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The 19th century stable yard

The 19th century stable yard
NTPL Zoë Colbeck

Friday, 31 August 2012

The turning of the Screw

So London's first Archimedes Screw turbine is nearly complete!

The wall keeping the river out of the site has been broken down, so that the water can finally flow through it.

Breaking the wall down between the River Wandle and the Screw (NTPL/Caroline Pankhurst)

Then was lots of technical activity in the generator housing, then we had an exciting moment of the Screw being turned on to test it. This is a picture of it turning (we've also got a video but we won't share that just yet - let's wait for it to be turning properly....).

The Screw turns for the first time (NTPL/Caroline Pankhurst)

One of the screens in the generator housing (NTPL/Caroline Pankhurst)

The wooden capping was then fixed on top of the piles, an aluminium roof has been added to the generator housing and handrails have been installed so that visitors can look over it safely:

The wooden capping is laid on top of the piles (NTPL/Caroline Pankhurst)

The generator housing (beach hut) gets a shiny new roof (NTPL/Caroline Pankhurst)

The handrails around the Screw (NTPL/Caroline Pankhurst)

So it's almost ready, but those of you with very good memories will know that it was supposed to be turned on and generating electricity yesterday.....the only problem is that the safety cover to go over it isn't quite finished, so we need to wait to get that first. Hopefully it will come next week and we'll have a turning turbine then.

 The Screw waiting in the sunshine for its new cover (NTPL/Caroline Pankhurst)

If you want to be one of the first to see it turning, come for a tour on Open House Weekend, 22-23 September.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

And it's goodbye from me... being Zoë Adams, the Community Projects Manager for the project. My job involved setting up the Livinggreen exhibition centre, writing the exhibitions and the guidebook, running various events and activities and recruiting the volunteers. The funded part of the project is coming to an end, so I'm off to pastures new (namely the Natural History Museum in London).

Well, the last two years have flown by, and what a transformation it's been! I can remember arriving on my first day back in August 2010, looking at the project plan and wondering how we'd manage to do everything that we had set out to do.

It's hard to believe that the exhibition used to look like this! (c) NTPL

Looking at it today though, I think we've done a pretty good job. As I write, I can hear people outside enjoying the stable yard - we've had more than 24,000 visitors so far which is a great achievement.

What a tranformation! (c) NTPL / Louis Sinclair

Here are a few memories...

Best moment...
Has to be when the stable yard opened to the public for the first time. Watching the ribbon being cut and welcoming visitors to something that we'd worked so hard to create was pretty special. I've also enjoyed watching the volunteers grow as a team and make the project their own.

The Greensleeves Morris Men dancing at the grand opening. (c) NTPL

Worst moment...
Probably the day before the opening! Also the morning of the opening when I arrived to find that my first temporary exhibition had fallen down over night.
What I'll miss most...
Caroline (Project Coordinator) and the volunteers. We've worked hard, laughed a lot and enjoyed a few too many custard tarts along the way. The team here are fantastic and I'm sure that the Livinggreen Centre will continue to be a roaring success. I've also enjoyed the stable yard ice cream parlour a little too much in the hot weather.

So, all that's left for me to say is goodbye, thank you for reading, and wish good and green luck to Morden Hall Park for the future!

Monday, 13 August 2012

Turbine gets a beach hut

There are only a couple of weeks to go now until the turbine is finished, so it's just getting its final touches, including the fish and eel passes and housing for the turbine generator - which I think looks like a nice little beach hut...

This is Dave, from Mackleys, looking a little apprehensive when it arrived flat packed:

Dave contemplating building the shed (NTPL/Caroline Pankhurst)

But in no time at all the little shed was built over the generator turbine.

The generator housing (NTPL/Caroline Pankhurst)

The electricity to the whole stable yard was cut off for a few hours while the electricians wired the turbine up to the meters in the stable yard plant room. This means that we'll be able to see how much electricity it's generating, not just on the meter but also on our energy read-outs screen in the lobby (where visitors can also see how much power is coming from the solar panels and other sources too).

Mike from G A Electrical sorts out the electrics in the shed (NTPL/Caroline Pankhurst)

The energy read-outs screen (and cable drum rocking chairs) in the stable yard lobby
(NTPL/Caroline Pankhurst)

The fish and eel passes are also complete, the black one for the fish and the green brushy one for the eels:

The green eel pass and the black fish pass (NTPL/Caroline Pankhurst)

It won't be too long now till the Screw is turning and the fish and eels are swimming happily past it.
 The latest view of the whole site (NTPL/Caroline Pankhurst)