I know that for the last year or two I have been promising to build a bridge over my stream to facilitate access to the far bank at the deep end of the lake opposite Ken’s Corner.
Stepping over the gap or walking over the sluice was never the best nor safest of arrangements.
Last season more than one of you said to me:
That’s what you said last year Tony
Thank you all for that because it gave me the incentive to get the job done.
It was no mean feat but at long last you can now cross the stream without getting your feet wet.
I cast my mind back to when I was a young Sapper and remember building old Bailey Bridges and launching MGBs only to then have to strip it all out again. That was hard work.
This was not on that sort of scale but being the sole member of the bridging gang it proved to be less than easy and combined with the nasty winter weather it took me 4 times as long as I had planned.
Firstly one side had to be raised and then half a ton of concrete poured to form a solid base.
Then the other side had to be dug out and another half ton of concrete poured to form the other solid base.
I think the dirtiest job was cutting 3 inches off the top of that old concrete wall to bring all of the levels together.
Once the main joists were in place I could see my creation taking shape and must admit to being reasonably pleased. Once the foundations had been poured I expected the work to get easier but those 4 meter lengths of timber were not light.
A few posts and floor boards and it really was taking shape, all it needed now was the rest of the floor, a few safety rails and a bit of landscaping, oh yes, let’s not forget the inspection and testing.
No sooner had I declared it finished the Clerk of Works appeared to do exactly that.
She is smiling so I think I passed the inspection, as for the testing, well the boys weigh 90Kgs together and I am too much of a gentleman to disclose the weight of the Clerk of Works but I feel confident that you can cross the bridge 2 by 2 should you wish.
All I need now is a nice warm dry spell in the spring so that I can apply a couple of coats of stain and preservative, but for now I declare Le Pont de Graffeuil well and truly open.