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The Slab Jigsaw

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Week 9 – report of work for disabled access, toilet and kitchen – 3rd May – 6th May

Excellent progress has been made on work outside and inside of the church this week. The following has been achieved during this short week due to the Bank Holiday, but Jacko, our village plasterer worked all day on Saturday to skim the inside of the toilet.

✔ Continuing the work on the approach up to the porch from last week, the stone slabs were re-laid in exactly the same order as they were taken up. Work started on laying them down on a bed of mortar to form a slight ramp up to the porch step.

Due to the extreme weight of some of these large pieces of stone, extra hands were needed such that four men were required to take a corner each in order to gently place the slabs in just the right position.

While Jon mixed and barrowed a constant supply of mortar, the slabs were set down, carefully followed by Doug who grouted the joints between each stone.

The last small slab was ceremonially set down by Ian to form the final piece of the jigsaw.

One of the additional tasks to make the path complete was to tie in the existing path up to the graveyard with the new path. Doug laid two small slabs and concreted a joint in the same style as the existing path.

Another consequence of raising the path is the need to also lift the adjoining grass so that it will be the same height as the new path. This will be accomplished with new turf.

A further issue is the consequential reduced height of the wooden bench that is dedicated to Hector Woodward. This will be released from its concrete footings and built up such that the seat is 46cm above the path.

✔ The flaking lime render was removed on the low wall in the porch where the new armoured cable is to be channelled. Once the cable is hidden in the groove, the wall will be re-skimmed with fresh lime mortar.

✔ The new worktops, sink and solid oak kitchen units were delivered on Tuesday and stacked in the church adjacent to the bell tower. The hole for the sink in the longest worktop was already partly cut out to avoid cracking and will need to be completely
removed and the edges finished before assembling the sink underneath.

✔ Meanwhile, inside the church, Derek and John continued with the plumbing. The new water heater was positioned on the corner wall where it will be enclosed in one of the kitchen units. This unit was adapted to accommodate the 45 degree angled wall.

✔ The pipework for the cold water supply to the heater and kitchen sink taps was fitted with all the associated joints and bends. The hot supply and waste was also attached to the wall and fed through to the area behind the toilet. Simultaneously, the water supply and waste to the hand basin in the toilet were fitted. Final wooden linings were fitted to the openings behind the toilet in readiness for plastering.

✔ Sound insulation was cut and fitted between the timbers of the ceiling and walls of the toilet cubicle. The outside walls will be clad in oak faced plywood with solid oak tracery, but only after the plastering has been accomplished.

✔ Saturday saw Jacko from Overend Barn skimming the plasterboard in the toilet cubicle.

It was decided to bury the time capsule in a niche between the toilet and kitchen. This will not hold up progress around the lift well and will mean all evidence of the work, including these weekly reviews, can be included up to the final day.

Access to the church will continue to be closed during next week while internal work continues.

John Pinch
7 May 2022

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