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Runcorn Linnets FC - The Ground Project Blog

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SteveP
Barmy Army Signals Corp.

2484 Posts

Posted - 24 Mar 2010 :  08:12:34  Show Profile

The Floodlights are delivered

The floodlights were delivered yesterday, so they'll be erected soon, and I think that will really make the site start to feel like a proper football ground.

We've gone with a 4 post design, with each column being 18m tall, and having four 1.5kW lamps on top. This should give us great light levels on the pitch with minimal "spillage", which is where light is wasted on the surrounding areas.
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SteveP
Barmy Army Signals Corp.

2484 Posts

Posted - 24 Mar 2010 :  15:59:54  Show Profile

The Floodlights are up!

With no messing about, the floodlights that were delivered yesterday have been erected already (photos available here).

They have been laser aligned to point in the right direction, and were tested in the factory (each lamp is custom built to shine light in a particular way/direction). It will be a short while before they are tested proper, as they need the electrical cabling connecting.
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SteveP
Barmy Army Signals Corp.

2484 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2010 :  23:25:38  Show Profile

Not quite the Mariana Trench

It certainly wasn't the deepest trench in the world, but the excavation for the gas pipe that went ahead today certainly wasn't an easy job. In addition to the four inches of concrete path (even the whizzer couldn't cut all the way through it), and the combination of rubble and hard core that filled most of the trench, we seemed to find every utility known to man (including the previously illusive gas pipe!) in a space that was about 8 metres long, 60cm deep, and just a spade width wide.

The concrete base for the gas tank was laid - Spenny has made a cracking job with his able assistant Rob J. Despite his bust ribs, Spenny helped out on the trench dig, keen to instruct the rest of the team to try and use good technique and avoid the unnecessary wasting of energy (although, sometimes, there's quite a bit of satisfaction to be had smashing through concrete with a big steel bar!). The club are very grateful for his efforts.

Thanks also to Chris White, all three members of the Johnston clan; Lynn, Darryl and Rob, and to Stuart White. Their efforts have ensured that the preparations are all complete for the gas tank to be delivered this week.

Also to be delivered this week are the stands, both the seated and standing stands, although they will be delivered on separate days (currently scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday).
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SteveP
Barmy Army Signals Corp.

2484 Posts

Posted - 30 Mar 2010 :  12:07:36  Show Profile

It's a gas, gas, gas... (tank)

The propane tank has arrived today, and been placed on the base that was put in at the weekend.

The standing stands have arrived today (the seated stands are due tomorrow).

New photos are available here.
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SteveP
Barmy Army Signals Corp.

2484 Posts

Posted - 31 Mar 2010 :  12:06:17  Show Profile

Stuart retires from Ground Group

As has been planned since well before Christmas, Stuart White has now officially "retired" from the Ground Group in order that he can enjoy the visit from his daughter from Australia, without the interruptions and stress of dealing with the Ground project.

Everybody at the club would like to thank Stuart for his efforts over the past couple of years. It's difficult to stress how significant and essential his input has been, but it's perhaps sufficient to say that without his help, there would simply be no Ground under construction today.

Derek Greenwood picks up the outstanding tasks from Stuart, and Alan Jones and I will continue as before.
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SteveP
Barmy Army Signals Corp.

2484 Posts

Posted - 31 Mar 2010 :  12:14:48  Show Profile

Seated Stands and Pitch-side fencing

The rest of the seated stands have arrived today (the first came yesterday afternoon).

Around half of the pitch-side fencing is in place too. We've gone for a concrete post, and steel rail design, with a single concrete panel at foot level. This means that if we want to infill the gaps with further concrete panels (or wood/plastic) at some time in the future then the posts already have the "H" section to allow us to drop them in.

You can see a picture on the construction picture page (thanks to Waddy).
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SteveP
Barmy Army Signals Corp.

