by Heather Forbes, County Archivist.
Why did Genie visit the Archives? Read on and find out more.
“It’s like watching concrete dry…” is a phrase normally associated with something exceptionally boring. But we all found the concrete pouring and polishing exercise particularly interesting.
We knew that the concrete pouring was going to be a long job – the contractors notified us and the neighbours that work would start at 7.30am on Friday morning and continue into the small hours of Saturday.. This was because the foundations of the three new strong rooms needed to be poured as a single job. Initially a large concrete pump with a contraption like an elephant’s trunk pumped concrete into the metal mesh.
We were then surprised to see several workmen in wellies walking in it with rakes to level it off. Later on they used hand-held hovercraft-like contraptions (parafloats) to smooth the surface. Finally sit-on parafloats were used to polish and seal the surface. I think several of us secretly wanted to have a go on these but we refrained – this was a job best left to experts!
35 trucks, 500 tonnes of concrete, and 19 hours later the strong room foundations were completed. Next step – the walls and roof.
So why did Genie visit the Archives? Because it’s a telescopic forklift truck for loading the ¾ tonne parafloat onto the concrete slab. We were particularly taken with this truck as it shares its name with our genealogical database (Genie), now accessible via Ancestry. And we always welcome genealogists on site, whatever form they take!