Happy bridge builders.
Our fourth bridge building workshop on August 23-29 2008 was completed in 6 days with time to spare for some field trips to other bridges , older historic dry stone walls and quarries in the area.
Six students under the direction of John Shaw-Rimmington built an arched dry stone foot bridge over a small water course that runs between two large ponds on a beautiful country property north of Cobourg Ontario. The crew of participants included an Australian trail-builder, currently based in the Lake District, England, a 66 year old retiree from Salt Lake City, Utah, a government lawyer from Toronto, a landscape contractor/designer(and bridge building veteran) from London, with two of his horticulture technicians.The bridge workshop was a wonderful opportunity for everyone to get their hands and minds into more challenging structural elements of dry stone construction. After establishing a good foundation and installing the wooden former, there was a review of bridge construction, a demonstration in shaping springers and voussoirs, and then the business of bridge building began.
Although the team set an impressive work rate, the project had a relaxed atmosphere, with bouts of focused stone laying interspersed with refreshing dips in the adjacent ponds and excursions to local sites of interest such as the Rubble Helix, a dry stone structure built during the DSWAC 'Rocktoberfest' last year.
Fred Oswald just wrote back to us from Utah with his "Countdown" listing his ten favorite things about the bridge building workshop.
These are my top 10 favorite things about the workshop.
10. I spent a week with six guys who enjoyed each others company, worked as a team on a project, created something special and loved every minute.
9. I enjoyed the hospitality of the Shaw-Rimmington's. I have never felt so welcome in someone's home.
8. I enjoyed everyone of Mary's wonderful meals.
7. I saw some beautiful dry stone bridges, walls and sculpture in the Port Hope area.
6. I was mentored with tender, loving care by John. "Never drop a stone", "Every stone is important", "Don't try and find the perfect stone","WORK WITH FLAIR!" ... and so much more.
5. I worked very hard and felt really tired at the end of the day but woke refreshed and ready to go the next morning.
4. I saw and experienced the Port Hope area - a beautiful part of the world that I had never seen before.
3. I created a photo chronology that will allow me to relived the many good times.
2. I am excited and looking forward to creating my very own dry-stone wall.
1. And "I tell you what" - I was privileged to have played a small part in creating a beautiful piece of art - a dry-stone vaulted roman-arched bridge. It just doesn't get any better. YAHOOOOOOO !