Rotary Club of Conwy
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BRINGING OUR LOCAL ABBEYFIELDS INTO THE 21ST CENTURY.
Return of the mayhem.
Just when you thought it was all over, the dust, noise and mayhem return.
For three weeks only.
We are going to spend £22,000 on the walkways around our Abbeyfield house to make them safe for our residents to scoot along without fear of falling down steps or banging into posts. They (the paths) are designed with gentle gradients and be wide enough for Derby races, but the Welsh Assembly Government, true to their innocent ways, actually believe their money is being spent so that the residents can reach the allotted "Fire Assembly Point" without to much of an added risk. The real danger, as we all know, is if the residents have too much excitement.
Whilst this mess is going on, we will take the opportunity also to change the ailing & rotting timber fascia's & barge boards for new PVC, and by necessity the gutters and canopy support posts. I am stuck as to whether all these trims to the house should be 'black', as they are now, or 'white'. I would be pleased to know of your opinion on this matter, though you understand this is not a democracy.
May 09 notes;
rome:- noun. c44 BC
Caesar:- "Nobody wants to hear about it"
Aide:- "Then what would you have me do?"
Caesar:- " Shoot the messenger"
Well, another month is up and I therefore duly report here.
At the beginning of February we programmed to decant the furniture back in on Monday –Tuesday (20-21 April) and it was actually Thursday-Friday (23-24). Not to bad really, considering, if I say so myself, even if seeing Dean's Removals in convoy (they must be going somewhere else! surely) was a complete surprise. Anyway, we took it on the chin and plumbers, tilers, carpet layers and Deans Removals pirouetted about each other in an attempt to finish because Ian had advertised an Open Day for the Saturday. (25th)
Welsh Water turned up in the nick of time, Friday, to dig up the road again and give us the service we had paid for. Visitors, unfortunately, had to stumble across unmade paths. There were some new words I had not previously heard.
With a run down on the following Monday, Daisy & Jane, organised the kitchens ready for the Residents return on the Tuesday. All went well, or am I turning a blind eye. The Residents were pleased to be back, the sponsors were impressed (they said so). The house is very impressive. You should visit, and have a look for yourself.
There we have it, another minor miracle! Job done, with just a few little teething troubles. I say little. If you thought the water board were bad, you obviously had not heard of BT. We NEED telephonic communication; Who is going to tell Margaret that BT are not turning up for two weeks.
Although we, (the royal we) were late in asking BT to connect this box to that box, they did promise to turn up on
Friday, sat, mon, tues, etc.. The Chairman of Openreach, (BT) said, "They will be here this week" -..Oh no they didn't. Only the valiant efforts of Margaret or David (North) saved the day by 'sleeping over' for two weeks, to be on 'Fire Watch', as we are not allowed to have residents go up in smoke!
We set out to spend £223,732 in just 8 weeks (that's £755.80 per working hour –otherwise known as '5' solicitors) and there's ten pounds change.
We were fortunate to receive a 68% grant. Ian (Treasurer) at the end of it all said if we had spent £1 million, we would have been eligible for a 100% grant. Now there's a thought!
Ian can say more about the Open Day, but from my perspective, it went extremely well. There were quite a number of visitors and I understand some serious enquiries for 'apartments'.
Ian (Treasurer) says I will get my reward in heaven, so just to make sure I am on some sort of list, I will visit this guy I know in Rome next month. Not that I would go there just to inform them of a minor miracle, not at all, the main purpose would be to 'do' Etna, having done Vesuvius in a previous life. Etna is still very much alive! Let us hope I don't go up in a puff of smoke.
THE END - project complete
April 09 notes;
anxiety:- noun. A vaguely unpleasant emotion that is experienced in anticipation of some misfortune.
I was wrong last month; the Water Board did not connect. They put in a ¾" pipe instead of a 1¾" pipe. No use at all to the ladies in shower nos 7,8,9,10.
When is a shower not a shower? When there is no water in it.
Welsh Water now say (after much letter writing) that they will turn up Tuesday (21st) to put the right size pipe in, but –wait for it- it will be off not a 4 bar but a 14 bar main. To you and I, that is four times what normally comes out of a tap (max) and seven times the pressure you put in your tyres. If this blows the cap off a ½" pipe, it will piss a mile, to say nothing of whoever is on the toilet at the time. Colonic irrigation would have a whole new meaning.
Dave North is still working on how he is going to fit the furniture in the bedrooms; he says the bedrooms should be bigger. I cannot but agree with him; what we need is a Refurb!
Bessie and Mavis did their grand tour of the site on the Friday and by all reports, they were best pleased. I couldn't say who was the more excited going up in the 'Tardis' (first floor ladies underwear).
