Thursday, 20 September 2007

the front room

not so long after the flood hit

toilet exposed

the annexe with toilet exposes

teh kitchen stripped down

note the sloping walls!

wattle and daub

(from wikipedia) The earliest form of wattle and daub known was constructed with the wattles, commonly in the form of hazel branches, woven around evenly spaced vertical wooden posts set in the ground in a circular formation. Wet clay daub was then smeared onto the wattles, filling in the gaps. Archeology shows the techniques used were numerous and their boundaries ill-defined. A typical hut might have a conical roof that was steeply pitched to allow proper shedding of the rainfall. Hazel battens were tied horizontally to provide a framework for thatching to attach to the roof. The bottom ends of the rafters were tied to the vertical wall posts.
Wattle and daub arose from the combination of two wall forms: wattle walls, which used the same techniques as fencing for boundaries, and the earthen wall. Wattle walls may have been filled in to improve wind resistance with anything on hand such as straw, moss, leaves and earth. For binding, it was easiest to use soil that could be pressed into position and would remain in place. In a study conducted by G.D. Shaffer it was discovered that occasionally the daub was burnt, to be hardened like pottery. Hardened fragments of daub could be found in fresh daub coats, which Shaffer theorized was used to help strengthen the integrity of the wall (Shaffer, 2003).
Those areas rich in timber allowed for a more sophisticated style like timber frame, with holes and grooves integrated to place vertical staves in order to prevent bowing or detachment in high winds. When the Romans arrived in Britain, there is little effect seen on the use of wattle and daub. We do see the integration of straw, hay, vegetable materials and dung to improve binding and reduce shrinkage and cracking. Also, remains of Anglo- Roman wall daub reveal herringbone keying, an indication of a plaster finish, a new development in weather resistance.
As the craft of the English carpenter evolved the timber frame house also evolved into a more popular, sophisticated housing choice, and wattle daub was the infill of choice. This crafts popularity stems much from the low cost and abundant availability of the materials. The abundance of wood allowed structural framing to include a high number of supporting posts, creating close-studded style paneling. This form of paneling required a variation on the style of infill, where instead of woven wattles, straight laths were held in place by channels and then daubed. Then, as timber became increasingly scarce, the ratio of infill to timber walling increased to created wider panels. These square panels still required intermediate supports between the studs causing the use of staves and woven wattles to return. Note that although there is little archaeological evidence, it is clear that wattle and daub was used to complete the walls of true cottages up to the 19th century. Clearly, wattle and daub may have lost its popularity with more upscale styles, but remained the poor man's wall.
One clear disadvantage of wattle and daub has always been clear: its vulnerability to damp. If not kept dry, wattles have a tendency to rot, or be attacked by beetles causing the daub to crack or become loose due to becoming exposed to moisture and frost. Areas most affected tended to be along the bottom of the panel. The jettied frame (Jettying) is possibly a system that evolved as a way to keep walls drier where upper levels are extended with a cantilever system. Lime (calcium oxide) wash and lime plaster were used to fight the effects of rain. These two coatings provided a strong surface as well as sealed cracks in the daub. An unavoidable effect was that created by the combined flexibility of the frame and shrinkage of the earth and lime materials, creating cracks between panel and the surrounding frame. This factor caused wattle and daub structures to be draughty and required constant repair of the panels. The final move to improve weather resistance was seen east of England where the entire wall was plastered, seen accompanied by decorative plaster known as pargetting.
A noticeable focus on wattle and daub is apparent when examining the History of Ireland. Early Irish settlements were built using this building method already in the Neolithic, maybe as early as 6000 BC. Some of the most well-known constructions to use wattle and daub were the Crannógs. These were fenced-off lakeside sites on islands (often artificial) linked to the land by a bridge or boat. The huts or houses had wattle and daub walls. Some sites remain today, but the structures are long gone. A modern reconstruction of a crannog can be found at Craggaunowen, County Clare in Ireland.
