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, 9 October 2014
A Race Against the Weather
I've been away for the last three weeks so today's visit was particularly exciting, as I knew that the weather had been unusually good for most of the time, and that I was likely to find plenty of progress - and I wasn't disappointed.
The north range is transformed. Andy Gow and his men have done wonders with the slate roof, which is all but finished. The vast majority of the slates are on, and the main work today seemed to be....
....on completing the leadwork along the bay window and roof ridges.
The slates have already had their first trial by Ardnamurchan weather. We had a full and prolonged gale on Sunday night, with winds gusting over force 10 from the southeast, which is straight into the face of the building, and some 41mm of rain in 24 hours. No damage occurred....
....except to the temporary roof over the courtyard, which covers the east and west ranges, where some of the Visqueen sheeting will have to be replaced.
One new face on site is that of Martin Theaker, a subcontracted joiner who has worked with Ashley Thompson before. This is his first experience of Scotland, and he says he was very impressed with our gales. He has weeks of work coming up on the interior of the building, but at present he's working his way round the sash windows, applying layer upon layer of paint - when they're finished, they'll have a coat of Butinox 3, one of primer, two of undercoat, and two of topcoat. They'll need it: the weather here happily strips the paint off woodwork.
Stonemasons Damien and H have been hard at work. There's progress all round the place, but it's particularly noticeable in the two other buildings in the courtyard. The stonework of the east range, shown here, is complete, so it's ready for the roof to go on and the windows and doors to go in.
The west range is a much bigger and more complex job as it has three stories, was almost completely destroyed, and has existing walls to tie in to the new. Here there's probably a month's work still to go.
There's a real sense of drive on site. Everyone knows that the fine weather won't last, and that it's essential to get the exterior work completed before the next round of rain and gales, and before we plunge into winter proper. So now it's a race against the weather.