I’m absolutely shattered but have got lots of time to get over today’s effort. Nobody wants to do the last day of back-breaking back-filling but it has to be done.
Keys were a recurring theme again today after Debbie’s troubles last night. I drove past the Newfield singing along to a CD and parked at the Parish Rooms. Before I could open up, I had to walk back down the road and find the keys and today’s milk at Gail’s before I could get the kettles up and running. Then there was the job of cleaning the cool bag where the spilt milk inside was really stinking sour.
We went up the track for one more time and got straight on with the jobs. Big stones first, not the very big stones that NT team had moved, then medium sized and then little ones to fill the trenches. Wheelbarrow runs were constructed from the piles to the hollows and by lunchtime we were on to soil and turf.
Where the heaps were well separated, the job was relatively straight forward. The big heap on the north side was an awful mix of everything and took a lot of digging out. You need to have worked a final dig day to realize how important it is to keep separate piles when you are only moving bucketfuls.
Lunch was very peaceful. Several of us slept. Some of us only woke when the sounds of shovelling and barrowing became louder than the cool, quiet dreams.
I set a time limit of 14:00 to finish the labouring and start the tidying up and getting stuff down to the Parish rooms. The first load went down with Jeremy, Bob and Phillip while the rest of us took down the tents and moved all the remaining kit down to the track. While Jeremy drove back, my time team pulled up the posts and took off the signs as I trundled behind with the barrow collecting things up.
We met a group of young lads returning to the tarn in the hope of finding their cars keys And chuckled at their plight. We met a couple coming up the track who were following the time line. They had to get them all at one spot and read through the pile of boards like a short history book.
Jeremy went past around 1800 and, only then did I realize I had my car keys in my sack in the back of the 4X4 – lesson: never chuckle at other people’s misfortune. I had to jog down with the barrow load of posts to start a relay of “Wait!”s that reached the truck as the bottom gate was opened.
We decided to pub first and sort out later so off we all went to the pub. When I say all, it is a bit of an exaggeration as it was actually all of us except Lesley who was locked in the toilet and, fortunately, Linda who was still by her car to hear the shouting.
After chips and drinks, we brought in the pudding. Cake made by Jean and iced amazingly by Mur. There was much admiration and photographing and then a great idea from Jeremy. I hope you are up to this Debbie! We have taken a series of drone photos of the cake, that is without a drone which seemed a luxury on this scale, and are relying on your Agisoft skills to make us a 3D movie.
Then as the volunteers left, the hard core sorted a load to go to Ken’s garage, a load to go to my garage and the first load to return to OAN. Debbie will be coming back tomorrow to collect the rest and will find her piece of cake sitting on the tent.
So the dig is sort of over but not quite. We’ll need another working party to finish the returfing. We will be waiting for the carbon dating and sample results. There will be two reports produced – a technical one and a “popular version”. There will be a presentation evening in Broughton once things are ready.
We need comments on the dig from everyone who has taken part to go in our report to the heritage Lottery Fund.
Finally, if you have any bright ideas about we can do next, email me at email@example.com
A little note from Debbie
As i was not there to today, grafting with the rest of you, I just wanted to say thank you for all your hard work. Without volunteers like yourselves and organisations like the Duddon Valley Local History Group, community digs that these would not be possible. It has been an absolute pleasure working alongside you all in such a magical place.
Thank you Stephe for saving me a piece of that scrummy cake. Challenge accepted for the 3D cake model!
I hope I see you all soon.