Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Horses for courses.

You no doubt remember that our lane is closed to everyone but the six families who live on it - four of them farms, one haulage contractor and one an ordinary house.   The sign at the top of the lane says 'Residents Only'.

It is closed for the simple reason that they are putting in a new gas main.   Today they reached - and passed - our farm.   There are still huge piles of soil on the sides of the road, waiting to fill in the trench once the soil has sunk.   But to all intents and purposes it is now clear as far as our gate.

The men who are doing the job - three of them with an assortment of diggers, wheelbarrows, pipes, welding equipment and various other machines which are a mystery to me - have worked seven days a week, the weather has been awful - strong winds and an awful lot of heavy rain- but they have systematically worked through it all.

They have been courteous, helpful, pleasant - I can't fault them and I now intend to write to the Gas Board to tell them so.

It is easy to think of manual workers as somehow less intelligent than those working in offices, financial institutions, the arts and the like.   This is ridiculous and I came across an interesting quote today which summed it up so well.

Rider Haggard  once spoke of the big landowners and the men they employed in huge numbers in those days to do the manual jobs on their land.   He criticised anyone who saw these men just as 'hands'
saying, "Let any one of those landowners try even the easiest task done by the hands, such as 'drawing a ditch' and I think they would change their views.

So well done to the three men working our lane.   I don't even know what much of the machinery you are using is called, let alone how to put in a gas pipe so that every house gets its gas supply without interruption.


Gwil W said...

Me too. Agree with every word. They are sorting out the water in our street. Replacing old copper pipes. We are lucky to have good water. It comes straight from the mountains far away in Styria. It's amazing that the main pipe to Vienna was laid in the time of Kaiser Franz Josef. I wonder what tools they used in those days. When I look at the terrain it has to go through, and also the railway from Vienna to Trieste over the Semmering, I can only admire those who constructed and maintained these things.

Gwil W said...

This reminds me that the world's oldest pipe line constructed out of hollowed out trees carried salt from Hallstatt to Ebensee a distance of 26 miles in temperatures which could be as low as -25 C without freezing up. Nowadays it is a fine walking trail.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Our council workers here are great; doing the public gardens, cleaning the streets of the detritus of the real underclass, watering the hanging baskets. Great chaps.

John Gray said...

Good for you....not many people take the time to praise

Terry and Linda said...

You are so right...you are praising instead of complaining. Most people don't stop to think about the gift the inconvenience is going to give them in the end.


Joanne Noragon said...

My trophy sister in law has a trophy husband who works for the National Trust as a groundskeeper in Cambridge, "keeping it tidy for all the visitors." I can hear every word you have written coming from Tony.

donna baker said...

Very kind thing to do Pat. I've always quoted, "what goes without saying, needs to be said."

Cro Magnon said...

Firstly I'm amazed that you have piped 'town gas' right to your house; you're very lucky.

I have two regular 'workers' who keep my UK home in good order. One is the son of a very well known cricketer, and the other is the son of a major restaurateur. Both are highly intelligent and interesting young men. The fact that they do what might be thought of as 'working class' jobs doesn't alter them one bit.

Derek Faulkner said...

There's no doubt that there are some bad examples of people that dig holes in roads and disappear for days on end but when we witness an example such as you have I think we owe them a thank you letter. I had to visit an unknown vets at the weekend with my dog, while at my partner's house in Surrey. They were superb in their treatment of my dog and I E-Mailed them on Monday with my praise of them.

Librarian said...

It's a very good idea to send a letter of praise about the workers!
Whenever I see similar work going on, I am very, very grateful that I don't have to do it... I am not good with cold and rain, and although I can do some physical work for a while, I am nowhere near strong enough to dig and lift heavy stuff etc.
From the comfort of my desk - either at home or at the office - I see (mostly) clean streets; we have street lights here in town, gas, water and electricity at every house, and it did not get there by magic.
Did you bring them mugs of tea out while the workers were near your house?

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks to everyone. Today has dawned cold but breezy and sunny so at present (9am) they are working away in pleasant conditions. Hope it lasts all day for them.