Since I last wrote on the blog my colleagues and I have met on site with the Conservation Officer and the Planning Department to discuss our intention to remove the contents of the yard (in front of the boat cellar; you'll recall this is necessary to allow us space to pull Peggy out of her cellar). Manx National Heritage is the Isle of Man's heritage agency and we have a strong lead role in upholding and promoting the statutory protection of historic buildings and sites. We are very keen to ensure that we have complied with all the same legal requirements any private owner would be expected to comply with. We've taken advice from structural engineers about the likely consequences of removing the infill from the yard, and they didn't identify any risks to the surrounding structures. We've been advised to submit a planning application for the work, and we're hopeful of a favourable verdict. We have also appointed a Project Manager to oversee the practicalities of health and safety and other technical matters for the excavation of the yard and, later, the removal of the boat. We are now ready to send out the job brief to archaeological contractors.
If this all seems rather dry and tedious, that's because it is! However, we are determined to plan every aspect of the conservation works to the highest standard we can. We want the various stages to run smoothly, and most of all we need the collective consent of our colleagues and friends on the island and further afield.
We are hoping to begin the archaeological excavation in January for completion in March 2014.
Meanwhile we are continuing our search for a suitable conservation facility for Peggy on the island. We have been working further with Paul Drury (see previous post) to unravel the hidden history of George Quayle and his use of the site. We think now that Mr. Drurys' final report will be held back in order to incorporate any findings from the archaeological dig of the yard (or 'dock' or 'slipway'...).