Some of you may have noticed the new material bays have now been built at the far end of the over flow car park in the last couple of weeks. Taking advantage of the wettest months of all time, sorry I mean year :-) is something I like to do.
The Management Commitee backed us to start the first of our many projects as we looked to improve not only the course but our infrastructure as a club.
The material storage bays for our sands, top dressings and pathway materials was always on our list and was something that will be essential with the increased projects, drainage and course maintenance.
Not only will keep the over flow car park tidy and save man hours, it will also reduce the amount of materials wasted.
Firstly I submitted plans and costings to the MC while at the same time Ian Permain, Mark Cox (Architect) and Myself looked at the site with potential future plans in mind.
The brief was to fit in the bays alongside enough over flow parking for our events now but with bigger events in the future as an option too. We also looked a places for a new Greenkeeping storage area (as our space now is very, very limited) which can also be added in the future.
Above Mark Cox measuring out the site for the plans
After some initial site visits it became clear that option D was going to be our best option due to fall on the car park and the required space for parking.
Having materials lying loose always looks untidy but more importantly it meant the old bays which required the materials to be dropped in the yard and moved by the greenstaff back into place (which also caused the drains to block in our yard and the shed to flood) could be used for the staff in the future. The old bays were also too small meaning materials were also dumped into the over flow car park taking up valuable parking spaces (see below).
We looked at many different styles, shapes and angles (Arctic lorry turning circles+ widths etc) before selecting the plans above. These were not only cost effective (sleepers and RSJ) but could be built by the greenstaff.
In the end we decided to build 4 bays. We normally have 5 materials but they are seasonal so 4 would be perfect and double what we had.
I will try to give a quick over view of the two weeks-
The greenstaff cleared the site including two large yew trees that were not in good shape. This was a big task and Patrick Trant lent us a 6 ton digger and two dumpers plus a drive Graham and a chipper to help Eric our digger driver to clear the site quickly. This allowed us to move timber extra quick while Eric started to clear the site ready for us to get the levels for the new bays.
For those of you who haven't met Eric with his strong Irish accent and Graham
Mr Trants estate gardener/digger driver with his strong Hampshire accent really missed a comedy gold moment as both discussed the best way to get the site level using both of them. I was going to take minutes but I think it was impossible. The greenstaff faces said enough ;-)
We then built up one end to help us get a rough level before measuring out the bays on the ground.
The entire area was then built up and levelled using scalpings. One RSJ was set in as our marker from that point on.
All the sleepers were then spilt by lengths and grouped for certain spots on the plan. Firstly they were all numbered then they were then grouped in sixes by a letter. This meant that each group of 6 were the same size and the RSJs could be put in tight against them.
Then the foundations were then dug out to 1/2 metre wide. 1 metre long and 2ft deep.
Some of the double foundations were dug out together. The areas for the ready mix were marked so the digger could simply load and swing it into place.
Once we had dug out the foundations for the back wall we started to move the RSJ's into place and set them in wit the ready mix. This was a curb mix which allowed us to adjust heights and levels (this took particularly a lot of time but it was worth it).
The optimum lettered sleeper was then placed at the bottom as the RSJs were lowered into place. This also held them in position while the mix set over night.
The following day was pretty similar with the side wall RSJ going into place.
These were left over the weekend to set and first thing Monday we collected our timbers and started to shutter the bays and more scalpings arrived for our levels to be finalised.
As the ground moved away so much we had to drop each bay slightly to get the levels right. This meant there was a slight step from one to the other. We planned to poor bays 1 and 3 on the first poor and 2 and 4 on the second. This is done to allow room for tamping.
The reinforcement mesh and L bars were then added to the concrete and sat up using mesh shoes.
At this point Mark Muddimans (a member) ground works team arrived to help with the poor. These guys are professional and we needed a good finish as the bucket tractor would be sliding along these bay floors for many years to come. I felt with the large scale it was worth getting the help at this final stage. It was and they were fantastic.
As the cement went off the levels and any adjustment were made.
The next day bays 2 and 4 were shuttered and set up for the poor. Again the greenstaff were under pressure as the lorry arrived early but completed them just on time. The last stage was to shutter and poor the apron this area allows the lorry to back in and gives them more room. Now this wasn't part of the original plan but we were advised to do it as the rest of the car park is made up of different surfaces. All the others I build in the past were next to Tarmac. So I learnt something new and will know that next time.
Once the concrete had set the sleepers were placed in the back and side walls according to there letter working to complete bays at a time. The digger was boarded at all times to reduce the damage it could cause.
The greenstaff worked fantastically during the project. I think they enjoyed it. Extra hours were put in when needed to get the job done.
Finally all the sleepers were added to the walls.
The bays were now finished and the stock materials were placed back into the bays.
And here's the team that built them.L-R Steve, Levi, Paul, Rob, Graham and Eric Butler (digger/looks) Charlie and Graham B (away for the photo) and myself (taking the photo).
All the greenstaff. (A special mention to Graham Hastie for carrying on and pushing it to the finish line while I was on holiday).
A great job by everybody especially during this really wet spell out on the course.
It will improve the car park and the way in which we use our materials with less wasteage.
A special thanks must go to Mark Muddiman, Ian Permain and Mark Cox for giving up so much time to help. Graham and Mr Trant for assisting at the start of the project. Lastly thanks to Eric Butler who has built new bays with me now at four clubs and they always get better!
Another small project which has been completed in the week after the bays is our new pump house. A pump house is exactly what is says on the tin. It's where our Irrigation pumps are kept.
At the end of last summer both of our irrigation pumps gave up on us and they were 18 years old and beyond repair.
It was felt that they had never been fitted 100% correct with to many turns in the pipe work meaning air getting in the system. We purchased two more pumps but always intended to move them out of the main shed as room is limited. Lucky for us the good old british summer meant it rained from that point on and we didn't need to fit them.
Roll on to February and we were able to move the pump house.
Firstly we purchased a new shed this was built inside our exciting fertiliser store by Steve and Levi.
We created a pad out from the concrete we had left over from the bays very quickly but it's worked fantastic. A conduit was added to run cables through from our existing shed.
The pump house was put in place and then had marine ply added inside for us to attach our control boards and electrics onto.
Once the ply has been added the electrics were then moved over (thanks Paul) to the new shed along with the new pumps and pressure vessel.
Once all the pipe work had been refitted and angles changed on to the tank to reduce air in the system.
The shed was completed and hooked up to the existing system.
Please be aware that pump houses are very dangerous places. High voltage and high pressure units with water and electric sitting side by side are not to be entered by anyone with out authorisation.
I think moving the pump house outside has been a good project. It has given us a little more room in the main shed. We now have a light pump house rather than a dark wet room. This looks simple on here but it really is not as this is so important to our summer course. We are building up from solid foundations as we slowly improve the irrigation system.
Thanks must go to Andy Garrett our irrigation engineer, Levi , Steve and Rob for there assisting work and to Paul the sparky for giving us spark!
I hope this helped show you that sometimes our work or projects might not be always on the course especially if we can be doing something worthwhile during very wet spells.
Okay, that's enough from me. I will blog again soon to talk about drainage!