July 2013 - Craigshiels Outdoor Centre. Nine trainees took up the challenge of Ae this time round with Alex Sharpe instructing. The weather on both days favoured us a little too well with Sunday being the hottest. The trainees took down and rebuilt a section of approx 20ft, most of which was rebuilt on day one. On the second day, once the first wall was complete, they then tackled a run down part near the end of the wall. Stone was a little scarce for this section, so volunteers were sent down into the river to collect some. All the trainees enjoyed putting their newly learned skills to the test and everyone enjoyed a great atmosphere. Six members also turned out over the weekend with our illustrious chairman getting some practice in for his intermediate test.
Click on a picture to view a larger image
September 2013 - Our third training course of the year was held once again at Rainton Farm, Gatehouse of Fleet. We had 7 trainees (the 8th called off due to illness) who were more than capably instructed by Jim Scott over the weekend. The trainees took down and rebuilt two sections of wall over the course with much enthusiasm. Due to the type of wall a ladder had to be used on a particularly large and awkward cope stone which tested the strength of a few of the trainees! The weather favoured us with a taste of an indian summer on both days which made it enjoyable for all. A filling lunch was provided yet again with the marquee being utilised for cover. Fortunately it was only required to keep the cooking equipment and seating in overnight as, due to the weather, all breaks were al fresco.
April 2013 training course held at Loans near Troon in Ayrshire. Seven trainees participated in our first beginners course of the year, ably watched over by instructor, Alex Sharpe. Another member, Chris Machin, who has recently achieved his instructor's certificate, came along on the first day to learn the ropes and assist in the teaching. Four other members also attended over the two days. The weather was bright and sunny on both days which added to the great atmosphere of the weekend. The wall taken down was in a state of disrepair due to animal assistance so the trainees were given a good lesson in reconstruction. Finished the coping and pinning at the beginning of the second day they then filled in a large gap further along the wall. All the trainees felt they had enjoyed their weekend and had certainly gained a lot of insight into the skill of dyking. A hearty lunch was provided on both days.
October 2013 - This was a one day course which had been organised specifically for the Scottish Smallholders Association and held at Geirston Farm, Kilbirnie. Seven trainees took part on the day including Mr Mick Rose who is the owner of the wall. The weather was a little hit and miss with a couple of heavy showers but it did nothing to put anyone off of the task. The wall was quite rundown in parts but the trainees managed, under the watchful eye of instructor, Alex Sharpe, to strip down and reinstate approx 20ft of wall. They also improved the look by adding covers and copes which were missing when they started. Our hosts made everyone very welcome and all the participants enjoyed the experience.