Monday, 3 September 2012

Working Holiday Fun

For most people the words "Work" and "Holiday" very rarely share the same sentence, but for a select few the idea of combining both is an opportunity not to be missed. On the 25th of August a group of 12 strangers awoke to begin their journey to the South West of England for an unknown week of work. One of the great things about National Trust working holidays is the variety, the variety of people you meet, places you see and things you do. The week starts by meeting at the place you call home for the week, Chyvarloe bunkhouse, located minutes from Loe Bar it’s a perfect place to relax after a days work.
Weather is always going to be a factor on any holiday, especially if you are working outdoors for 8 hours, on our first day the sun shone and where better to be than on the beach, well several beaches to be precise. The beaches of Cornwall are some of the best beaches in Britain, but like anything they also need maintaining. Our group took up the challenge of a 5 beach clean in one day. I was feeling ambitious and purchased 50 bags for our day, but after only 2 beaches we had to make a dash back to base for more. Its incredible what you find washed up on the beach, whether its cigarette lighters still washing up 10 years after a ship spilt its cargo, or French Champagne bottles that have crossed the channel you always turn up a surprise. The grand total for the day was 79 bags filled, when you see a skip almost full with things gathered off the beach it puts into perspective the need to try and keep Cornwall’s special places "special".

On day 2 of the holiday the weather had decided enough was enough and for 8 hours the heavens opened, but we few, we happy few continued on. The tasks of the day were two fold, tackle the jungle of Bamboo that had been left untouched for years and to "time team" uncover the building structures in the walled garden. Bamboo isn’t one of my favourite things after needing stitches after my last encounter but with a hardy group of volunteers armed with loppers and bow saws it was time for revenge, however it did not go quietly into the night as it sounded like a WWII film when burned. In the walled garden there were no Roman villas found but we uncovered the old potting sheds and can now begin to plan ahead.

After a well earned day off the group donned their spurs and chaps to help heard a local farmers cows out of the fields back into the farm yard, W.C Fields famously said never work with animals or children, well i can vouch for the animals aspect. The ladies did not want to go back into the field, and with their leader "Iron Mike" the bull they managed to run into an adjacent field. After I had played the rawhide theme and we are all feeling motivated we managed to get them back into the farm. Next stop on the day was a trip to Carmino Creek to lay chicken wire on the boardwalk. The sun was out again and after a fairly relaxed day we headed to the Minac Theatre to watch David Copperfeild, I am sure the first half of the show was amazing but I must admit to missing it as I spent my time watching two basking sharks feeding in the shallow water below the theatre.

Our last two days were spent fencing, I don’t mean parry and riposte fencing either. The order of the day was sheep netting with two strands of high tensile wire above. We were blessed again with the weather and I was blessed to have a group that were so skilled in fencing, the result was fantastic. To celebrate the days work a quick dip in the sea was in order, and after two days we had completed our work.

It was a fantastic week; we managed to get a massive amount of work done and still have a great time. I couldn’t have asked for a more willing, friendlier, harder working group of people to spend the week with. I hope to see every one of them again next year.

1 comment:

  1. I am so impressed,It's beautiful, and very beachy. Love those colors.

    beach art


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