Putting the shoes in

You join us, still trying to enlarge a single doorway in the building enough to accommodate two doorways. We have cut through the dressed slate wall and then cut away both this and the undressed wall to create the correct sized void. Now we need to make the padstone on which to rest the steels.

We cleared away the rubbish and then laid the first bricks just so…

…before continuing, tying the bricks carefully into the slate wall every now and then…

…until we had a wall of bricks, topped with engineering bricks, which we left to go hard and then the next day…

…we (Mike, Pip and I) put the four RSJs in place, packed slate in above and then mortared all in place to form the new lintel.

My what a big doorway we now have! We have widened this gap by 50% and we will start fitting door frames soon. There will be a slight delay, though, whilst we locate a door wide enough for the accessible toilet.

As a result, we worked outside yesterday and today, so that we could enjoy having the sun warm our backs. Our neighbour has finished welding the fire stairs back together, so they are ready to be installed between the cafe level and the lower level garden. Yesterday we realised we had perhaps picked the wrong day for working with the pickaxe – my, was it hot…

Over the two days we cut seven holes for post shoes and then concreted these in place. Mike wielded the pick, whilst I made and shovelled the concrete.

When these have hardened off, we can start fitting the fence, which we thought would be a useful safety feature to finish before guests start to return. In case we haven’t told you, we now know we can plan to reopen the rooms for 13th July but, with no date yet for reopening the cafe, we have very reluctantly decided that the cafe will have to remain closed from now until 2021.

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