Monday, 16 January 2012

The sea defence diaries 16/01/12

It has just been over a fortnight since my last dig and there seems to been very little digging done as most of the work taking place is pile driving.
Around the square head of Margate Stone Pier most of the movement has been tidal action washing out the spoil where some digging had taken place a few weeks back. The digging and pile driving has dislodged many pieces of the 1815 stone pier construction and pieces of 1829 lighthouse balustrade lost in the 1953 storm. The two pieces of the balustrade I have photographed match up with images of the 1829 lighthouse, one baluster shows clearly how the stone blocks slotted into each other using a mortise and tenon joint. I also took a photograph of a stone blocks that still had a piece of a stone tenon inside sealed with lead of which I took samples.
Not all pieces of stone can be identified and there are many fragments. Examining stone and brickwork can be interesting by looking for markings and I have in the past found child finger prints on brickwork dating from the Victorian era and earlier when child labour was used to manufacture bricks.
Stone work can carry many other type of markings including vandalism from decades past. I did come across a piece where someone had carved their name and dated their handy work. In the bottom photograph the name L.ELEY 1937 can be clearly seen.
Finally, some of the stone blocks in the sand are still well preserved and intact and it has occurred to me that perhaps they could be retrieved to repair other parts of the harbour arm that are not critical to the construction where excessive wear has taken place.

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