Showing posts from 2019

Shelves for Belper War Memorial

We're making good use of the rainy summer by working in our cellar at the Old Post Office. We're building some shelves/steps to give a safe standing for pots of flowers around the War Memorial in the Belper Market Square. The sloping ground is too uneven to stand pots on the ground. That's two large sheets (2.4 x 1.2m) of 9mm OSB sawn, glued and assembled into eight 1.2 metre long double step units, then primed and painted to withstand the weather. With added wood batten reinforcement there's approximately 32 metres of glued and pin-nailed (at 75mm centres) joints. They'll be ready before the July deadline, despite having to do some re-work following flood damage to the steps. The gray pieces of wood are the end plates for the steps hanging to dry after receiving a coat of aluminium wood primer. We've need to provide three coats of paint over 12 square metres. The white uprights are some of the steps painted in white undercoat, waiting for the topco

Repairing the Gate

I'm currently working to repair our garden gate at the Old Post Office. It is quite old, but in no way is it the original gate. As suggested by the Council, rather than replace the gate we're going to remove the rotten wood at the base of the gate and scarf in some replacement planks. If we were to replace the gate, we'd need to seek listed building planning consent as the gate and the wall is part of the Grade II listing. When the gate was built everything was measured in feet and inches so it is not possible to buy timber the same size as the original. So, I've bought oversize timber and I'm cutting and planing it down to the original  Imperial measurements. The existing planks are tongue and groove jointed, so using my wood router, and a matched pair of USA produced Router bits, I've also cut tongue and groove joints in the new wood to the same dimensions as the old ones. We'll have to align the new planks (12"x5"x1") to line up with old

Google Voice comes to Belper

Over the years my work has entailed a lot of travelling in international destinations to provide consultancy and management support on larger projects. While in theory I have an office in Belper, no work other than checking the accounts is done there. We've got used to working from hotel rooms, construction sites, airport lounges and clients' offices. Our IT infrastructure used to be local server PC's with good network connections. We still have the relic machines sitting cold in the cellar of the Old Post Office. Now all of our work is in "The Cloud" of the Internet, all of our documents are held on the Servers of Amazon and Google. We can work from anywhere and access any document from any location with some form of Internet. All paper documents we receive are scanned and held on-line.  If we need to keep the original documents they are sent to secure remote storage. All photographs, project schedules, design plans and drawings are held in the internet for secu

Cleaning up the mud

Every time there's a cloudburst in Belper, the heavy rain overwhelms the sewers in Bridge Street in Belper.  Belper was a much smaller place when the sewers were first installed. Our cellar door is below street level, there's a drain gully beside the door. This gully is on approximately the same level as the top of the sewer in the street outside. Normally this is not a problem, except when there's a cloudburst. The heavy rainfall overwhelms the capacity of the sewer to take away the water and it backs up into our cellar drain gully. This often floods the area outside our cellar door , which then floods the cellar. We've raised this with Severn Trent, the authority responsible for maintaining the sewer system. They've fitted a blocking valve in our drain gully to stop the backflow. This definitely helps in reducing the incidents, but it has not cured the problem. We still get flooding. Even six months or so, a different team from Severn Trent appears, pokes aro

How to pay on your holidays and business trips.

Recently I have become really annoyed with the service offered by the NatWest Bank They've closed the local Branches for no good reason. They claimed lack of business for Belper Branch that always seemed to have a queue. They've also closed their ATM. I've also had problems with their debit card, but more about that later. I've started looking around for an alternative, and purely by chance, I think I found it in the Belper branch of Wilko's, an ironmonger and household goods store! It will also reduce the costs of spending money when you are travelling overseas. I was buying an Easter present for my wife, but approaching the cashier desk, I saw a stand containing various gift and store cards. I don't know why, but one card caught my attention. It was the Revolut prepaid bank card . It had a VISA Logo on the package. It priced at £4.95, but given the problems with NatWest I thought it might be worth a try. There was not much detail on the packaging, but I p

Stocking up the wood store

We're getting ready for the Pizza oven and BBQ season at the Old Post Office. We're hosting a meeting of the Belper BBQ/Pizza group , so we can't afford to be low on good dry hardwood for the oven. So it is off to Holly Grange Farm near Crich/Lea to our hardwood log supplier at   to buy half a dozen bags of kiln dried Ash logs. (£5 each). which was soon loaded into our store. There'll soon be some crisp delicious pizza at No 127 Bridge Street.

Children Clothes in Belper

One of the shops across the road from the Old Post Office sells good quality childrens' clothes. It is called Cheeky Bambini. If you are looking for Under-5 it is ideal.

What was life like back then?

The buildings for the old Post Office in Bridge Street, Belper were first built it was not a Post Office. It was built in 1805, we at war with the French Napoleonic Armies. Just 200 years before  51 Belper people had died in the Great Plague. The Post Office didn't have a network of public offices at that time, mail coaches probably called in at the George & Dragon Pub. The first adhesive postal stamp wasn't invented until 1837. It would be 1853 before the first mail post boxes were installed in Britain. In 1804 cotton workers would have started to use the newly rebuilt North Mill, previously destroyed by fire. The same type of bricks used in the North Mill floors are also present in some of the floors in the Old Post Office. The A6 Road as is now, between Belper and Matlock was opened as a Toll/Turnpike Road in 1837. Belper was the first place in Britain to get street gas lighting, the gas works was built in 1850. The first telephones in Belper were in 1895. Motor