Yesterday we completed the installation of the metal gate posts for the roadside gates at the Turnditch Orchard. We'd already dug the hole for the right hand side post and lined the bottom with a pad of concrete, but this was to be the acid test of whether we'd got everything in the right position. The gateway is at the top of a sloping ramp leading from the field to the road. At the gateway the ground slopes in two different directions. As we have two gate leaves meeting in the middle it is essential their support posts are accurately aligned in terms of height of the hinges and the vertical aspect of the posts.
When we came to complete the work it was clear that all of the careful pre-preparation has paid off. The volunteer team lifted the heavy metal post into the hole and we commenced the check measurements. After a couple of sideways shuffles of the post we had exactly 12 feet between the posts and they were perfectly level and aligned. The volunteers had not seen the magic of postcrete in action before this installation. We (the volunteers' leader sent a pensioner down the ladder to the river) grabbed a couple of buckets of water from the river and filled the post hole approximately quarter deep with water then poured four bags of postcrete powder in the hole around the post. Using a scrap piece of timber we tamped down the concrete making sure the concrete mix was thoroughly dampened as we poured. Within ten minutes the post was held firmly in place and accurately positioned.
We'll leave the gate post concrete to harden for a couple of days before we mount the gates on their hinges.
We've now turned out thoughts to where we should build the barbecue. I'll be double checking to see whether I need planning permission. The intention is to allow local people to come on to the orchard and make use of the barbecue.
We are currently planning to locate it at the foot of the embankment approximately half way along the orchard. The soil at this location seems to be quite poor and fruit trees and other vegetation does not thrive.