The Holly Lodge Centre couldn't run without our volunteers on the maintenance team - who come in one day a week and never know what jobs or weather they might be faced with!

Volunteer Ivor Conway: 

'The Centre is extremely fortunate to have two maintenance teams universally known as The Tuesday Team and The Thursday Team.

The Tuesday Team is made up of Bill and Bill, affectionally known as "The Two Bills”, Ivor and Stewart. And on Thursday you will find Susanna, David, Mike and Johanna.

Some team members been volunteering at Holly Lodge for over six years and have during that time tended to, raked, dug up and built on every last inch of the nature trail.

A typical morning for the team may include re-hanging the front door of the Victorian classroom, strimming back the nettles on the nature trail, refilling the bird feeders and tending to the hedgerow planted by the team along the boundary of the north meadow.

There is no such thing as a typical morning which keeps the team on its toes and being based almost exclusively outdoors they endeavour to complete all required tasks no matter what the weather may throw at them. Recent projects have included installing the new duck house in the pond and painting all the doors and windows on our Victorian classrooms.

The maintenance team is fuelled by a mixture of tea, Jaffa cakes and chocolate digestives and if you are in and around the Centre on a Tuesday or Thursday morning and you see something rustling in brambles, please do not be alarmed, it will only be one of us so please do stop off to say hello’

One project the Tuesday Team have been working on is this amazing sandstone sharpening wheel.  Stewart Perkes explains more:

'The sandstone sharpening wheel has been under restoration since before the Covid crisis. I had noticed this lovely old piece of Park history rotting away in the grass for some years, just behind the stables. It seemed such a shame to let it go, so I proposed restoring it. The Park Managers were very keen. We were lucky that the mobile timber mill turned up and sawed vast amounts of Oak that we could use for the build. 

Ivor took away all the metal fittings and cleaned them up, whilst the two Bills and I set about cutting new Oak sections to make the water trough and the legs. There are no screws used in this construction - it has all been glued and doweled together. 

We would go months without doing anything to it because of lockdowns and the pressure of other work on the nature trail, then do a week or two on it again - a real stop/start job!! 

On June 8th we finally dressed the wheel (i.e. make it flat and true) and tried it out by sharpening some shears. All good. It's so nice to see it back in working order. We will use it for the many tools we have for use on the nature trail.'