2484 Posts

Posted - 04 Apr 2010 :  18:48:26  Show Profile

Take a seat

Stuart White temporarily came out of retirement this morning to help Bucko, Rob J, and myself with the collection of tables and chairs that he'd organised as a gift from the Poplar 2000 motorway services at the junction of the M56 and M6.

The were around 60 chairs, 20 tables, and 50 stools, along with a bunch of wall seating (pictures available on the construction picture page). It took a couple of trips, but it was definitely worth it. We had to repair a couple, but generally the tables and chairs are in great condition, and just need a bit of a wipe down, and they'll do the job just fine.

It's a significant amount of money saved, so thanks to Poplar 2000, and to Stuart and his wife for organising it.

Anybody visiting the site recently will have noticed that the larger gates have been installed, and the emergency exits have been boarded up rather than having the Harris mesh fencing. This helps with security, but does mean that it makes it difficult to see inside the ground, so don't make a special trip as you might be disappointed.

On the subject of security, we've taken on board what a few people have said recently, and have got anti-climb paint and warning signs on the way which we'll be putting up as soon as they arrive to try and discourage the nosey from climbing into the ground.
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SteveP
Barmy Army Signals Corp.

2484 Posts

Posted - 10 Apr 2010 :  18:41:47  Show Profile

Anti-climb paint complete

Many thanks to Daz Law and Chris White who helped to put up the anti-climb paint all around the ground today. I totally overestimated the amount of paint needed, so there's plenty to do the top of the turnstiles with, even without digging into the second 5 litre tin. We can hold on to that to give it a second coat at some point in the future.
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SteveP
Barmy Army Signals Corp.

2484 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2010 :  18:49:21  Show Profile

Latest Update

Work is carrying at the Ground and in the clubhouse. The stands have had lighting installed, and the transport struts removed. The damage to the roof of the seated stand, which occured in transit, is being addressed (and is probably fixed as I write).

There's various electrical jiggery pokery going on at the moment, and we are looking for the floodlights to be tested next week (all the fittings have been tested in the factory already).

The main outstanding work on the ground side of things is finalising the laying of the pitchside paths (the hardcore is already down), the completion of the pitch entrance, hanging a few gates, the dugouts, the turnstiles, and a little bit more fencing. The turnstiles and dugouts are of steel construction, and are being fabricated offsite, so it won't take much time to install them.
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SteveP
Barmy Army Signals Corp.

2484 Posts

Posted - 23 Apr 2010 :  00:27:01  Show Profile

Work still progressing

It's been a week since the last update to the blog, and work is still progressing well. A few more dodgy photos taken with my phone are available.

The pitchside works have paused onsite for the last couple of days as the contractors wait for a few third party components, such as astroturf, and turnstile gadgetry. The next few days are likely to see a flurry of activity as the dugouts, turnstiles, and goalposts are fitted, and the hard standing areas completed. We are expecting a floodlight test to take place very shortly.

Inside the clubhouse things are really moving. The pipework for the Away showers has been installed, along with the new washbasin in the toilet. The kitchen has had the units installed (just waiting for the surface and sinks to be fitted, and then the tiling can be done). The hatchways (internal and external) are also close to completion, with the roller shutter having been fitted on the outside. Parry Pie-Warmer's home is coming along well. The window in the Official's changing room has been bricked up, and the dehumidifier that we put in last week seems to be having a positive effect - the air seems noticeably drier than it was.

Further work has taken place in the foyer, with the damp affected wall covering having been replaced, and preparations for the renovated false ceiling underway.

We visited the unit that is to become our new toilet block yesterday. It's a good size, and will offer facilities that conform to Grade C requirements (UniBond Prem), and will also include a toilet for use by the disabled. It requires some renovation and fitting out to our specifications. That should be delivered in the first week of May, but the preparations on site will all be in place by then, and so it should only take a few hours to hook it all up to the utilities.
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SteveP
Barmy Army Signals Corp.

