On Saturday 18th September 2021, the restored roundabout was officially “open for business”. Many thanks to John Boocock and David Hodge for working on this challenging project and restoring the roundabout to its former glory. In addition, the ground has been levelled and reinforced with matting.
In 1953, for the Queen’s coronation, a range of Wicksteed play equipment was installed on the play area on Barton’s Recreation Ground. Only the double swing and the roundabout remain from that time. The solid and popular roundabout has had woodwork repairs many times over the years and an attempt to re-fix some metalwork and with occasional repainting. By 2021, when nearly 70 years old, it had become rather scruffy, and bordering on unsafe. The Parish Council decided that a major refurbishment was required.
Refurbishment was started on 27 July and completed on 2 September, needing around 170 hours labour .
The dilapidated timber was removed and the 16 metal holding down plates deemed to be better renewed rather than an attempt at sandblasting before repainting. Machine screws, solidly rusted in to the underframe, proved impossible to entirely remove. So, fresh holes were drilled and threaded, together with the new plate fabrication by Henrich Zelinka the Burwash blacksmith. Meanwhile, all the framework was wire-brushed and red-oxide painted.
New timber, sourced at Millworks Bottisham, was Siberian kiln-dried Larch. The eight sides and eight top triangular board units were carefully made as individual pieces before insertion onto the re-assembled underframe. Timber treatment was with Osmo coatings, and surface metalwork – plates in red and rails in green – with hammerite paint.
The rutted ground surrounding the revolving platform was levelled, covered by a decagon of pre-cut perforated mats, cable-tied together, pegged down and set at a level 100mm below platform rim.
Although the mechanism still runs perfectly, it has had no lubrication for at least 25 years, and probably much longer. So, the bearings were greased through a temporary nipple after removal of the machine screw on top of the central hub.
Barton Parish council wishes to acknowledge and thank BRIG and BVCT for contributing to the costs of this project and, once again, thank John and David for all their hard work.