November 2009 and 4 days FREE labour from Will Hall’s team gets this community project well under way, but it’s back breaking work!
Will Hall supplied a van, trailer, wheelbarrows and 8 guys over the weekend of 7th November 2009. Remember these guys were doing Community Service, so they were not exactly willing, but they were strong! Neil organised the collection of the stone from around Malvern, which was really back breaking work but exciting to see tons of stone arriving at Hanley Swan pond.
In addition to Will Hall’s team, Francis Harcombe (the local farmer) came along early on that Saturday morning with his fantastic JCB and cleared another section of Coverfield Wood. The heavy lifting was complete and the transformation was again amazing.
The next four days was spent clearing the area with some help from some willing Hanley Swan villagers and Neil started to lay the stone in the freezing cold water to build up a new solid bank.
Each time the team returned to Hanley Swan with another load of stone they were amazed to see how quickly the bank was taking shape. This community project was beginning to really motivate Will Hall and his team, and Neil noticed a real difference in their attitude to working on this great project. I think seeing both Neil and Gigi also working so hard made them feel it was a huge team effort. They were getting a real sense that their efforts were giving back to a tangible community project.
Both Gigi and Neil certainly ached from head to toe, but felt so great that they ploughed on. Real progress was being made and making a difference – and that felt REALLY GOOD!
Luckily Will Hall was very keen to get back and keep helping this community project, so we booked November 27th – 30th BUT – we needed more stone!
Neil contacted the Malvern Gazette AGAIN (original article) and asked for another article to thank everyone for their donations of Malvern stone, BUT the Hanley Swan community project needed MORE!
Once again Neil were delighted that the phone started ringing, and this time he had someone with a wall that needed knocking down. This actually turned out to be a real win win situation – the gentleman wanted to get rid of the wall and this community project needed it – everyone was happy!
We had another 4 days of very hard labour in freezing conditions but the team managed to complete re building the bank across the back of the pond, and once again Francis Harcombe (the local farmer) came to the rescue with about 30 ton of sub soil to back fill along the bank.
The weather was VERY WET, and Neil had all kinds of problems getting the stone and subsoil in place because everything was so wet. Francis had to be rescued when his trailer sank down to the axle and watching another tractor pulling him out seemed to add to the excitement of the day – NOT!
This community project is now in full swing and the village of Hanley Swan is delighted and everyone involved is feeling so proud.
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