---- CURRENT STATUS ----
During the summer, there was an attempt to take over control of the dig and the corrosive and unpleasant atmosphere created by this affected the delicate mechanism of the Home Close clock; it stopped and time stood still for a while.
It proved quite difficult to restart it, but after a thorough "cleansing", the clock is now running. Unfortunately, it has not yet been possible to reset calendar mechanism completely. Currently the clock is some
OK, the metaphor is a bit laboured, but it should be possible to read between the lines.
2012.081: Sun 23rd Dec. (1100 - 1645)
Alice Audsley, Annie Audsley, Andy Morton, Chris Batstone, Mike Wilson, Roger Galloway, Tony Audsley
The 'atmosphere' at the dig has cleared and digging has restarted.
Digging would have started somewhat earlier but for the fact that members of the Old Gang took it in turns to fall ill with winter ailments and devoted all their energies to coughing, spluttering and generally feeling sorry for themselves.
So, better late than never and after some preliminary surface faffing Andy and Tony went to the bottom for an inspection. All was clean-washed and at the dig face the floor level seemed to have dropped a small amount, say about 20 cm.
After the inspection Andy, Annie and Roger started clearing the backlog of bags that had been left at the bottom of P3. Andy stayed at the bottom to load bags while Annie and Roger cleared them; occasionally swapping places - one on the windlass and the other at the bottom of Tollens. Meanwhile, Tony started chiselling away at the walls at the terminal junction, then drilled a series of neat and useful little holes....
On the surface Alice, Chris and Mike set up a double purchase hauling system and started hauling bags to grass by hand as the winch engine was still languishing in Cheddar in intensive care.
Lunch was eaten round the shaft (photo), then Annie and Roger went down to start surveying and Andy loaded bags at the bottom while on the surface Alice, Mike and Chris took turns in hauling.
Survey results showed a Vertical Range of 27.44m (90.03ft) and a Horizontal Range of 11.47m (37.63ft)
2012.069 - 2012.080: (Various times in December)
The winch engine was dismantled and given a thorough going over. This included re-cutting the exhaust valve seat, then grinding in both valves, resetting clearances, dismantling the carburettor then cleaning and resetting it. Not a long list but time consuming as hours were spent searching for small but vital bits, like valve retaining collets, which kept leaping onto the floor and hiding there.
2012.068: Mon 1stOct. (1100 - 1245 ish)
Alice Audsley, Jeff Price, Mike Wilson, Tony Audsley
( Ian Gregory - offered moral support - he is still stuck in Bedford)
( Chris Batstone - offered moral support - he has to work today)
A morning pre-Hunters' trip for a final tidy-up and fettle. Mike went down to the windlass and Tony went below to extend the ventilation pipe to the bottom of the dig. Once the pipe had been installed and the ventilation was working, Tony cleared the tools from the bottom of the dig and Mike hauled them up to RDR.
The tools were then sent up to the surface, along with the surprising amount of scrap timber and junk that had accumulated below ground.
Alice and Jeff finished tidying the surface and collected up all the worn-out digging bags.
The dig is now shut down until further notice.
2012.067: Sat 29th Sep.
Alice Audsley, Chris Batstone, Mike Wilson, Tony Audsley
( Ian Gregory - offered moral support - stuck in Bedford with transport problems)
( Jeff Price - offered moral support - he has to work today)
[Round about June, we began having 'problems' at Home Close. Because of the continuing nature of the difficulties, the old guard of core Home Close diggers (Alice, Chris, Ian, Jeff, Mike and Tony) have reluctantly decided to shut down the dig for a while.]
In preparation for the shut-down, we spent an afternoon tidying up the surface workings and removing personal kit from the huts. Then Mike and Tony removed the winch engine in order to take it back to Cheddar. Tony can then work on it and fix the lumpy running while it is not required at the dig.