CM917 - Set-up Day
After yesterday's heavy rain, today's weather could hardly be a greater contrast. The sun was out and there was a drying wind. Some of us arrived at the Store in Liss at 8.30am to load all the equipment needed into Mark's van and two of our cars, which took about an hour. When we arrived on site at Colemore the sign-posts on the local lanes had been set up, the trench outlines marked in paint, Juliet was supervising the mini-digger and the other helpers were unloading gear stored in the site shed and toilet block.
We spread the equipment from the vehicles onto a large tarpaulin while some helpers shovelled piles of sawdust onto the numerous cowpats around the tent area. The new Store/Display Tent had been erected yesterday, so the whole team got on with moving some of the equipment into the Store Tent and then putting up the marquee. It was like a military operation and done very slickly - except that as usual I forgot that some of the thin struts above the doors can unfortunately be put in the wrong way round, and the horizontal roof struts have to have the cross-braces put on before you slot the frame together!
However, by lunch break Mark was back from his second run of collecting gear from the store, the marquee and its roof were up, we had started on the side panels, most of the Finds Tent had been put together, and - most importantly - the urn had boiled and we could have a brew.
Shortly after lunch we finished putting up the marquee and the Finds Tent. The mini-digger finished its work and we could get on with the rest of the setting up.
Next job was to fence off the tent area and then the trenches, although by now the cattle had been moved into an adjoining field.
Then it was a matter of putting up the tables, laying the floor matting, setting up the finds equipment and display stands and having a tea break.
While we were having our tea, Arthur had arrived and despite his injured arm was trying to assemble the big sieves, so Chris gave him a hand.
By 4.00pm we were all fairly shattered so made a brief start on cutting the turf, but decided enough was enough and headed home. A very successful start, helped by the surprisingly warm weather!