The Mysterious Miss Kimberley - Hut Date: October 2007

Meanwhile .......over in a secret location more secret than any of my other very secret locations - so secret in fact that even I have to arm myself with map co-ordinates to get to her secret whereabouts - the covert restoration of the refined and elegant but irrefutably mysterious Miss Kimberley is under way ...

Miss Kimberley came from the Kimberly Estate south of Norwich, via Mr. Gerald Bevis from Great Walsingham.  He had owned this hut for many years as a museum piece, along with one he had used when he was a gainfully employed Shepherd.  When he moved during the summer of 2006 she was put up for sale, and with the help of  Ian McDonald and his Hut Matching services we managed to find her a well-deserving home.  I won the privilege of putting her back into working order!

After bracing her insides to prevent disintegration during the big move to her new abode, and with all her vital parts a'dangling, she was lifted high up over an 8 foot high hedge by a large lorry with a "Highabb" mounted crane.


Shortly After:  Ian McDonald with the bare bones of Miss Kimberley.  A classic example of the Leaning on Things (Cause & Effect) Theorem ...

The wheels were all rusted solid and needed heating to get free.  One wheel fell to bits as the iron was full of slag and blow holes.

Miss Kimberley's front wheel made from poor cast iron, which I am repairing by fitting steel "tyres" to both wheels to add strength for those long journeys!

I suspect they had melted down old rusty scrap iron to cast these.  The rear axle timbers were rotten and broken in half. The front axle can be repaired but the rear will have to be new.

Forming the "tyres" on a home-made winding jig.  After forming, the joint will be electric welded and key rivetted to the cast iron wheel ...

Wheel welding well under way ...

The finished wheel ...

She is said to have been the meeting point during the last war for the Home Guard so she could have been the last thing between the Kimberly Estate and world domination by the invading Germans had they got that far.  I am sure that with one look at Miss Kimberley bulging with the finest and fittest of the local lads and Grandads, the invading forces would have turned to jelly and surrendered on the spot!
 
One feature is a hole cut in the side shaped like a clover leaf which a 12 bore gun will fit through and be sighted.  I think this was for bagging the odd bunny for the hungry Shepherd but it may have come in useful during World War II to give Jerry a broadside if he was unlucky to approach up the wrong side.  The hole is cut on the side without the window and no doubt Hitler had taken note of this and would have warned all his troops to attack the hut on the window side and catch the Home Guard up the rear.

I am trying to keep as much of the old timber as possible and to date have only had to replace the two side rails ...  

New chassis top rail ...

By fitting a rail above I can pick up good sound timber off the upright supports and then nail the side boards back on higher up. She should then look the same from the outside.

Shaping the ends of the chassis beams as the originals were...

This was the cause of the chassis rotting as these small bits of timber stuck out  and were exposed to the elements.  When they decayed the rot was carried in under the floor to all the other timbers close by.  These ends have been dipped for a week in preservative so with care should last forever.  I will make some zinc covers as well to protect these four corner ends and this should ensure they do not rot in the future.

All repair sections for Miss Kimberley's chassis ready for assembly ...

She will need a new tin roof as the old roof had rusted thin but I can refit the ridge sections.

For a trip with Digger and Jumble to the next chapter of The Mysterious Miss Kimberley, simply click on the photograph ...