On Site in the Guernsey Sunshine - Summer 2012
As a carpenter by trade this takes me back to why I started the company - for the pleasure and fun of making oak frames. This summer in the Guernsey sunshine (believe it or not) I was lucky enough to join Ed, Gwil, Jake and Christopher to build a frame for John and Louise.
The plot was tucked away in a little valley about a mile and half from the coast and was on the site of an old bungalow that had been knocked down. Actually getting the oak to the site was a challenge as the lanes were incredibly narrow and twisty. Our oak was brought to site by the local haulage company who use small lorries and are used to getting into all the more difficult places on the island.
John who runs a building company on the island had constructed the basement and slab ready for us to erect our oak frame on and I will say it was possibly the most accurate concrete slab that we have ever worked with. Dimensionally it was spot on and when it came to checking with a laser level it was absolutely on the bubble as they say. This made erecting the frame very easy as we had no levelling up to do so after three and half days we had the frame complete and ready for john to move in with his team to take the project onto the next stage.
While erecting the post & beam frame we had many visitors who were keen to see what was going on hidden away in the leafy valley that we were working in. Also John had visits from a number of potential clients who were very interested in using oak framing within their own projects.
On the final day we had John Louise and the children join us on the scaffold to carry out the traditional topping out ceremony by nailing on an oak branch and celebrating with a cold can of beer. It was good to see the children up on the frame joining in the fun and seeing what will be a principal part of their family home for many years to come.
All had gone well and John very kindly took the team on a sea fishing trip on our final evening. I have never been a great fisherman but even I caught some very sizable fish and along with the beer we all had a great evening which nicely topped off a great few days. Sitting back here in rainy Herefordshire it all seems like a dim and distant memory looking at sunny photographs.