Thursday, 25 April 2013

Lichen Course on Skokholm

This is just a reminder that John Jones is running a lichen course on Skokholm 5th to 12th August.
John is one of the UK experts in this field and Skokholm is one of the best places for lichens (except those that live on trees I guess!) and it promises to be a fascinating and informative course.
The cost for the fully catered week is £475 and you need to book through the Trust office as usual.
I gather there is plenty of space still so please get in touch with the Trust as soon as you can and don't miss the opportunity. 

I also hope you are all watching the island blogs - almost daily posts of fascinating stuff.


Sunday, 7 April 2013

More about the new Alice

Radio Wales interviewed Sean Kehoe on Saturday morning just before we headed out to the island with the figure heads -the original "Alice Williams"  and the replica.

You can listen to the interview here -

Historical moment Alice arrives back home !

 A historical moment yesterday when the Alice Williams returned to her home on Skokholm. The original Alice  went back to her place in the Wheelhouse and the replica, commissioned by the Friends and sculpted by local Dale artist Sean Kehoe, was placed in her original place on the rocks overlooking South Haven. 
Here the artist is carrying Alice to the boat ready for her journey home 
                                                           Spot the difference !! 
                            Can you tell which one is which? 

Alice and Artist Sean Kehoe posing on the jetty on
their arrival 


Alice and the delivery team arrived in time to see the shuttering for the jetty still in place.
The jetty is now completed and just needs  to dry out. Excellent work by
Chris Ward and his crew, all volunteers this week also were on jetty
duty pouring concrete hard work but a good way to keep warm 

Richard Brown our warden carefully receives Alice ready to
go and sit on her usual rock 

Sean is delighted with Alice now sitting in her rightful place keeping
and eye on the harbour 

Skokholm looked beautiful in the spring sunshine, the cottage freshly lime-washed sparkled in the sun.
Good work done  by the volunteers  this week. They all looked happy if somewhat tired.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

To all Friends,

Dr Mary Gillham passed away last weekend. As well as the Skokholm research she was a founding member of Glamorgan WT and had been chair and president in the past as well. She was a regular attender at the reunions and had a great love and understanding of the Islands. Although Mary has been unwell for some time her condition worsened last Christmas. She was 91. 

Her funeral is on the 8th of April 12.30 at the Thornhill Crematorium (north Cardiff). 

Monday, 1 April 2013

A month in the life of Skokholm

Returning from a month on Skoholm and having survived I now want to tell you all the tale.
Five of us arrived on the 1st of March to open up the Island and to begin prepare  for the work parties due on the 14th. 

Richard and Giselle seemed to like their new home and took to island life like ducks to water. Their experience of living on Bardsey a great help to their rapid adaptation to Skokholm. The first few days were springlike and sunny. Then the cold set in. The weather during this month has certainly been a challenge and we had to keep busy to keep warm. On the positive side we ate huge amounts of good food without the usual consequences of weight gain. 

Much work was done as you can see from the pictures below. The challenge of the weather and the intense cold have made this month of work parties particularly memorable. Yet despite the difficult conditions much was achieved and everyone retained their humour and good spirits. 
A big thank you to all of you who helped and contributed to this work, all the best to the remaining two weeks of work parties still working away on Skokholm. 
On arrival we unloaded large amounts of materials including tons of
cement which we moved up the jetty several times. Four delivery
boats meant long hours of moving the materials up to the
cottage and to the lighthouse. One delivery was completed in
the dark to the light of head-torches. John Reynolds was great in
bringing all materials and calling in on his way about the seas to
help out with essential bits that would have held up the work.

the cold weather was a real challenge the amount of clothes we had
to wear just to keep warm was unbelievable. I fell in love with my
hot water-bottle and never took my coat off 

Work on the light house has progressed and now there
is electricity throughout put in single handed by
our very special electrician Henry Lloyd 

Richard and Giselle really love the lighthouse their
home for many years to come we hope. 

Henry at work on the electrics 
Minor disasters included the dumper getting a flat tire and
the washing line  breaking on a sunny day, the reliable
contact of John and Caroline Walmsley on the main-land  was crucial
we would have achieved far less without their constant help and rescue service  

the work parties arrived on the 14th March and with them
Chris Ward and his merry men, to complete the work on
the jetty started last year.
the jetty work started off well but ran into difficulties
due to gale force winds combined with high tides. Hopefully
this work will be completed in the next few weeks. 
the workparties started the work of plumbing in the sinks in
all the rooms. A work that entailed a great deal of making
holes in very thick walls. 

work on the lighthouse progressed well and the "lab" now
has a suspended ceiling. 

the boiler and electrics have a cupboard and the
lab is beginning to look like it should.

Upstairs in the lighthouse Giselle and Richard's quarters are looking inviting and are almost
ready for them to move into.

Giselle is very excited about having a hoover
here she is practicing  on the lawn

our cooks have done a great job a special thank you to Anne
who's contribution went well beyond the call of duty.

So all in all a very successful month, there is another two weeks
of work parties to go before the guests start arriving.
a great thank you to all of you who make this work possible
and who support our efforts.

Renate Thome