The Mingary Castle restoration blog was written by Jon Haylett, who lives in the local village of Kilchoan. Now that restoration is almost complete Holly and Chris Bull will take over to report on bringing the Castle back to life.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Starting the Scaffolding

When I visited the site last Thursday the first scaffolding was beginning to appear at the base of the sea gate wall.  I didn't have time to have a look at it but took this picture to show the level which is reached by a high tide - the one on Thursday was just past its peak, was unusually high, and unusually calm.

By this morning the scaffolders were working their way around to the west wall, and beginning to find solutions to the multiple problems of erecting scaffolding on the Mingary Castle site.  As with the sea gate wall, they were able to put the base of the scaffolding straight onto the limestone of the wave cut platform, but....

....this meant that John-Paul Ashley, the main contractor, had had to dig out the single beach which covered it to expose the rock.

The contract to erect the scaffolding has gone to JRandM Scaffolding - they have a Facebook page here.  John-Paul of builders Ashley Thompson has worked with John Forsyth (above) and says of his scaffolding skills, 'there's nothing he can't do'.  J-P recalled a complex job they had in London where 15 metre-high scaffolding had to go around a building on a very restricted site, round a chimney and across a conservatory.

On this job John, centre, is helped by Stephen Holmes (right).  John is from Bradford, Stephen from Leeds.  John-Paul's men are carrying all the poles and fittings from the car park down to the beach - that's Roger Piccolo on the left, now one of J-P's men though he originally came to the site working for Vertical Technology - he liked the area so much he chose to stay.

This picture shows progress so far.  Bearing in mind that the scaffolding will cover the whole of the outside of the castle, John Forsyth estimates that it will take about eight weeks to erect, if all goes well, and will be in place for upwards of two years.  When I asked him whether he was confident it would stand the gales and fierce seas we have during the worst winter months, he nodded, and took me on a tour to demonstrate how the structure was being built - the subject of the next blog.

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