It is fair to say that from today onwards it is nonstop ‘action' in the Park, but more about today later! Well, to be honest for the last few weeks there has been some pretty frenetic activity in various areas, most especially on the Cross Country Course where Gary has been working hard seeing that Ian Stark's design's and ideas are fully transferred onto the ground. The Course is looking great, and many finishing touches such as painting and dressing have begun in earnest.
The dry weather has meant that I took the decision to start watering about eight days ago, we have been watering every day since and it does not look like there will be any let up with a predominantly dry forecast (at least it was the last time I checked - about twenty minutes ago!).
The booking office has been very busy over the last 10 days, but it closes on 28th May so book now to avoid paying for parking! Aside from the booking office being busy, Laura and Jane have started pulling the long days that the build up to Bramham seems to demand. We currently have a team downstairs working on the letters we send out to our many loyal and helpful volunteers, and the team are ensuring that all of the correct passes are being sent to the right Official - a job that has to be done very methodically.
Elsewhere on the Estate, for me, the day to day management continues, and with so much happening in the Park itself I am finding myself ‘pulled for pillar to post' and spending long hours away from the office - but with the joys of modern technology, namely the iPhone and Bluetooth in the Discovery I can keep most jobs moving forward, and am kept fully up to speed.
We currently have a skilled team of tree surgeons in the Park, headed up by Mick Rhodes, who have been working for almost ten days now removing the dead wood from many of the beautiful parkland trees Bramham is blessed with. This is a vital (albeit expensive) job, and one we carry out before every Horse Trials and the Leeds Festival. Certainly a job I am glad I do not need to partake in: I don't have the required head for heights!
Our new entrance at North Lodge is progressing well, and should be open in time for the first of the Day Boxes on 3rd June. North Lodge was the traditional entrance to the Park, and Nick Lane Fox has been keen to make better use of it for several years.
But back onto today - we have the following people/teams working in the Park and the following deliveries due:
- Andrew Munro Seear, our Site Manager arrived at 0700 and has started pegging out the stables, ready for Woodhouses to build. The stables delivery is due today; fortunately they are great to work with - we ordered six additional stables today and they were quite obliging, despite the trucks being about to pull out of their yard when we rang!;
- Annie from the BBC arrived at 0800 for a tour around the Cross Country Course, and to get a time-lapse camera set up to record the build of the main site;
- Three trucks worth of fine aggregate arrived, for use on our road crossings;
- Another delivery of diesel - despite us filling the bulk tank barely two weeks ago! With all of the watering and mowing, the hard working park maintenance team are on with, we are running several tractors pretty much constantly;
- The tree surgeons are finishing off working in the trees around the trade stand area this morning;
- Gary and his team remain busy at work on the course;
- The contractors are working at North Lodge;
- The BBC are coming back to interview Nick Lane Fox this afternoon;
- Our ‘digger man' Andrew Hammond is tidying a couple of areas around Terry Lug Farm;
- A truck full of Bunker Bins, for staff that ‘move in', during the Event has just passed the office.
It is very exciting when we have so much activity, although it does mean the days pass very quickly. Especially today as my wife has arranged for us to go to her ‘Vet School Ball' this evening in Nottingham. I think I've had a text from her at least once a day asking me to leave work in time to not be too late tonight - I hope I don't disappoint her!