He might have qualms about descending four and a half feet, but with a bit of a run up he'd have no trouble in the opposite direction, so the first task of the weekend was to Rocky-proof the hold, creating a safe enclosed space, particularly so that he can't escape at night.
And here it is. With the exception of a batten screwed to the underside of the cross plank, none of the structure impinges on the historic fabric of the boat. I'm lucky to still have old, if not original (I have no idea how old but pretty certainly, pre-1970) cross planks but reckoned this counted as part of the natural evolution of the boat's history. The ply section at the top is just wedged in at the moment, but we have the wood to make a couple of additional uprights (those misnamed 45-degree supports for the top planks) to sandwich the ply against the stand. This means it is easily removable when we need to take down the deckboard and lower the cloths again (not in the next couple of years, I hope.) The ply, incidentally, was repurposed (how did we ever do without that word?) from the former toilet partition. Where the toilet goes in the new set up is still a matter of some debate and design consultation. The sides will be filled in more neatly when Jim has his jigsaw to hand. Eventually it will be painted.
A towpath archaeology question
6 days ago