Blind lane 192-078 East Devon
Update, repairs on the 15th July 2017
JP (John Pearce) CS (Chris Selway) + Wacky
16 boulders shifted
7 front loader buckets of material
5 hours of sweat + fun!
Mud up to our ankles
Bitten countless times by flies
2 groups of trail riders wanting access whilst into repairs
Cake, tea, coffee plus squash for me ;)
Waiting for the parallel field (which runs the full length of Blind lane) to be cut sometime in the summer before we could deposit the remaining rocks located at the lower end of ‘Blind lane’
Couple of phone calls made to the residents in the area on Thursday evening saw the possibility of something being hatched ‘like a plan’ maybe… all depends on a few things being aligned correctly (don’t ask)
Received a phone call mid morning Saturday saying “what’s you up too in an hour” oh heck, best get me work completed and scoot over to the lads at Shute, arrived to find the guys had started to sieve through the material separating rocks from flint/sub soil.
John happily mounted on his trusty 3 tonne digger, whilst Chris had the front bucket lowered to ground level on his tractor ready to receive some boulders, once loaded Chris drove up through his field to deposit (gently) the boulders in over the hedge, John and I were waiting to direct them into their final resting place, more importantly checking no users were below
Five trips in we were sorted with the boulders, all neatly aligned in the narrow section of Blind lane, Chris + John was loading the loose flinty material at the lower end of the lane whilst I was aptly positioned in the lane ready to guide the load over the hedge from the field.
If there was ever a time when all things happen at once this was it….
Chris was travelling up through the field loaded with material ready to tip, I was on the phone whilst in the lane, John was at the lower end changing digger buckets, then 8 visiting trail riders from East midlands were on their way up through the lane ignoring John’s waving arms at the lower end LOL
Well Blind lane is a narrow ditch effectively and I’m not a skinny chap by all accounts so it wasn’t too difficult to stop the run leader who was following his GPS route to the T’
Clearly both myself and run leader identified ourselves as TRF members averting any confusion or possible confrontation from the start, later I found out they thought we were blocking of the road at the bottom to prevent use, how wrong could they be!
Like many situations when you see a farmer, diggers, tractors, whilst out enjoying the trails you simply want to scoot on by to avoid a situation (I’ve done it in the past) it’s easily done
All trail riders from the East midlands group safely passed without incident as Chris always stops to check before tipping any load of material over the hedge and into Blind lane, anyways load tipped, I’m sorting the material with the spade trying to level in and around the boulders along with dragging down more from the bank when I heard more motor cycles approaching from the lower end! (All work activities suspended whilst riders passed, excellent coms in place within the work party)
Bristol TRF, Simon up front leading all six riders, All having fun! Well until they tried to get over the wet and slimy boulders, they all managed really well.
We exchanged the usual TRF banter/pleasantries exchanged according to the unwritten book of TRF banter!! LOL
A huge amount of generous comments made from both groups thanking all concerned for their efforts with repair works, most welcome when your down a ditch covered in mud being bitten by all sorts of things, I know it’s a road but it didn’t feel like it when your being attacked
Time ticking with much work to be done, still another half a dozen front loader buckets to be delivered yet!
Another hour took out of the day before we could complete dropping off the material into Blind lane, spreading around many tonne to cover the boulders completely thus raising the lanes height whilst adding stabilisation with boulders, a small yet significant section of Blind lane raised with satisfactory results enabling to reopen the ditch into a ‘Green road’
A HUGE amount of thanks to my friends for their help along with big boys toys to what can only be described as an amazing job!
There will be future works to raise the lane even further in the near future ;)
Credit to - John Pearce, Digger owner + driver,
Chris Selway, tractor owner + driver plus land owner
Oh and Vic for turning up after work to drink tea when we finished (there’s always 1)
All the best Wacky!