. We’ve all become great friends in this short space of time; despite the hard work and wet conditions – and the fact that we’re desperate for a hot bath and some clean clothes – it’s still really sad to part ways.
Thank you to all the project partners and supporters who’ve helped us over the past two weeks!