A look into the history of the practice of doing wattle and daub shows an obvious niche for specialty. At York, in 1327, it is recorded that the mixing of earth with straw and stubble was for use by a 'torcher' or 'dauber'. The term "torching" applies to the process of covering walls, ceilings, as well as the insides of roofs and chimneys.
In the case of a primitive and peasant buildings the wattle and daub work was done by the home owner. For wealthier home owners the work was done by a dauber, a position well established in the ranks of craftsmen, though not as well respected as those who designed the house and constructed it. The demise of this art is driven by several factors. Replacement with brick nogging (rough brick masonry used to fill in the gaps between timber members) is one factor, where decaying wattle and daub panels were replaced by brick work. The use of timber framing diminished in the 17th and 18th centuries due to fire risk and the move to stone and brick housing. When half timbering become less respectable in the 18th century the desire for stone and housing facades become prominent, causing timber walls to be modernized by either full plastering or tile. Wattle and daub is said to have been conveyed a poor image through law supposedly inspiring the term 'breaking and entering' due to the ease with which criminals could enter by breaking through the infill (Graham, 2003).
This method of walling remained practically unchanged from primitive building to its demise in the 18th century. Wattle and daub has weathered periods of great change and innovation and remained unchanged despite huge developments in the craft and housing style surrounding each panel. The basic methods and materials used have remained the same.
Daub is a mud like sealing layer generally created from a mixture of certain ingredients from three categories: binders, aggregates and those used for reinforcement. Binders hold the mix together and can include clay, lime, chalk dust and limestone dust. Aggregates give the mix its bulk and dimensional stability through materials such as earth, sand, crushed chalk and crushed stone. Reinforcement provided by straw, hair, hay or grassy materials help to hold the mix together as well as control shrinkage and provide flexibility. (Pritchett, 2001).
Styles of panels
As discussed earlier there were two popular choices for wattle and daub paneling: square paneling and close-studded paneling.
Close-studding panels create a much more narrow space between the timbers; anywhere from seven to sixteen inches. For this style of panel weaving becomes too difficult so the wattles run horizontally and are known as ledgers. The ledgers are sprung into each upright timber (stud) through a system of augured holes on one side and short chiseled groves along the other. The holes (along with holes of square paneling) are drilled at a slight angle towards the outer face of each stud. This allows room for upright hazels to be tied to ledgers from the inside of the building. The horizontal ledgers are placed every two to three feet with whole hazel rods positioned upright top to bottom and lashed to the ledgers. These hazel rods are generally tied a finger widths apart with 6-8 rods to each 16 inch width. Gaps allow key formation for drying (Sunshine, 2006).
Square panels
Square panels are large, wide panels typical of some later timber frame houses. They have a square shape although sometimes they are triangular to accommodate arched or decorative bracing. This style does require wattles to be woven for better support of the daub.
To insert wattles in a square panel several steps are required. First, a series of evenly spaced holes are drilled along the middle of the inner face of each upper timber. Next, a continuous groove is cut along middle of each inner face of the lower timber in each panel. Vertical wattles are then inserted, known as staves, and these hold the whole panel within the timber frame. The staves are positioned into the holes and then sprung into the grooves. They must be placed with sufficient gaps to weave the flexible horizontal wattles (Sunshine, 2006).
The origin of the term 'wattle' as a term describing a group of acacias in Australia, is from the term "wattling". In early Australian European settlement the acacias were commonly used in wattling, and the name became shortened to wattle.

