We’re a few weeks into our work at Scartho Cemetery, in Grimsby, Lincolnshire. In August we landed on-site and got going with setting up a compound and pulling up the tiles to investigate the groundwork. Our friends at K&I finished the scaffolding on the chapel allowing us to get up to the top of the steeple and closely inspect the existing mortar.
Lime Mortar Inspection
Although we knew we’d be bringing down the stonecourses at the top of the steeple, we wasn’t sure what condition they would be in. Until the scaffolding went up, we couldn’t precisely give an assessment of the structure. As you can see from the video, we can now get right up to the top and have a closer look. The top seven tiers are all Ancaster Hard White limestone, held together with decaying lime mortar, and below that is brickwork. We’re fresh off the back of a steeple dismantlement, having taken down St. Peter’s in Chorley recently. That was pulled down, stone by stone, numbered, and rebuilt with fresh mortar. This isn’t scheduled to be brought down just yet, but our project managers now know what they’re working with.
Lying either side of the steeple, there are two working chapels. One of the biggest problems affecting these is the damage to the floors, caused by water ingress. This has pushed up the tiles and caused an uneven floor in the chapels. The solution to this is improved drainage, but again, we needed to investigate the ground first. It’s all well and good planning the drainage routes but it won’t work without knowing what we’ll be digging into. Having dug away the problem areas, we also cut a square out of the chapel floor. We used a circular saw fed with water, so that it moistened the work area and didn’t kick up too much centuries-old dust. From the samples we took, our project managers can determine the best course of action to strengthen the ground.
Stripped Out Internals
Our “Home Decor” team are a bit rough and ready. Demolition is their speciality, as you can see from the video. The old rooms in the Waiting Rooms building needed completely stripping out, ready to be re-purposed. The rooms were former toilets, and were obviously no longer in use. Stripping out the furniture, they came out with wheelbarrows full of toilets, pipes and hand dryers. The rooms have been completely gutted out of furniture and are ready to move on to the next stage.
We’ll be here for the next 30 weeks so it’s important to have a positive working environment. We’ve had a few jobs in the past where our on-site facilities have been the van and a portaloo. But these have been smaller, shorter jobs. For a project this size, a working, welcoming compound was necessary. There was some space on-site that was slightly overgrown in places that we eyed up as a compound space. With the space approved by the client, we set up our offices. A couple of cabins later, fully furnished and signposted, we had our little working village in place. The final steps to setting up the compound was to make sure we had comforts for not only our workers, but for site visitors too.
We’re thrilled to help our friends at Scartho rejuvenate their structures and bring them back to hospitable, workable buildings. Keep your eyes peeled on our video page or YouTube channel and social media pages for updates!