Interesting that we were only talking about chaff cutter wheels yesterday and another one comes to light. I know that the same blacksmiths could have been making the wheels for the actual chaff-cutters (the farm implement) as were creating the metalwork for barges but this one is in an old Post Office. A friend has recently bought a lovely ‘period’ house in Boughton High Street near Faversham in Kent which runs to three floors including some bedrooms in the expected higgledy-piggledy roof, but also some superb catacomb-like vaulted-ceiling basement rooms. The place was formerly an old Post Office and there is what looks like a mail-bag chute down from pavement level into the front of this basement. Alongside this chute is the curious contraption pictured permanently mounted to the wall as if it must have been part of the post office equipment. We have no idea what it is, so if anyone knows, please let us in on the secret. Meanwhile, the friend, who is a sailing nut and barge fan (she’s been on Cambria and Greta) and very amused that we say she named her daughter after SB Greta (Greta took this picture) is calling it her chaff cutter.
With the hull and major components now in place, our in-house modelling team of Dave and Tony Brooks are now getting down to details of deck furniture and so on. Dave takes up the story from the 22nd November. ”
When we had finished last week Dad suggested that he would attempt to create a chaff cutter wheel. I knew he wasn’t really looking forward to it and had resigned myself to using one of the watch cogs as a wheel, which would have looked wrong. I was amazed to see the result of his efforts. We have a genuine mini Westmoreland size chaff cutter wheel.
So if we have a wheel we will need something for it to turn. Time to look at the rudder and how we are going to fit it to the barge. The main post is made from balsa wood and the blade from pine. We opted for four small pieces of drilled brass, two inserted in the stern post and two in the rudder post. Getting the gudgeon pin to line up was a task and it reminded me of when we put Cambria’s rudder on for the first time. Indeed we were thwarted that day until some adjustments were made to the hinges.
One of Westmoreland’s distinctive features is her rubbing bands on her bow and to finish off last night we fitted them in readiness to give our hull its first coat of black paint. During the week a little more cleaning up will be taking place and who knows we may get that coat of black on next session.”
I’m impressed you guys!
Incidentally, Dave also tells me that there is now a nice video of the Medway Match 2012 available as a DVD through the Edith May website. You will recall that Cambria won her class in that race and Dave tells me that there is some nice footage of Cambria in the film. The DVD is £12.50 from the merchandise section of the Edith May website at http://www.edithmaybargecharter.co.uk/shop/category/merchandise/ . Nice Christmas present idea?