In preparation for the RIBA Wood Awards inspection - in conjunction with the RIBA Stirling award inspection - the Engineering Team spent many dawn starts preparing and cleaning down the Visitor Centre Old Pier deck cladding which had only been previously chamfered and prepared for installation in its distinctive articulated and reticulated form. This exposed the natural grain and disposed of the natural grime. Along with cleaning every inch of the Pavilion Pods, the reclaimed and recycled woods used in the reconstruction include Ekki, Ipe, Iroko, Purple Heart, Balau, Jarrah and probably Keruing and are clearer to see. 455 metres of balustrade Ekki was pressure washed and prepared to enhance the grain and make it smooth and warm to touch.
Photos from Nathan Jones
Additionally the Team supported by Alex of dRMM installed the Flag Poles to complete his design and the end of Phase One. This gives the Visitor Centre its vertical aspect to mirror the new columns installed underneath. The Flag Poles have been kindly sponsored by dRMM.
Three weekends of music with One Inch Badge (Boyzone and Ocean Colour Scene), Pier Jam and Beano On The Sea meant lending support rigging, derigging, event cover, inspection and backup as well as supplying the specially designed and fabricated deck clamps for all the marquees, gazebos and structures. Some of which took a heavy battering in winds and rain. The Team gave support with 18 hours over 2 days on forks moving fencing, barriers and supplies.
The sea continues to take its toll on the structure with old clamps coming apart through wear and tear (Column 152) and a weld failing on a bull-head rail (Column 228-229). Some plates were fabricated as stop gaps and the new clamps designed as below need to fabricated to take the rails. These rails have been raised up into the structure to stop them from disappearing into the sea bed. Re-appearing from the sea bed under the Parade Extension are old deck beams which are cut up and removed by hand as they surface. Bolts in the ALWC zone are tested and replaced or tightened where necessary.
The Pier is a focal point for migrants arriving in the southerly breezes with Chiff-Chaffs, varieties of moths particularly a flight of hawk moths landing exhausted whilst underneath Grey Mullet shoal whilst Bass, Eels and Whiting give the anglers sport. The seal continues to surface in the area and compass jelly fish as well as a puffin have washed up under the Pier. The recent cloud formations and passing squalls have produced a Disappointment of Rainbows in all their glory.
It is anticipated that beach levels will continue to drop and a storm event will mean that scour will expose more of the old structure debris under the Pier. Whilst every effort is made to keep the walk-through bays clear all those who go under the Pier need to maintain vigilance of soft sand, old iron and masonry from the conflagration.