2484 Posts

Posted - 26 Apr 2010 :  17:21:53  Show Profile

Dugouts, Goalposts, and Toilets

There's still plenty of progress being made down on site. The Dugouts have been fitted, they are just needing the backs to be attached (there are pictures available here). Holes have been dug in preparation for the goalposts, and visitors to site will notice that there's a lot of work going on to clear the space for the toilet block, including the trimming of the trees to allow it to be lifted in.

There's also more progress on the clubhouse building too. The false ceiling in the foyer is now complete, and the kitchen has been fitted. The shower heads have been installed in the away changing rooms, and further work has taken place on the hatchway in the kitchen.
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SteveP
Barmy Army Signals Corp.

2484 Posts

Posted - 29 Apr 2010 :  16:38:34  Show Profile

Clubhouse Renovations Complete

The renovations to the clubhouse are now complete (apart from a piece of guttering at the rear). The next steps are to get the boiler up and running, and make sure that all the showers, etc, all function properly. We've run them all with cold water under gravity pressure, but it will obviously be necessary to check them with the hot water and pump in operation.

We are continuing to see progress on the pitch side of things too. The goalposts are in position, and the dugouts are now complete. The hard standing continues to be rolled and softener applied to bind it all together. Some internal fencing has been erected too, and preparations for the toilet block are still ongoing. We are still looking on track for completion of those works around the end of next week.
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SteveP
Barmy Army Signals Corp.

2484 Posts

Posted - 02 May 2010 :  17:50:14  Show Profile

You can have any colour you like, as long as it's Magnolia...

The first work party had a go at doing a bit of painting in the clubhouse today. The group, which peaked at nine individuals, concentrated on the kitchen, and some prep-work around and about.

It was felt that getting too many people down there before we knew how much cleaning down was necessary, and how well the paint would cover the walls, and so on, could be counter productive. The good news is that the paint went further than we'd hoped, although the coloured walls will definitely require two coats, the other walls look fine with a single coat.

We'll get some more supplies, and organise a "Bring a Brush (or roller)" party soon, and get the bulk of the clubhouse decorated over the next few weeks.

Work has been continuing with the task of getting the boiler and heating system up and running. It's not gone as smoothly as we'd hoped with a timer melting, and a couple pumps giving up the ghost. It's nothing that we don't think we can get sorted though.
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SteveP
Barmy Army Signals Corp.

2484 Posts

Posted - 07 May 2010 :  15:35:03  Show Profile

Let there be light!

As can be seen in the latest pictures, the floodlights have been "juiced up" for the first time today, and have passed all of their tests. The light levels across the pitch will be checked probably one evening next week.

The pictures also show that a number of the gates have been added, including those that cross Stockham Lane. The only things missing now are the turnstiles and the toilet block.
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SteveP
Barmy Army Signals Corp.

2484 Posts

Posted - 11 May 2010 :  19:21:25  Show Profile

British Racing Green...

Over the last few weeks, driven by Alan Spendlove, we've managed to arrange for a number of volunteers from Jaguar Land Rover to help refurbish the clubhouse as part of a community project. Alan has managed to arrange for six or so guys to work on the site full time for both this week, and next.

They have only been on site for a day and a half, but the progress they are making is fabulous. Most of the work is painting and cleaning, and thanks to a great deal from Hire Station, we've even got them up scaffolding painting the ceiling beams - the combination of magnolia (or "light yellow", as I like to call it), and green for the skirting boards, and doors etc, is looking great.

Alan is turning his paving skills to creating "Runcorn Linnets FC" in block paving at the front door. When I saw it at lunchtime, there were only a few letters, but it was looking fantastic.

On the pitch side of things, we've managed to start cutting the grass today. Our thanks go to Steve Ollerenshaw from Runcorn Cricket club who has worked his magic on the mower, and whose advice on caring for the pitch has, and will continue to be, invaluable.

There are a few little bits and bobs the contractors are to do in the ground, but the two main things continue to be the turnstiles, and the toilet block.
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