Friday, March 4, 2016
Building bridges with Lord Ludgershall and The Duchess of Cambridge
It's a new one for me, as I normally undertake such tasks alone in the utmost secrecy as I like to take my time, minimise mistakes and anyway it's quite a satisfying task to undertake and such things should be savoured
This time, Lord Ludgershall has dodged his duties in the other place and travelled from the family seat daily (a cost unclaimed on parliamentary expenses) to assist me in my task and record events with his box brownie
With Ludgershall facetiously whistling Colonel Bogey, I began the task without paper plans, and a slight fug as to how I had pictured the bridge when placing the order for the wood a month ago. Banging the first few posts in from the repositioned old bridge seemed a good place to start, taking my time to make sure each post was straight as I will have to look at this bridge every day that I am employed to walk these banks.
The river is about four feet deep at this point with a gravel bottom ,and with a requirement for a hand rail,
the posts on the upstream side were ten feet long and banged straight into the gravel and then left for twenty four hours for the gravel to grip them and provide a sturdier feel.
Ludgershall, always keen to discuss the issues of the day, briefly turned his back on bridge building when the conversation turned to Europe, he is no bridge builder and muttered something about some form of control of passage on one end of the bridge at this point,
but when I jumped into the river to complete dangerous manoeuvres with a chainsaw (It is writ on the label of my hat purchased online that the skins of the aborted foetuses of karakul lambs used to construct my headgear in Tajikistan are woven with kevlar, and the accompanying glasses are constructed from the windscreen of a long defunct space shuttle, I am safe, and feel kinda healthy, but could someone invent some chainsaw trousers that will fit under neoprene waders)
Strings out for the deck, which can hide all manner of mistakes beneath,
In all weathers, but I will never complain about rain at this time of year.
and the slats are measured individually, cut and fixed.
and then we were faced with the conundrum of who to open the bridge.
Norman Foster was busy, and Brunel was not answering his phone.
C'est la Vie (Robbie Nevil 1985)
but one of my better bridges,
thank you Lord for your assistance.