Monday, 28 December 2015

New team member


Met the newest member of Copestone Walling. Due to start work mid January


Sunday, 20 December 2015

Sleeping beauty

As this time of year approaches many creatures use drystone walls for hibernation, especially frogs and toads.
They are always so sleepy as I carefully carry them over to another section of wall for them to crawl into.




What to do when it's pouring with rain!

Having been on a great stone carving course at the  Eco centre in Wirksworth I now know what I can do on those horrible rainy or snowy days when walling is not an option.


Recent work


I've had some really interesting jobs this autumn, below are a few of the highlights...


Facing a block wall with offcuts in order to hide the oil bund. (see gallery to see before and afters!)
It looks so much better now...

Building walls on a new housing estate, a really different working environment!
Rebuilding a very tall (7ft) granite wall at an Abbey in Leicestershire, had to use tower scaffold to reach the top!

A lovely curved wall made with local sandstone...curves are always a little more challenging, but this one looks great!
Awaiting copestones as owner is debating whether to use traditional copes or flat ones...

Mud mud glorious mud!

It has been a busy Autumn and a mild one, thank goodness, although I do think that rain is worse than cold! I seem to spend my days covered in mud!

Looking clean in this shot!

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Summer shows

Have had a really busy summer promoting dry stone walling at various shows around Derbyshire and Staffordshire on behalf of DDSWA (Derbyshire Dry Stone Walling Association)

Had the opportunity to use different local materials including granite which isn't often found in Derbyshire!

Ashby Magna Show 2015

Derbyshire County Show - Alvaston, 2015

Chatsworth Show 2015

The main feature, a tribute to the late Dowager Duchess,
built by the Derbyshire Branch of the DSWA.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Rebuild including a steps

Just finished a lovely job rebuilding a wall and adding steps so the owner could access the land below the wall.
HUGE stone needed to make the steps! very heavy...never be in doubt that we women can move heavy stone when we need to!

Wall collapsed...

Some great stone available for steps...it has to be long enough to form a step either side of the wall.

The finished wall...still needing copes but with steps in place!



Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Walling in the warm...at last!

Just finished a wall near Belper. Walling in gorgeous sunshine, lucky lucky me!

Fairly decrepid!
Very decrepid and stuffed with rubbish!


Now, that looks better!


Been walling recently in Staffordshire with my colleague Steve Clifton and have been treated to summer like days...even been walling in t-shirts having shed between 3-7 layers of thermals!

Last day, wall finished, sun's out, life's good!
Curlews, meadow pippits and buzzards are calling and pairing up ready for the breeding season, saw my first swallow, feels like Spring is definitely here!

Friday, 13 March 2015

Walls and more walls!


Been a busy month or so...dodging snow, stone stuck together with ice...hmmm, that was a new one! and now the purchase of large tarps so I can continue even when it snows!



Unfortunately a jcb had been used to take down this field wall...they had also scraped a large amount of earth over the stone so the first day was spent digging the stone out from the earth before I could grade it!

Finally finished with 3 stones left over!!!


Remember the asbestos wall..as in asbestos stops play...or rather, walling?
Lovely stone but not used well to strengthen wall as much of it had been stood on it's side rather than length in - this would indicate that they were short of stone on building it.
Rebuilt whilst trying to use original faces so it maintains it's established look rather than a repaired gap...which of course is what it is!
Similarly on the inside tried to retain the green face so it looks established and the moss and other lichens will grow back quickly

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Why walls go wonky!


This is one of the recent walls I've been working on, and it's clear why it's starting to twist bend and fall over!
No 'hearting' so nothing to give strength to the insides...seems to be a common fault in walls!

Quite easy to see the effect of this tree on the wall even though we can't see the actual roots
This wall will fall given the ongoing action of the tree and the fact that there's no internal strength!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Asbestos stops play!

Hmm, first it was the snow...pretty impossible to get to a wall that's under 8" of snow. Then I discovered what looks like asbestos in the wall...so have had to stop until it's identified and dealt with. 

Pllease note, builders of the future...a dry stone wall is NOT a good place to stuff asbestos!
Thank goodness we discovered it before the children who live here did!

Pieces of asbestos in the rubble in the wall

Part of the problem with this wall is the lack of 'hearting' meaning it has no internal strength and support, it's much more likely to move, bow and crack under any kind of pressure.