flood issues

structural work might be required

cupboard underneath the stairs

this area was boarded over for longer than we know. behind the wall was about a foot of rubbish and an old sandal (not roman!)

the foundations!

you should not delve too deep for fear of what is underneath (would a reference to dwarfs and Moria be too geeky? think yep is the answer there!)

piano drying out

how much is a piano worth? the emotional attachment to a beautiful piece of music

living room

photo from a kayak

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

18 september meeting


Minutes of the 18 September Meeting held at ACC Pavilion at 7.30 pm

Attendance: A Leeke, B Leeke, W Morris, J Rutter, W Phelps, B Checkley.
Apologies: K Samuel, T Morris

1. Minutes of the DPCC Meeting of 30th August agreed as a true record.
2. Matters arising:
2.1 A. Leeke is in liaison with the Charity Commissioners.
2.2 Payments to J Cutter & M Smith. Invoices now submitted to the Yorks Fire Service. A Schedule of Costs has been requested from the Samuel & Morris families for work done and to be done on the banks.
2.3 The ‘Five Families’ (Baker, Crowley, Fay, Lord & Ward) problems discussed with the EA on August 23rd and covered in A Leeke’s Newsletter of the visit. Potential clay supply, Keyway Ltd visited the village on 31st August. Keyway is very interested in supplying clay and the potential ground work for the banks. Other companies should be investigated in due course.
2.4 Grants. Rotary Club application now pending for £3000.
2.5 The request for donations from each household to be considered latter.
2.6 B Checkley’s ‘Deerhurst Flood Protection Strategy’ and recent survey was debated in some depth. Actions resulting:
2.6.1 B Checkley’s contacts have carried out a full topographical survey. The survey should be available for review on request in about ten days time.
2.6.2 A DPCC meeting will be held to determine the level of protection required (13.5m proposed by B Checkley – the 2007 level was 12.48m and 1947 was 12.37m) and consider appointing a consultant to draw up a full engineering design.
2.6.3 A detailed planning application by Spring 2008 will be targeted.
2.7 A Leeke has written to A Perry (E.A) with a copy of his Newsletter and confirming the points determined on the E.A. August 23rd visit.
2.8 A Leeke has contacted Church House (Mary Coates secretary to Jonathan Mackenzie-Jarvis). A Faculty Petition is now to be submitted by November 2nd.
2.9 W Morris has marked up a village drawing with all known drains, ditches and outlets for B Checkley’s survey.
2.10 B Leeke has liased with M Calway regarding potential grant aid. Basil Booth has been contacted since his visit to Deerhurst by A & B Leeke regarding the £15,000 grant for the survey and engineering design. Similarly A Perry, EA, has been approached to request his support by contacting Basil Booth direct. A meeting to discuss this grant application is to be held in Gloucester on Thursday week. Other sources of aid to be investigated.
2.11 W Phelps’s village flood survey: Copies have been distributed requesting completion and return to him. He awaits many responses………………
2.12 W Phelps is building up a web site for the village
2.13 Good House Keeping publication. Initial discussions with GH indicated that they wish to do some ‘human’ stories about the flood damaged homes and the resultant losses and necessary work involved. A GH donation will be made to our Fund around Christmas and the John Lewis organisation wishes to discuss the possibilities of offering to install their products in a small number of homes. More discussion needed prior to an agreement to being made with both parties.

Next Meeting: TBA

Monday, 17 September 2007

our village agent for flooding

Richard Lee, our Village Agent, has kindly offered his assistance in the cases of individual hardship (especially for the old folk) or in overcoming problems with any of the authorities. He is happy to meet with anyone experiencing difficulties and will do his utmost to help.

Looking ahead, he feels that some of us may find his offer more beneficial at the time when we move back into our properties, especially if shortfalls are seen in the insurance claims .

His TN is 07810 630 201

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

flood help contacts (Gloucestershire)

Flood Recovery – Contact Information

Gloucestershire County Council Contacts

Social care

Adult helpdesk: 01452 436868 (8am-5pm Mon-Fri)
Children & families helpdesk: 01452 426565 (8am-5pm Mon-Fri)

Consumer advice

Gloucestershire Trading Standards has advice on their website about employing reputable builders and trades people
Or call Consumer Direct 08454 04 05 06

Activities for children & young people

For general information about what activities are taking place in the county
Phone 0800 5420202 or email

Changing schools due to flooding

If you have moved house because of the recent flooding and your children need help getting to a new or their existing school, call the Parent Partnership Service who will pass on your details to the Transport Entitlement Team 0800 988 8042

Waste disposal & recycling

For information about Household Recycling Centres including locations, opening times and what you can and can’t take to the centres for recycling /disposal or call Environmental Waste Controls (EWC) helpline on 01242 680010.

