We get WIFI

This morning, suddenly, we had some scaffolding appear just under the window, rapidly followed by an engineer. Being of a nosy disposition I popped out onto the balcony for a chat. Firstly, I gave him a Waterfront Blog Business card. He instantly pointed his phone camera at the QR code and was on this site like a rocket. If you want to try it, point your camera at this:

It turns out that he was here to puts some aerials on the roof of the cabin outside our balcony. This gives the office an internet connection via 5G (ha ha – 4G only round here). Anyway I didn’t interrupt too much and he got on with it.

With the final result beings this nice little array.

He had a nice little van which deserved a photo all on its own.

Any more news?

It seems that there is a second scaffold team coming to start on the front of Capstan House. Also, the water people were due this week but got turned away by Anglo-Nordern as they have Suntis coming in for unloading on Monday and Tuesday next so it appears that they are coming after that. Hopefully, they will only block some of the road along the front. Hmmm. I wonder. This might be another good excuse for an entry in the blog.

Replacement Cabins arrive

It was all a bit strange. Steve described to me how the cabins would be but so far they haven’t matched that description. We now have one double stacked but the others seemed to be a bit on the short side and not stacked. There was also talk of plumbing the toilet block into the mains under the building bit so far there wasn’t a toilet block.

We got up yesterday morning to this.

So they took two of the small cabins away! Then, a little later, a much longer cabin arrived.

It turned out that “they” sent the wrong ones. As I got it, “Carters told Speedy and Speedy told the contractors and…” These things happen even in the best families, as the old saying goes.

The new one is a proper toilet block with a mens and ladies (if I can say that) along with a shower unit. They put it in place on legs. Once that was done, the plumbers came in and connected water, waste and electricity to the cabin. Evidently, they are connecting up to the required facilities under Capstan House in the bit that Aurora was using for storage.

The water leak

This is still there at the front of the building. Goodness knows when Anglian Water can fix it. No-one needs the road being taken up to fix a leak; at least not for the next 9 months or so.


Back to the boring subject of scaffolding. They are making great strides.

You will remember me talking about securing the scaffolding to the building and how they have to test the fixings. Well, we can now see what they were talking about. They take off a square of the white render or one tile and fix the scaffolding into the concrete inside. They have to test the fixing to make sure that it is as secure as required. It seems that the concrete is nice and hard and everything is going well.

It is now becoming obvious what all the work is about. You must know how expanded polystyrene melts when hot. Well, have a look in this cavity. That must be 4″ thick polystyrene. Just imagine what would happen with a fire?


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An average Thursday on the Waterfront

I had to go round to Aqua Pharmacy so I took my camera along. A bit of a potpourri, I am afraid but here goes.

Scaffolding and cabins

The scaffolding goes ever upwards. On being seen to take one of the photos, a cry went out – “going viral!”. Don’t I wish!

The cabins get more complex as the days go by. As I understand it, there is one more to come. It was due last week and is to be double stacked but, unfortunately, there wasn’t a “stacker” available so nothing happened. There appear to be so many specialist jobs nowadays.

Lots of masts

There are a couple of old regulars berthed alongside the quay at the moment. Looking a bit like “Battleship Row” in Pearl Harbour or maybe that is a bit fanciful.

One is Queen Galadriel – in need of a lick of paint by the looks of it.

Next up is the Lowestoft Smack Excelsior LT472. Not as frequent a visitor as Queen Galadriel but a regular none the less.

Looking at that rudder, it must take some strength in anything more than a mill pond, I would have thought

Waterfront benches

This is just another opportunity to show how well received the benches have been. They are quite crowded today.


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Waterfront benches – at last!

Some time ago – a long time ago – pre-covid ago – the council agreed that there wasn’t any real seating along our side of the Waterfront meaning that people had to keep walking. This was, obviously, not conducive to some peoples needs when out for a stroll. Under pressure from our local councillor, Liz Harsant, they agreed to put some in.

Then, along came covid and they got lost and then forgotten. Under some pressure, again, a search was made and they were found and, amazingly, last week they were installed. I had noticed some work going on around the base of both street lights. I say, street lights but they are more like floodlights. There are two of them and they are very tall. They do have some benches around their base but they are not really seats. It seems that they have been taking up some of the paving bricks and replacing them with concrete squares which were needed to bold the seats down.

Anyway, Liz mentioned that they were now in place so I went to investigate on Tuesday morning. This is what I found.

This one is by the floodlight nearest to 7 Anchor Street.

This one is by the floodlight outside the Cult. It seems a pity, to me, that they have placed them right up with the existing benches. I would have liked to see them spread along the Waterfront rather than in two batches but I suppose that I should be glad that they are there at all. As Liz said, when I told her and she went looking that they were already in use so that is good. I was a bit disappointed to see that they were not only in use for sitting but also as rubbish bins!

They are nice seats, however, and will be useful for a lot of people when visiting. It will be interesting to see how next year’s fun fair fits in around them though – smile.

Scaffolding Update

I had a chat to the scaffolders today. I have no head for heights outside of a plane so I was interested in their view of things. It seems that Andy, from Carters, has been a tower crane operator in a previous life. He told me of how he got used to that job. It does seem that you don’t need to walk the jib any more thanks to “Health and Safety”. One of the scaffolders said that he joined up without thinking and found that he didn’t like heights. He did admit to it not bothering him now, to the extent that he has worked 130m up on an oil rig. Not for me, thank you!

