A very long day
It was 9.15am when Peter rang Phil to tell him the hire wagon was late returning from the previous customer, but he was on his way. We had intended to leave Chester at about 9.30 giving us a good early start on the long journey to Dorset.
Peter arrived at 10 and we climbed aboard. Peter, an experienced wagon driver, had estimated the journey would take about 4 hours, which was before he picked up the truck. As we boarded the truck, and after the good mornings Peter said “the wagon is governed, it will only do 55mph”, so Phil, Peter, myself and a slow wagon were on our way to Dorset.
The first highlight of the day came when Peter pulled into a transport café just off the A5 for breakfast. It was a typical transport café, no frills but excellent food at a fraction of the cost of a motorway service station. After about 45mins and fortified by a huge breakfast we were on our way.
The journey down went very well, no hold-ups, but due to the speed of the wagon we only arrived at our destination about 5pm. The thatching supplier R.V.Miller LTD (http://www.rodmiller.co.uk/index.html) is situated about 5 miles from Wareham at place called Coombe Keynes. The thatch we were collecting was old stock so we were only charged half price (£1 per bundle. 700 bundles =£700)
On arrival we were greeted by a gentleman called Martin but everybody called him Bert. Bert started to load the bales of thatch (each bale contained 50 bundles). Unfortunately some of the straps holding the bales together snapped, so we had to handball about 200 bundles. After about one and a quarter hours we were loaded. Peter secured the load and after Phil paid the bill we were back on the road. With the long journey home ahead of us we decided that food was a priority so we stopped for a very large dinner courtesy of Little Chef. Energy restored it was non-stop to Caer Alyn.
We arrived at the home site at about 12.30am. Russ had left us a 1.000.000 candle power torch to help during unloading (we were going to need it, the field near the round house was very dark, in fact the whole area was very dark). Unfortunately the torch lasted about 30 seconds and then died. After lots of swearing and cursing the thatch was finally unloaded, it was 1.55am. It was a very, very, very, long day but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
On behalf of all at the Caer Alyn Project I would like the thank Peter for this help and dedication to the project. Without Peter's help the round house project would have ground to a halt. By volunteering to collect the thatch he also saved the project about £1000. The cost of delivery would have been approximately £517 and if we had purchased the thatch elsewhere it would have cost the project about £1400 giving a grand total of £1917.
Total cost of the trip to Dorset
Hire of Wagon ……………………. £125
Alan Brown 26/06/07
Posted by Alan Brown, Jun 26, 2007