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.
Thursday, 8 August 2013
Scaffolders Start Upper Level
Sometimes, progress on site does seem desperately slow. The cable for the electricity has been down for ages but the local electricity board has only just got the transformer in place on its pole. The next stage is to get it connected to the mains. On the services side there has been progress elsewhere. With the site offices now in use, they are being hooked up to the septic tank, and water is now available on site.
Scaffolding poles are still arriving, the latest batch being ones that have been cut to the lengths required for this job in Glasgow.
John Forsyth, the scaffolder, would have liked to carry the lower level of the scaffolding round the front of the castle to make the whole structure stable but, as can be seen from this picture, this hasn't been possible because everyone is still waiting for a decision on further excavation of the moat. There is talk of a trench being sunk at the western end, to the right in this picture, by the entrance where the drawbridge used to be.
Instead, the scaffolders, who are making very rapid progress with their side of the job, are starting the upper level above the water gate on the south side. This view is from the east, while....
....looking from the west, we can see that they are starting to fit the 40cm beams into place which will bring the upper level of the structure against the castle's walls.
This picture was taken from the castle entrance, and shows how John and Stephen Holmes are building outwards so they can join up with the lower level of the west side scaffold. John certainly has a fine view across the Sound of Mull to Tobermory Bay. The larger ship is CalMac's Clansman, the smaller is the Loch Linnhe, the local Calmac ferry from Kilchoan to Tobermory.
Some of the joints, where several poles meet, are really quite artistic. At least now the mass of materials they need can be delivered to them from the castle's sea gate, rather than taking it down onto the shore and then lifting it up into the structure.