Happy New Year everyone! This is a busy time for us. No visitors but plenty of projects to undertake before we open again at the end of March. The site is particularly cold in the winter and difficult but still the projects get done.
This year we are updating our children’s play area. The old equipment needed to be taken down. It has lasted us really well and was in a pub garden for many years before we ‘rescued’ it. However, the rot has been creeping in and now it has to be recycled into something new. The new design for the play area is shaping up well.
Site clearance also happens in January and February – before the birds start nesting. We do end up burning a lot of our scrubby bits. Not necessarily the greenest solution but composting would take years and we don’t have anything that would turn it into chippings.
Meanwhile, our admin team are reviewing the health and safety documents ready for another season. The team is growing steadily and the wealth of experience the volunteers bring is impressive. Other admin type tasks are marketing related. All the What’s On websites need our events added. This is a labour of love as each event has to be logged with all the relevant details. The better sites remember your details from event to event but some, alas, don’t and you have to put them all in each time.
The volunteers who restore and look after the machinery undertake similar projects all year round. They will be working on the boiler, the squeak in the steam engine – which they think they have now fixed – and restoring more cutting tables. We didn’t know how many of the latter we had until they started restoring them.
Finally, if that isn’t enough to be getting on with, we are going to work on the cafe. We have a grant for a proper coffee machine. This will vastly improve the cafe offer but we need to re-jig the counter to fit it in. Once all of these are in place we will be ready to open again. 10 weeks to go…no pressure!