Developing The Site

Clearing The Tank Ramp

Initial Access to The site

The first thing we wanted to do was excavate the ramp, but to do that we first had to get there. The hillside above the ramp was heavily overgrown with a variety of thorny plants which meant the only access was by boat. Group members had to fight their way down the hill with machetes, hedging knives, chainsaws and strimmers to open up the initial pathways to the site.

The Excavation

The first phase of the excavation was all done by hand, digging away the layers of silt with shovels and spades. This was hard work, but volunteers braved the cold weather and by early January 2010 a section of the ramp, about 8 feet wide was clear from top to bottom.

It had taken more than a month to get this far and there was still a lot more mud to shift. But thanks to a generous donation we were able to hire 360° Excavator to finish the job off. This not only made clearing the rest of the ramp much faster and easier, on it's way down the hill it was able to convert our hand cut pathway into a wide clear track giving us access for vehicles for the first time. It was also used to clear the original track to the Tank Ramp as far as our South boundary, clear the overgrown half moon behind the ramp and the green above.

The Saga of the Steps

Southern Boundary Steps Project.

This project was completed during the weekend of March 6th & 7th 2010. With Martin Lambert's organisation and engineering skills the project was completed safely and successfully. Thank you to all the group members who were involved in the preparation for this phase and those over the weekend who, with Martin as Slavedriver, completed the project in record time!

The Paths

Improving The Paths for Public Access

To make the site accessible for the public BSHG had to improve upon the rough dirt tracks they had beaten down to the Tank Ramp. The main access we used on foot was the south path which runs along the southern boundary of the land. This was originally cut by hand and in places was very steep, uneven and slippery. So using funds we has raised we bought the materials to make proper footpaths. We hired a Bobcat mini digger to level out uneven sections and bought several tons of gravel and lengths of tanalised wood for edge boards. The edge boards were set into the ground with wooden pegs, taram laid between them and the gravel wheel barrowed and tipped onto it. Tiring work, but worth the effort. Unfortunately the poor weather over the past year has put an end to the work for now as the path is only two thirds complete. But we hope to finish the rest as soon as conditions allow.

Works Diary

A record of works carried out by the group.

DATE DETAILS
Construct and erect fibreglass flagpole etc, on ramp Pouring with rain. picture
Digging off the Tank Ramp. picture
Continuing digging the tank ramp by hand
Making path down hill and digging ramp and pumping mud with boat
Built sluice. Tapped into nearby stream to give water to sluice, finished off digging ramp.
Hire 360° excavator, cut access down hill to ramp and start cleaning ramp and old depot.
Clearing the ramp.
Clearing ramp and brushing up.
Cleaning site of driftwood and other rubbish.
Continue sitework.
Still digging off slipway with machine, made bird table for the semi circle behind ramp.
Still digging off slipway. Deer have been feeding on hay - muntjac and roe deer prints in snow round hay.
Fitted life ring to pole with lanyard, swept silt off concrete - pouring with rain!
Swilling all silt and debris off lower slipway.
Redoing pipe to slipway as came adrift. Tidying up paths, supplying more hay for wild deer, filled up bird feeder. Great tits in abundance along with robins, but not seen stonechat since caught on video.
Greased 360° excavator up, patrolled site, took video footage of area. Filled up bird feeder.
Clearing path to stream to lay pipe. Loading work boat at Solitary House Slip to take pipe to tank ramp, ready to lay.
Launched Indipup (boat) at 6.45 am with all gear loaded to deliver to tank ramp. picture
To Bourne, Lincolnshire, looking for machine to get up and down hill to transport gear, (found valentine and sherman tanks at Frithville, Boston.) picture
Filling in water pipe trench and clearing 50 sq yd area for orchard.
Meeting with Capt. Cowing, Harbour Master ABP at Port House, Hull.
Making sprinkler pipes for slipway. Floating new storage shed to site with boat.
Making launching trolley for workboats. Sleepers delivered to Bob Grays yard.
Cutting sleepers, digging steps and fitting them in place. picture
Handrails on new steps and 6 extra steps cut and fitted.
Painting handrail, laying gravel, cutting new access road for new machine, grading orchard area.
Sorting out water pipe filter. Working on new tractor (Daisy!), cleaning down and priming.
Fitting blade and pushing frame to 'Daisy', also hydraulics and rain canopy. Cutting sleepers at Grays' Yard for steps. Fitting steps to bottom of south path.
Rotivating half moon for turf. Repairing new gate for top of hill driveway.
Took truck down, fitted new gate, took 4x4 down to bottom of hill and back, all ok. Took 'Daisy' to hillside, rotivated 50 sq m of park area.
Rotivating land on hillside and on half moon at slipway.
Grass seeded to recreation area.
Landscaping in Tank Ramp area, steps, terrace & sleeper bench. picture
Planning course for new "Alpine Track." New twin piston blade fitted to Daisy. picture
Daisy working on new alpine track. Bobcat hired for levelling of Southern path in preparation for graveling. picture
Wind pump recovered from Brick Ponds. picture
Grading and improvements to the bottom section of the track. picture
New clearing made next to the North Track. picture
Second traverse of the Alpine Track re-routed. picture
Top steps and top section of South Path gravelled. Gravel taken to mid section of South Path via the new Alpine Track. picture
Continued work on South Path.
Grading and improvements to the bottom section of the North track. picture
Test runs for Raft Race. picture
Panoramic 360° photographs taken on the site.
New fence and gate built at the top of the steps. picture
Cleaning of the Memorial Stone in preparation for the stone mason. picture
Cutting the recess in the Memorial Stone for the plaque. picture
Sitework for the War Memorial. picture
The Memorial Stone was lifted into place on the Chicken Field. picture
Tarmacing of War Memorial area. picture
Benches placed and fastened down at the War Memorial.
Unveiling and Dedication of the War Memorial. picture

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© 2017 Burton upon Stather Heritage Group

© Background Photograph by Sam Ablott.