Saturday, 28 March 2009

The Northern Rock or Zigmond's Folly

It seems such a long time ago that we decided we wanted to do something spectacular in the garden.

You may remember that the garden is a strangely elongated isosceles triangle that rises steeply away from the chapel/house to its apex. Does that make sense? Probably not.

Anyway, we felt we needed something to draw the eye up to the garden's farthest point which is when Jon hit on the idea of some sort of stone monolith. This was partly in tribute to the many such stones that have been erected over the years all over the moors here from the earliest times. They later were fashioned into crosses but we decided to stick to something more basic.

Chance so happened that Drings, the local stone yard had just taken delivery of a massive piece of sandstone quarried somewhere near Doncaster. This would normally be broken up into manageable pieces but we nabbed it.

That was a couple of years ago. In fact, if you can be bother to track back to my earliest posts you should find it. Ah, here it is!

Then of course we needed planning permission (granted) and then we needed to find out how it could be delivered and set in place and how much it would all cost. This is what took the time. I won't bore you with the tedious details--partly because I don't remember them and get confused with tonnage and weight ratios but, having turned down silly prices from some crane-hire companies and learned that the steepness of the hill and the width and weight of crane required meant that we'd never get it in place as it was, we decided to slice the rock into three vertically and slice a chunk from the bottom. The pieces were then to be arranged slightly off kilter. Still with me?

Eventually we found a very accommodating crane company who together with Drings delivered the rocks a couple of weeks ago. This necessitated closing the road for a couple of hours. The farmer up the lane was quite happy, the locals were amused by our idiocy rather than annoyed. In fact, the only people who got a bit hot under the collar were some tourists in a Range Rover--who'd come up against the 'road closed' sign at the cattle grid further up the lane, had carefully removed the bollards only to find themselves face to face with a huge waggon. When asked why they ignored the sign (which was placed where they could easily turn round and take an alternative route to the village said "we wanted to know why the road was closed."

They soon found out.

It was a beautiful, if blustery day. The work was carried out quickly and efficiently by hard-hatted (but not hearted) men from the crane company, Drings, ably and professionally assisted by Ian and Brian who'd built the concrete base and been part of the whole process from its earliest days.

All in all, a successful and good-hearted day and we have now got a big talking point in the garden. Cars come to a virtual halt as they pass. Idiots we may be but as the feature is not likely to disappear for a very long time, if ever, we feel we've made our mark on the local landscape.

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