Covid Lockdown Project

During the second lockdown in November 2020 our team started a new project. When we first moved into our new office/warehouse in 2019 it needed plenty of work. The first task was to clear out the inside of the warehouse which was full of old boat bits. The building’s former owners had kept the place in unorganised chaos.

The outside of the building was also run down and overgrown. Even the permitter fence was barely still standing and completely overrun by trees. In 2019 the team organised the building to create a useable office space and more organise storage areas. We also ripped out the old fence and put a new metal fence to give us extra security.

Tree Roots

One job that we didn’t do when we first moved in was to sort the yard itself. Half was covered in concrete slab and the other half was packed stones. The concrete slabs had clearly been effected over the years by the nearby tree’s roots. With our team wanting to use the forklift to lift and move heavy items we really needed a hard surface everywhere.

So when the second lockdown was announced Steve decided now was the perfect time to get stuck in.

Armed with concrete breaking tools our team set about breaking up the existing concrete. We soon realised the enormity of how much concrete we would have to shift! As well as thinner concrete slabs there were also thick foundation lines strengthened with steel bars.

Breaking System

The team had a system going with two people breaking the concrete, one on the hired in digger and another doing frequent trips to site that would take the waste rubble.

Our aim was to remove all the old concrete and rubble and leave ourselves with an even hard surface to concrete on top of. We removed tonnes of concrete, brick, soil, sand and tree roots. Once we had exposed the roots it was clear they had caused the concrete to bulge out.

One fiddly part of the process was to expose the water pipe running from the toilet block and make sure we rebuilt the inspection hatch. We also had to fit the drainage to make sure that our new smooth concrete surface wouldn’t cause our office to flood.

Breaking, Digging and Scraping

After days of breaking, digging and scraping the surface we finally got to the stage of shuttering up our areas to be concreted. We created rectangular sections which we then had pre-mixed concrete poured in to. The team then set about levelling the sections to make sure our yard would be a perfect work surface.

At the end of November and into December we gradually covered the yard patch by patch with thick new reinforced concrete. Luckily for us the Mixer lorry was able to reverse onto the yard and pour directly into each section we were filling. Otherwise we would have had to wheelbarrow tonnes of concrete which would have been hard work.

With the turn of the new year and the third lockdown we just had two more sections to complete. We then left the sections untouched so they could properly set solid.

Transformation Since 2019

As you can see from the before and after pictures the transformation since 2019 is fantastic. It’s given us much more space to work and store things outside our office. It will be great once things are allowed to open again. Then we can have our own open day with a marquee set up outside.

We hope that once we get the warehouse organised and people can visit it will become a really popular destination for the boating community.

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