To keep you all up to date, here is a "brief" report of progress on S2 as it has become known. Some of you may have seen some of this before, I apologise for repetition!
A couple of months ago, the installation tool was built and then couriered to Jamie Tweddle, our groundworks contractor, recommended by NMA.
The pics below show the tool as delivered.................
The parts for this were cut using our own DXF files by a model aircraft and boat company in Watton, not that far away, called SLEC, they used a CNC router for this work, I supplied the plywood. They also did all of the brevets we have had done so far, some by CNC router and one by CNC laser.
Once assembled, in my workshop, it was courier delivered to Jamie, our groundworks contractor. Apart for the top two parts in the pic above, they are MDF and only for checking purposes, the whole lot is buried and concreted into the ground, the top nuts as seen here being the top of the concrete. Jamie called me today to confirm just that. The remaining studs above that level, circa 50mm will be what our plinth will be fastened to.
Jamie sent me some pics to show that it is now done, apart from, in these pics, the final concreting done today.........
A final pic came from Jamie today, the concreting is now complete. Earth and grass will fill the rest of it, none of what you see here will be visible when the memorial is erected. The tool now concreted, is seen in the left pic, the right pic gives a clue to our location, the Loadies memorial is the pointy thing to the right; all of this is in the Royal Air Force part of NMA, by the way!
This is our location, centred between 3 silver birch trees and we where wanted it to be. By "we", I mean Nick Nicholls and myself, we visited NMA to decide on the location, their Manager, Peter Orgill, accompanied us and helped by offering various sites, here is NN at the location, the S2 is just the wooden model...........Nick Nicholls is the real thing!
Now that the installation tool is in the ground, Mrs H and I are going to NMA on Tuesday next week to trial fit the wooden plinth to the installed foundation, perhaps an overkill, but, you try modifying already welded grade 316 stainless steel!
This week has been busy re the Inscription plate too, I had located one company in Aylesbury to do the work on it but they couldn't do colour on SS, so I found another one in Norwich who have now quoted and I am confident will produce exactly what I want. To remind you, here is what the plate will look like..........
Don't worry re the blank crests, this has been fixed, today, as Chris Anderson has got the artwork they need. The plaque(s) will be brushed 316 SS.
Which brings me to my next point. There will be two inscription plates, mounted back to back on the memorial. the rear one will have all of the names of those who have donated £50 or more, I have delayed the manufacture of both plates until after 30 Sept to allow for last names to be added. As some of the cost of this came from FEAEA funds, therefore paid for by all, the rear inscription plate text will start with the words "Some of the funding for this memorial came from FEAEA funds, the rest came from personal donations from those named below". So, and this is important, if you wish to donate, and if you want your name on our memorial, then the last date will be 29 Sept! After that is still possible but at extra cost, and, someone, not me, would have to visit NMA and remove the plate and deliver it to Mercury, and recover it and replace it, so, not me!
Next, major event, is that I will travel to CRISTOFOLI, or water jet contractor to have all of the parts cut, both in 316SS and granite/limestone, that is May 22/23. They will pre cut all of the parts in 10mm MDF to finally check the DXF files and assemble them in my absence. They will then cut all the SS parts and have them welded locally, so that, when I arrive, we are ready to cut expensive stone.
We are fortunate that they will allow me to be part of this, Cristofoli is a company we used for water jet cutting when I worked for Hydro-Lek in Berkshire. So, they know me well and are happy for me to take part.
Once the stone parts are cut, we will glue them onto the SS weldment and, probably leave them there until the glue has time to properly set. They will then put the whole brevet onto their polishing machine and grind them to flat then polish, including the edges.
After that, I will again visit NMA to install the whole thing, probably in Aug/Sep onto the base. The Inscription plates I will install the day before the dedication in October.
So, that's where we're at, we still need donations, which can be made to the treasurer via the link on the website. Donations over £50 will ensure that your name is etched on the rear of the inscription plate. The cut-off date for your name to be on the rear inscription plate is 29Sept.
Finally, we now have 2 full size brevets used as part of the process of building this memorial, mainly to check the DXF files used by the CNC machines, but also to take to the various meetings and AGM's to show members progress. They have both served their purpose and need to be disposed of. It is my intention that these will be auctioned at the Friday Meet and Greet on Oct 26th, however to be fair to all, especially those who can't attend the NMA dedication, sealed bids can be sent to me by email, these will then be seen only by the auctioneer (Not yet named, but I have a cunning plan!) and included in the sale. Here's what they look like...
They are approx 750mm x 400mm, only 10mm thick and less than 1Kg in weight. They are more or less identical the only major change being the "E" which in the LH one in this pic is smaller, this was done as the black background proved to be too weak with such a big cutaway in it.
Hope this finds you all well,