Friday, 26 April 2013

 Part of the straw insulation


  The so-called silly season is the month famously an August phenomenon  when the well of news runs dry and papers fill pages with daft stories from who knows where. But a blog is a different species when it focuses on more quirky aspects of rustic rural life !  Well, I like to think that is the way I play it. So when Paul, a local builder arrived on my field with the best part of  the roof from old Mr Challinor's bungalow in Church Bank, in journalistic terms it was as they say like an early silly season gift to make bricks from straw.The great mass of beams and purlins are destined for the household biomass boiler, a French-made Perge which acts like a demanding mistress with its enormous appetite for wood during  the  winter months as it fires the central heating.  But what really excited me - OK I know that sounds a tad sad! - were several sheets of  what appeared to be compressed barley straw among the debris. Such straw is now used extensively to build houses by Eco-geeks but I would have thought it revolutionary as insulation when the late villager's house was built between the wars. Paul, who is enlarging the property to move in with his wife and eight-year-old daughter, says it was a first for him to find such material used to insulate the flooring. A builder friend Martin was also a little nonplussed at its use, but I guess Mr Challinor, an esteemed member of the Goostrey building family, who passed on in his nineties, was some seventy or more years ahead of his time! So there you have it a blog from straw. And a picture, too, all from nowt!
I have to thank the Sandbach Chronicle for contributing to my next item - or the ongoing story of  potholed Blackden Lane outside my home and Church Bank. The latest issues confirms my darkest fears. Our district council Cheshire East is one of the worst in the country for the condition of its road surfaces.What's  laughable it has even boasted about the number of potholes it has dealt with after complaints from residents. But despite my own protestations and plea to have Blackden Lane resurfaced, not just potholed filled, it still appears to fall on deaf ears. Our neighbour Paul Chaisty, an eminent advocate, tells me the council says the work will be done soon. But I think the council is ducking and diving as I am told it is not even listed in  the schedule of  major roadworks for the next twelve years! My informant at the parish council's annual meeting the other night says another local issue of a feared building boom in the villages seems unresolved. The district council is sticking to its guns in describing Goostrey as a Local Service Centre - an insulting description if I ever heard one - in the master plan for future housing developments. It insists the name makes no difference anyway. But perhaps a  shed load of  government lolly for every new home built in the council's fiefdom has something to do with it! More about this can be found on the excellent Love Goostrey website.

BLOG STOP PRESS: I see it is again the Farmer's Market at the Crown Inn this Saturday.