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.
Friday, 30 January 2015
I made the mistake early on of assuring builders Mark Rutherford Thompson and John-Paul Ashley that it didn't snow here much. Probably as a result, we've had more snow that usual, with further flurries coming across Ardnamurchan over the last two days, brought across from Greenland on a chill northwesterly wind.
This was the view yesterday morning from the scaffolding looking east towards Ben Hiant as another snow shower cleared away. It's making for pretty miserable conditions on site, not that....
....this is preventing rapid progress both indoors and out. The most visible change since last week is the roof that's going onto the east range, with three dormer windows the sides faces of which will be faced with York stone.
Martin Chandler, right, is the joiner with 46 years of experience in traditional roof work who built the roof on the main range - see post back in July - and he's working with Martin Theaker who is with Ashley-Thompson. As soon as they've finished this job, they'll be moving on to the east range, and then on to the frame for the glass-roofed dining room which fits between the east range and the main building.
Because of the weather, most of the Ashley-Thompson workforce is in the north range, working in the chapel area and attic room, and assisting the plumbing and electrical contractors. Several sections of floor are up, and there's a spaghetti of wires being put in alongside miles of pipework.
At present these red plastic pipes are being fixed. They're part of an aspirating smoke detection system, mandatory in a commercial building, designed to gather any trace of smoke and carry it to a unit which, through....
....these rather smart matching red wires, will sound the alarms. Holding the wires is electrician Tigger Peacock of R&B Electrical & Renewables.
Meanwhile, the network of pipework becomes increasingly complex. The pipes here are made of crimped carbon steel which are longer lasting, but they can only be used for the heating system, the potable water system being of copper piping. Picture shows Andy Stevens of Proficient Plumbing of Whitby, right, with electrician Brett Ward.
Ashley-Thompson's Chris has the warmest job of the day, working in the attic room where he's fixing the two thicknesses of 100mm insulation. In fact, the whole of the north range is warm, with every sign that the stone walls are beginning to dry out despite the continuing wet weather - which is just as well as the forecast is for the wind to go into the north and bring some bitterly cold weather.