Wednesday 4 May 2011

St Mary, Longstowe

Contributed by Dick, photos by Bob

Before installation
We were asked to look at St Mary by local resident Anthony Clay because a colony of Swifts had been inadvertently destroyed in the vicarage nearby.

The slate louvres were quite deep, so we decided to build boxes behind the openings above the louvres. We thought this quite a good place as Swifts often explore possibilities high up in the louvres first.

For the first arch, in the west, we tried fitting the shape of the arch from measurements and photographs and it took a number of iterations to get it right. We now know that it is far easier to get a large sheet of paper trimmed to the arch and then to mark out the positions of boxes and entrances, as one can see the shadows of the openings through the translucent paper. This we did for the second arch on the north side.
One of the boxes, proudly held by Bob

Here is a picture of Bob Tonks holding the final masterpiece.

The boxes are made of 12mm Far Eastern plywood, which is weather proof. Marine ply has become extremely expensive in recent months, and right now, there is none in stock anywhere.
Boxes on the west side

Here is a picture  of the boxes on the west side in their final position. If and when the boxes become occupied, we will then insert inspection doors in the back. As it is now, the boxes can only be inspected at the end of the season, when the Swifts have gone, by taking the whole back off.
A view of the boxes on the north side.
Photo anthony Clay
You can just see the 4 boxes at the top of
the louvres in this west elevation

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