For information on plastic bottle recycling or call you local District Council.
Other Useful Contacts

Health advice

· NHS Direct 0845 46 47 for general health advice.

The following website has public health information relating to flooding:
Health Protection Agency:

Financial assistance and insurance advice

· Gloucestershire Flood Relief Fund – Application forms are available from: or District Council websites or by calling 01684 295010 or emailing

· Citizens Advice Bureau – for free independent and confidential advice on financial matters such as progressing insurance claims. To find you local office call 020 7833 2181 or

· Job Centre Plus – for advice on eligibility for Department of Work and Pensions Community Care Grants and Crisis Support loans www.jobcentreplus
or you can find the number for your local Job Centre Plus office in the phone book.

· Financial Obudsman Service- can offer advice in relation to any dispute over an insurance claim 0845 080 1800

· Association of British Insurers (ABI)- has some flood information for consumers on their website

Flood resilience and protection for your home

· Construction Industry Research & Information Association (CIRIA) provides guidance on repairs to flood damaged homes. There are also advice sheets on improving the resilience of your home to flooding.
020 7549 33 00

· Environment Agency provides a guide for homeowners on using flood protection products, guidance on making your home flood resilient and installing your own flood defences. There is also information on companies providing kite marked certified flood products. or phone Floodline for more advice 0845 988 1188

· National Flood Forum is a not for profit organisation which offers advice and support to individuals and local communities affected by flooding. Their website includes free fact sheets including protecting your home for the future and guidance produced jointly with ABI on repairing your home to limit future damage 01299 403055

Monday, 3 September 2007

aerial photo around Odda's Chapel

aerial views of houses

Rakey tells people where to go

graves under water

the cows wait for no man

the milk tanker came across the fields to get to the cows milk.

kensal on Sunday

if you wish to know how long a day that was have a look at Kensal's face! the water laps at the Holiday Cottages that are now housing a variety of village people (sorry for the pun)


Parkers. ouch!


welcome to the village!


Aeroplane Cottage not ready to take off just yet!

the Halls

Cynthia's house with a spot of rising damp!

the Leekes

The Minstrels as not seen since 1947!

Beryl Coombe's house

the Love's house under water

the Parker's get rescued

Tim at the helm

as seen in the Telegraph!

Will paddles for safety 60 years from the last big flood!

morris water problem

the priory under water

time to go home!

some spades will never return to their proper home!

the Barn Road will never be viewed again in the same way. all the hard work eventually became futile.

breach by the copse

an unstoppable force met by a movable object! the flood banks were not clay-y (if that is a word) and could not stand the force of the flood water


Kensal directs operations

our little helper!

carried on working above and beyond the call of duty and almost saved the day!

time to smile - before the sh1t hit the fan!

a happy Jan

the farm under attack - fortunately the water did not reach the milk parlour but more than enough damage was caused to crops and other equipment

6 weeks on

time is an interesting phenomenom - apparently it is six weeks since the flood and as expected people are slowly forgetting about it. It feels like about 6 years and another 6 years before the flood is truly put behind us!

People that have been seen for a while will ask the normal, polite questions about how deep, when are you back in etc (maybe we could invent a game of "flood bingo" where you tick of the commonly asked flood questions - a variation on bullshit bingo that enlivens many a business meeting for those that suffer hours of outrageous talk of "core competencies" etc) a flood FAQ is not a bad add on to the blog and will be added later.

The lawn is very green compared to some who suffered more than us. There is still some white goods to remind us of the destruction of the flood itself.

Our blog figures are about 7 visitors a day (move over facebook!), with good viewing time with no subscribers to receive their RSS updates! More photos are arriving and will be added to the blog as we go along!