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, 22 October 2015

First Storm of the Winter

The weeks of fine autumn weather had to end, which they did in style last night with a westerly gale which roared through in the hours around midnight, giving us gusts to force nine in exposed parts of the peninsula.  It also gave the workmen in their caravans a sleepless night, but it had largely cleared by morning, though winds continued to gust to near gale force, making conditions for those working outside treacherous.

The main outside work at present is on the southwest-facing rock face below the castle, the face which takes the brunt of the sea's pounding during winter gales. The first set of rock pins is in, and....

....the shuttering is almost up, ready for a first pour of concrete next week. Picture shows Chris Taylor working on it, but others who have been getting wet include Chris Dickinson, Damon, and.... of the partners in building company Ashley Thompson, Mark Thompson.

The main strengthening will be up to a level of about 2.5m from the limestone surface of wave cut platform, then the structure will slope in to the fissure which can be seen at the top of the picture.  This is the join between the dolerite and the granophyre - so almost all the dolerite will be covered.

Conditions are, as I said, treacherous, with sudden gusts catching people at unexpected moments. Chris was just walking up to the steel viewing platform when a strong gust got under his safety helmet and sent it spinning into the sea.

More sections of the main staircase in the north range have arrived, with Adrian Eyles, right, a partner in Dickinsons Antiques of Gargrave, Yorkshire. He's here with Chris Manger, left, to assemble them. Dickinson's Antiques have also been responsible for all five of the four-poster beds which have been installed so far, the two in the attic rooms having been entirely made by the company, the other three being antiques which they have refurbished.

This is the latest of these four-posters, which has recently been assembled in the bedroom in the west wing - that's J-J Dagnall polishing the carved headboard.

This will be the builders' third winter on site, and I personally take my hat off to them for their endurance.  Spirits are high on site, and the aim is now to get the job done and dusted before Christmas.

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