Anyway, it is time for a few shots of how it is progressing. I understand that they have inserted the bolts (see a previous blog entry) but not yet tested them.

Now, the “moody” shot.

One last photo today – a ground shot of the new cabins.

The extra cabins arrive

It has been a busy day as Anglo-Nordern are unloading Suntis and, now, Carters are taking delivery of the extra cabins that we were expecting. I was told that there were to be two lots of double stacked but there are four on the ground. Maybe the stress tests kept it that way. I don’t know.

Anyway, I took a few photos and then a few videos. The video is very long (10 minutes or so) so only watch if you are interested in cranes and such like.

They all came on the back of lorries – one long fixed wheelbase, one articulated flatbed and two shorted ones. The fixed one had a large crane and this was used to move the cabins and place them.

One of the short cabins

These lorries ar e very well equipped with ladders, pads etc. The crane is remotely controlled and has a harness wire so when the driver climbs up on the roof of a cabin he is protected from falling by the harness. All very organised.

Each cabin is carefully placed with levelling up pads which are sorted out using a theodolite.

The first one was set in place.

It got very crowded when the last pair turned up.

Finally, all four were in place.

There is one tucked behind but I couldn’t get it in the frame. Some time later the two important additions arrived – the toilet cabins!

OK, so here is the video. I am not very good at editing large videos so please excuse the jumps. Also, to avoid any complications I have removed the audio track and replaced it with some cheesy music. I only have a certain length of music so it jumps bit when it gets to the end and starts again but there we are. I could spend two hours editing the music track but…

Warning – it is very long!

The scaffolding arrives

This is the start along Patteson Road and partially round the corner to the waterfront then up ten stories. All this and then on to the front, and so on!

Before they can go too high, they need to do a test to make sure that the holding points into the building can take the strain The test is along this bit I have ringed —

— they drill into the concrete and insert a toggle. Then they attach a machine that tries to pull it out and the measurement from that machine tells them that the toggle is capable of doing its job. Then they can get on and put the rest up.

It will be some time before they get round to us. It seems that the current estimate for the scaffolding is 9 weeks! That puts it into November before and wrap can go on. We shall see.

This nearly got confused!

We have the scaffolding coming on Monday. Now we have this:

This implies that Suntis is coming in shortly. Anglo-Nordern go round and put notes on each car asking them to clear out or “their car will be clamped or removed”!

I am often tempted to park my car along there with the blue badge showing and the wait and see what happens – it is against the law to clamp or remove a car with a blue badge showing – obviously, if you are disabled, clamping the car or removing it causes severe issues so it is a no no. I wonder if Anglo-Nordern know that?

Anyway, Suntis is shown on MarineTraffic.com as arriving at 1.30pm on Monday so I doubt that they will start unloading until Tuesday just as the scaffolding gets underway. Then we have the leak!

This is what I understand as a hydrant access.

A truck turned up this morning with a digger. The crew did come out and look at the access and the leak. I had a word with them and told them that, if they started digging up the road then they would have Anglo-Nordern all over them by Tuesday. Oh, and did ~I mention that there is a bike race coming round on Sunday. Seemed like a recipe for fun – for me anyway. However, when I checked an hour later, they had gone so I will keep an eagle eye open.

One last little thing and nothing to do with Suntis, Water leaks or scaffolding. I saw this lovely little yacht coming through the lock. It looks like a Spirit Yachts model but I am probably wrong.

When is a CAT not a cat?

Answer in a little while. Meantime, a digger turned up today.

So, what is a digger for, with respect to the cladding issue? Not as clearcut as it seems. There are many and varied hoops that have be jumped through to get things started on the project. They are working towards the scaffolding going up starting next Monday, 12th. They are erecting the first “tranche” along Patteson Road and partially round the corner on the waterfront. I suggested that they should take a leaf out of Hongkong’s book and throw up some bamboo but it seems that it is more complex than that – surprisingly.

The issue, it seems, is the weight of the scaffolding against the makeup of the substrate. Throwing up metal scaffolding for 10 floors is more complex than you thought. Strain tests have to be carried out to see what sized pads are needed to support the structure. The digger is here merely to add weight above a strain gauge.

So now, I can answer the CAT/cat question. A CAT is a Cable Avoidance Tool. This has to be used to ensure that, if anything fails, no cable under the pavement can be damaged. I am constantly amazed at the care that Carters are taking in this whole project.

So, a strain gauge is placed on the ground with a normal professional car jack on top.

The digger than rolls over and the jack is used to try and lift it. This converts into stress downwards which can be measured. The resulting data is used to decide on the level of protection needed beneath the scaffolding.

They did the same test all round our block and 7 Anchor Street, which, evidently, is starting a few weeks after us. Incidentally, they had a bit of fun finding a suitable digger as it had to have rubber tracks as the usual metal tracks would have torn the pavement up!

My thanks to Steve, the Carters site manager, for all the info.

It’s cooling down a bit.

Its hovering around 65 -70f (18 – 21c) so it’s much more comfortable. The lock as open and the water was calm.

The Owls are gone, as the schools are back. This is where the nearest was.

We are obviously in the time when there are lots of mussels in the wet dock as, all of a sudden, we are finding broken shells on the floor.

The seagulls dive for them, fly up around 30 -40 feet and drop the pot thing. The shell cracks open and there is lunch!