Updated: Feb 25
We've come crashing back down to earth since taking our delivery last month with not much going our way at all.
We were hoping to open and start using the ground this month but have had to move our official opening day back to January!🤦🏻♂️
The main reason being electricity - or the lack of it, but there are other things that still need sorting as well which we hope to complete this month.
This blog may contain a hint of frustration (haven't even been able to bring myself to write it for weeks) but thanks to some really amazing people we've been lifted a bit and are feeling more optimistic about getting things completed!
Its been a rollercoaster of a month, I'll have a quick vent and then hopefully all will be alright in the world!🙊
Before the delivery came we kindly asked if vehicles could be kept from the area of the entrance to the ground on the morning of the deliveries. We were very grateful that almost all vehicles were kept away but unfortunately there was one that still caused a lot of disruption. Basically the lorries couldn't turn early enough to be able to fit in through our gate because a car was in the way and they nearly had to abort the whole thing and come another day instead (and charge us for it!). We tracked down the owner who was in work and couldn't come to move it but gave permission for the car to be physically moved. This resulted in a couple of dents in the front arches of the car where it was held and rocked to be moved a foot or so out of the way. We have now had a bill of £380 to repair it which is gut wrenching considering for the last couple of years we have been scraping every penny together to get the facility up and running for the kids 🤦🏻♂️. Very disappointing as it was completely avoidable.
The car making it difficult for the lorries to turn, leak 1 in the home changing rooms & leak 2 in the other!
We also realised after installation that the wrong heaters are installed and they are also in the way of where the benches will need to go! A headache for another day, but a headache nonetheless!
To add to things we've had a leak in each of the changing rooms on separate occasions, one of which soaked all our brand new boxed furniture! We had to get the company back out to repair the leaks and to be honest are on edge every time we go there after some rain in case we find another!
The other frustration has been trying to get the electric supply made live! We were told in October it would be 30 working days until they install the electric meter and make us live. After waiting that duration and making a lot of phone calls I found out that they had the wrong phone number saved for me and that's why we hadn't heard anything! They have now pencilled us in for January 24th!! I'm still working on getting that moved sooner as we are meant to be opening before then!
Its very dark in the changing rooms and there's no heating yet as its electric, so we cant open it up for the kids as it will be too dangerous. Its also proved difficult for us getting it ready in the meantime as we can only get there in the daylight on the weekends when we're free.
End of rant.
Thank you to some amazing, kind people for keeping us going!
It hasn't all been doom and gloom, some amazing people have been massively generous and helpful!
We want to thank Robert Evans and Keyline for generously supplying us with materials that we need to finish the changing rooms:-
6 tonne of pipe bedding (for us to install the drainage tank)
Sheets of ply board & lengths of timber (for us to install a skirt around the base of the changing rooms externally and box items in on the inside)
2 tubs of masonry white paint (to paint the walls surrounding the pitch)
If anyone needs any building supplies then please get in touch with Keyline !
The items delivered to us free of charge by Keyline!
We also want to thank Matthew Edwards of AME Electrical Ltd who has quite frankly been a life saver!! In order to get electric to the changing rooms from the supply meter (once its installed and live!!) we needed an electrician to supply and install a load of cables and make the connections each end to both the meter and the building.
Thankfully Matthew offered his companies services, free of charge, and we cant emphasise enough how grateful we are!!
I've since found out that it wasn't a straightforward operation at all, and as the changing rooms consist of 6 individual units, each of these needed their own electric supply! This obviously meant more materials and more work for the boys.
Thanks to Matthew he's saved us some hefty costs and also got us to the position where we will be up and running - as soon as British Gas pull their finger out!
The cables in the box ready to connect to the meter, the ducting we laid a couple months back doing its job & the cables connecting to the changing rooms.
If anyone needs any electrical work done then please get in touch with Matthew, his company have been amazing and we can't recommend them enough! https://ame-electrical.com
We are getting there...
We've also been busy ourselves getting things done both inside and outside of the changing rooms.
Outside the changing rooms:-
The dream team of Johnny and Scooby (Jooby) managed to install the effluent tank which will be our foul drainage outlet/storage and will be emptied each month.
They had to get 'Betsy' down the ground again (Johnnys machine) in order to install it. They had to excavate a hole big enough to house it, lay pipe bedding to sit it on and make sure it's level, lift it in with the machine and then backfill with pipe bedding.
The installation of the effluent tank Nov '22
As well as installing the tank they also had to connect the drainage from the rear of the changing rooms. Another full day of volunteering work from the boys to get us a step closer, legends!
Inside the changing rooms:-
Inside we have been putting together all the benches and hangers for the home and away changing rooms - 21no in total! It took us about 4 Sundays to do them all (a few hours each time). To be fair my boy Evan has been a massive help with it he came with me every time and Andrew also came to help on the final day.
The first day - we took about 4 hours to put 2 benches together!
The first day was pretty shocking, I nearly complained to the supplier to say they'd sent us the wrong parts before Ev pointed out it was my fault using the wrong pieces in the wrong places! We sussed it then and picked up the pace on the next visits.
The benches put together (mostly in the dark!haha) and the radiators that need to be moved!
That's a big job done internally, thanks again to Ev and Andrew, we were flying by the end believe it or not! All that's left to do now is move the radiators out the way, they are wired in and not just plugged in so that should be fun! We've also got to fix the benches to the floor so they cant be pulled over onto any kids once its up and running, wouldn't want to break any of them after all that hard work!👀
This weekend I'm going to attempt to set the pitch out. We are desperate to get the posts in and cant do it until its set out. Hopefully we can then get the posts in asap and paint the lines of the pitch - it will really start taking shape then and be ready to use!
We are also absolutely desperate to get rid of a load of rubble from the car park to make it safe and ready. If anyone knows of anyone that can help with this - preferably as a favour or for a small fee then please let me know, it will be very much appreciated!
We also need to get the skirt fitted around the bottom of the changing rooms and box in some internal pipework.
All we need after that then is to get the electric made live, put some finishing touches inside and freshen the place up outside with a clean and a lick of paint.
The latest state of the pitch Dec '22 and the rubble that we need removed from the car park
I have also just applied for another grant from the FAW in order to hopefully purchase some dugouts for the kids to keep dry when their not playing, some boundary netting to stop the balls going into neighbouring gardens and also for a cycle shelter for the kids to store their bikes safely when attending training and matches. We will hear in January if we are successful or not so fingers crossed for that.
We are limping to the finish line, if we knew what would be involved when we started this project almost 2 years ago I'm not sure we would have taken it on, but it will be worth it when we finally get there! And be nice to have our lives back!🙈😂
Thanks for reading, KJ 💙⚽️