By Justin Clifford – DRST trainee.
What a difference 3 months makes. Hampered only by what seems an everlasting wet winter, trainees Justin Clifford and Mitchell Fawcett, along with instructor Don Gaskins, returned to complete the stoned faced wall at Steiner School which by way of a reminder looked like this before we started:
As the previous report will document the first task was to build a round quoin around the entrance to the schools admin area. Our task on this visit was to continue along the walls length with a plan of building into the wall a chair for waiting parents or children to sit awaiting collection. Thereafter it was important that the wall dovetailed into the existing wall boundary which had simply collapsed over the years. Our plan quite simply, under the direction of Don, was to maintain a low line wall on an ascending slope across its length.
Footings for the chair were made in the same way as the remainder of the walls footings. That is to say 4-6 inches below ground level. Having selected two suitable pieces of stone for both the base and back stone. The next task was to carefully select stone that would serve as arm rest for the inset chair. That is to say stone that gave a good angle to each arm yet large enough to remain stable whilst sat within the wall itself. It is important to ensure these stones are large enough to provide both structure and purpose and are themselves safe and are not set in a way that they would otherwise collapse in on themselves. This was the first inset chair I have done during my training which was challenging given the limited stone available. I was also reminded of the importance of maintaining the chosen batter on both sides of the chair swell as maintaining the height of the infill which at times seemed to eat up the finely sifted soil.