Today was the second working party day at Barnard Castle.
Around eight of us attacked some defenceless shrubbery in a kind of amphitheatre which may well once have been part of Barnard Castle’s gasworks, when they used to make the stuff from coal and people could kill themselves by putting their head in the oven
(Note It had to be a gas oven, you had to turn the gas on, and it wasn’t a good idea to light the gas as this was dangerous.)
Anyway, now it has some fairly decrepit benches, a circle in the middle made from fancy bricks and some sculptures representing, I think, the river. It is, in fact, a meeting place for the local yoofs who drink alcohol there and then go for a fight in Barnard Castle.
So we attacked the place with pruners, saws, spades, forks garden not salad), a big axe and other metal things.
After about four hours and several thousand calories, it was 95% clear. We kind of ran out of steam at this point. To be fair, I ran out of steam after three hours and spent a while “tidying up…”
Archeologically, we found much evidence of late 20th and early 21st century entertainments viz – Somebody’s stash of cans of cider, still in date. – One pair of man’s underpants in reasonably clean condition (probably their lucky pants, I shouldn’t wonder) – lots and lots of empty beer, cider and fruit-flavoured vodka “drinks” (blech!) One used condom (small) containing something horrible (and it wasn’t fruit-based vodka drink) (blergggghhh) Three empty condom containers and a brick, I guess the brick was probably some kind of amateur form of anaesthetic for the female partner in the condom game as the vodka-based fruit drink (gag…. blurggg) was only 4% by volume and wouldn’t have been enough to stultify anybody enough… look, I can’t be thinking about this….)
Anyway – nice day – good company – positive feedback (apart from the chap who bemoaned the loss of the six buddleia bushes. I must admit, this did seem like vandalism. I mean- buddleia bushes….)
More of this to come at roughly fortnightly intervals until its all been done.
We did wonder about asking for high-viz jackets with “HMP”* on the back so we could go and scare the local yoofs who, noticing our presence, had moved their base so as to annoy people in the nearby park.
*HMP = Her Majesty’s Prison – there’s one just over the river. Its got some scary people in it, apparently.