Progress Report - December 2020

As we approach the end of 2020 we have continued clearing the site, finding and sorting the stone and with planning and project management.

We hope to finish the first stage of stone sorting in early January, but will then need to carry out a more detailed examination of the dressed stone as we put it into sets for each structural component, such as a window or the porch.

The arboricultural contractors have removed some trees from what will become the station forecourt area and the volunteer team has cleared up using the new chipper attachment on the horticultural tractor.

Tree surgeons at work - 21-Nov-2020

Some of the logs loaded for removal - 11-Dec-2020

The ‘Tuesday gang’ have started preparations for siting the new batch concrete mixer which will initially be placed conveniently near to the Heyford building site when it arrives. Hopefully we will get as good a life out of it as from the existing Mixer which was purchased second hand in around 1985 – and is still working.

Dave Godfrey uses the JCB to clear a space for the temporary retaining wall for aggregate - 15-Dec-2020

The concrete mixing area takes shape - 15-Dec-2020

Our architect, Frank Ellis, has been preparing new drawings, as a volunteer from his home in Newcastle, and we are in the process of designing the foundations with a structural engineer. We are completing preparations for the planning application which should be submitted shortly.

Once we have our permissions, hopefully by early Spring, all these preparatory works will enable us to get on with constructing the foundations without delay.

And the field mouse? Well a variety of wildlife has called the piles of Heyford stone home over the years it has laid undisturbed, and much of this has been forced to re-locate due to our activities - this has included a toad, and a rather scary spider, but the mouse is by far the cutest! In mitigation we have built some bug-houses in the adjacent copse using some of the arisings from the tree-felling operation.

We invite members to join our working parties which are on most Thursdays commencing at 10am. We sometimes meet on a Sunday too, but at the moment, whilst we are sorting the stone, we cannot work when the main demonstration line is in use. 

For more details contact Tim Part via the Didcot Office or at