Ian is having an 'Open Day' for visitors on Saturday 25th, and he mentioned that he was wondering if anybody will turn up; (Yes Ian; 3 joiners, 2 plumbers, 2 electricians, 4 painters; and me )
Removing the large pillar in the lounge has been a good move, much improving the Lounge/Dining room ambiance. However, the two chandeliers have gone walkabouts. If anybody has seen these two chandeliers – gold colour, multi bulbed please report their whereabouts to somebody else, - they were ugly.
The kitchen is fitted with tiling and flooring to go. Looks good! Daisy and Jane are on overtime Monday to practice making cakes for me in the twin ovened five-burner range. Dave North shall want no more!
The carpets are going in at the end of this week. Residents have a choice of colours, -beige, nearly beige, and very beige. They'll be a happy lot.
Monday 24th the Residents are scheduled to return.
IF they do, I will buy every Conwy Rotarian a pint.
Mar 09 notes;
A problem is only something you cannot solve. Who said that? I did.
My problem is that water will not flow uphill, however much we try, there is always one pipe carrying not so clean water that wants to go along someone's bedroom floor, or better still along the lounge ceiling –gurgle, gurgle.
Dave North has done the onerous task of measuring the rooms for our customers to advise them on how their furniture might by positioned after the refurb. Good so far, but nobody has told Dave about the plumbers pipes which have a mind of their own.
Always look on the bright side. Who said that?
The Passenger Lift is in, and the take off is smooth and sweet, landing is –well, you cannot have everything. It is like the Tardis, with its halogen lights and you only need to press a button for the sweet dulcet tones of the 38-year-old leggy curvaceous affection starved brunette to say "Up to the penthouse Sir?" Actually it say's "This is the Ground Floor" in an electronic voice, more is the pity.
For aesthetic reasons we have taken out the large pillar in the lounge that held up the steel beam, that held up the floor, that held up the wall, that held up the ceiling, that held up the roof. If you are ever asked to dinner, sit nearest the window.
Not in yet but on order is a nice little touch of Regency in the form of a new door to the inner porch. I thought you would like that.
Tomorrow the kitchen is being fitted. The colour is great, a sort of steely white brown, everybody's wishes rolled into one. A committee colour.
A committee of one has chosen the sanitary ware colour. White!
Two other Great Events take place this week. Wednesday we pressure test the plumbing system throughout the floors and ceilings (32mm pipes at 4-bar pressure). That will be fun.
And if that goes well, and it's Building Law that it wont, on Friday our celebrity committee members Bessie & Mavis have a 'Preview' of the work in the latter stages. If anybody else wishes to site-see, please phone me.
But I have to say, now that we have bunged all the holes and nearly finished the plastering, the place is starting to look good
IF I am still project manager at the end of April, I will speak to you again,
Since our initial appraisals for bringing the bedrooms up to the standard expected for the next decades, we have, would you believe, encountered many problems.
The refurbishment scheme has now gone to the dizzy heights of a £250,000, but we have obtained 68% in grants and the remainder will be covered by way of loans and recovered in the rents.
So the money is sorted, just the problem of the building now.
Well, we started, and found that the water mains are too small to supply, no worries there then, because we then found that there was not enough electricity in the wires for ten showers anyway.
We have moved the residents out for eight weeks (its ten but don't tell Ian) and taken man and machine and a sledgehammer to new heights of industriousness. The place is a mess, organised mess possibly, but I'm not absolutely sure. There are brick bits flying everywhere and holes where there shouldn't be. The new lift is not coming on time, and when it does arrive I suppose there will be too.
The view is nice!
The majority of Trustees for the Abbey fields Glan Conwy are Rotarians
Last refurbishment was in the 1980's when we also extended with 6 extra bedrooms
This refurbishment is to bring personal facilities up to the accepted standard of the day with all studio apartments having private facilities such as Ensuite toilets and showers and even their own mini kitchen for snacking with fridge, microwave, and dishwashing facilities
- new carpets and curtains throughout
- new lift facilities state of the art
- new kitchen and utility facilities to comply with all modern hygiene regs
More space is arranged for the dining facilities and lounge by rearranging walls etc and the whole will be tastefully decorated with a choice of tiling and floor covering in individual rooms
The dreaded day of commencement is fast approaching and most things are in place for a start on 23 feb going to last some ten weeks –it is said- but it is also said "trust me, I'm a builder"
Residents are to be moved out to local hostelry, lucky persons (originally this was going to be blighters but one has to be so politically correct these days and anyway they are all women except Norman nothing feminine about him. PS who likes going out for an hour or two in a car to see around (volunteers??) Norman is 94 yrs old and a charming man.)