Friday, 15 July 2016

Wednesday 13th July 2016

It’s mid-summer and the day began with some welcome sunshine, although by the end of the day we were donning our coats or jumpers again as it turned chilly.
The roofing work is complete except for some work that needs doing on a cross at the east end, and the plastering work inside the church. It was nice to have the scaffolding down at last, which means we can soon start surveying on the north side of the churchyard.
In the meantime we still have some work to do to finish off the west side memorials – there was some RTI to do, and some locations to plot in.

This picture shows one of the problems with the triangulation method. 

The only secure fixed point is the church building and the lych gate – all other features within the churchyard could conceivably be moved or change position in the future – even a wall, which seems a permanent feature, can be rebuilt or even demolished in future decades. This means that the measuring tape often ends up being stretched across large distances between the fixed points on the church building and the memorial stone being plotted in – the tape tends to bow, and when it’s breezy the bow is exaggerated and the reading becomes much less accurate. Unfortunately due to the nature of a churchyard we couldn’t lay the tape flat on the ground as there are so many other memorial stones in the way!

Some RTI photography was done – we have discovered over several sessions that it is very important to have high-power batteries in the flash units. The high frequency of flashes overheats normal-strength batteries and can even cause the flash unit to stop working properly. We now always use rechargeable Ansmann AA 2850mAh NiMH Digital batteries.

There is also a slightly tricky problem when you have a large number of un-marked burial plots grouped together - how to measure them in? 

We know there are 10 burials here somewhere.....

Since we knew from the grave plans and burial registers the actual number of burials in the row we decided to set out a line of that number of white flags at regular intervals, and measure those in. 

It seemed to work well - a neat and simple solution. 

We had some visitors to the church today – a couple from Ripon who enjoyed a good chat with Sue about the church and its history; and two ladies who had come to see their family graves and follow up on some family history. We were able to share information and show them our village genealogical database on the laptop computer. Working on a churchyard project is certainly a useful way of making contact with visitors, and encouraging them to appreciate local heritage.

Jane Lunnon

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