New improvements at the Cottage

Dear all,
you’ll probably all be aware that we fitted a new multi-fuel burner in the Barn over a year ago, this has proved a great advance on the broken Quebb burner and has improved the Barn no end. It has been a big success with Barn groups so has helped secure our ongoing income…

Committee are now in a position to carry out a similar improvement in the Cottage, and will be fitting a similar tried and tested burner: multifuel, with removable grate for burning coal if required, with two glass doors. The flue will be replaced by black vitreous enamel flue pipe, rather than the current insulated twin wall pipe, so that will also kick out heat. We will fit a butterfly valve so it can be shut down overnight. Generally there should be a great increase in warmth and efficiency downstairs, but also upstairs.

To prepare for this I was up at christmas removing one of the stone seats, cutting back and rebuilding the other, and relaying part of the hearth. The central sloping section of hearth can’t be rebuilt until the present burner is moved out; the walls will be replastered after this and painted. I’m hoping we can get the old burner out, the hearth rebuilt, and the new burner in and fitted in a short space of time. I want to make sure that the Cottage is without a working burner for the minimum period possible, but there will be a short time when we don’t have a burner. I will let everyone know in advance, it will hopefully be mid week.

Combined with new, seasoned and non-rotten logs, and the new stove-top fan, I am hoping that this will increase warmth, reduce our fuel consumption, and improve the overall ambiance…

In addition Khalid is actively looking for a new oven for the Cottage kitchen. There are a range of options. There will also be more food racking in the kitchen as it gets cramped, and causes traffic jams.

The delayed rebuilding of the shed roof will hopefully happen in early May, insurance permitting. We will strip the old roof, build a new one, felt and batten, and reslate. This will not be done at Spring Working Meet as it is too early in the year, and is best done as a standalone Working Meet over a long weekend.
A few volunteers will be needed, all skills levels welcome as plenty of carrying of materials, cleaning of slates and passing up of cups of tea…but if there are any roofers or members with building experience that would be great. Normal Working Meet craic, with evening meals (hopefully in new oven) and a bacon butty. Should be a really good long weekend.
Once the roof is sound we will replace the door and window and then sort out inside, with proper racking, a workbench and clear a lot of old paint, materials and general rubbish!

All these improvements take time to plan, and club money and members’ time to carry out, hopefully they will further improve the huts. Do please consider coming to a Working Meet to help keep our huts in great shape. Thank you to all those who do, the last few Working Meets have been really productive and great occasions, long may that continue. If you have any ideas for improvements do let me know, but be prepared to do a little research and active work to help those ideas become a reality.

Chiz (Hut Warden)

General reminders:

  • If you hire the Barn as a member you do NOT get access to the Cottage woodstore or equipment. The only times Cottage wood should be used at Barn is for working meets/AGM etc, not when you hire it. Buy your own.

  • Don’t chop logs on the tiles. We repaired the broken tiles a few months ago, and someone has already broken more. Don’t do it!!! There is simply no need. Chop logs and kindling outside, if you actually know what you are doing with an axe!

  • Don’t leave logs in plastic trugs by the fire, we’ve had one trug melt, it’s a serious fire risk. I am looking to get a metal log bin/hip bath if anyone sees a sound one that isn’t silly money.

  • Take some rubbish/recycling down when you go out, don’t leave it to the last person, and DO do some cleaning before you go above and beyond washing up and wiping surfaces.

  • The stove fan goes at the back of the stove, next to the flue, not the front. Don’t fiddle, it IS magic, leave it there!

  • If we are runing low on anything, let me know and we’ll sort it, many thanks to those who have told me about low supplies, and to Mike P. for spotting issues, replenishing supplies, meeting tradespeople, carrying out safety checks and general all round star qualities.

Thank you

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