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"We all learnt a great deal about Farming - it helped the children to understand the idea of Farming more. A real hands on experience!"

By Reading School Year 4 teacher



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24 May 2022

    Bluebells at Rushall Farm I first met...


February 2019

Image of John Simonds Trust Report 2013

February 2019

1 Feb 2019

A number of people have admired our new toilet and shower block at Rushall Manor. I’ve always loved putting my hand down a drain, so I elected to do the groundwork and drainage.  It was therefore very disappointing that first attempts to flush those palatial loos caused a backlog. Fortunately, this happened to a work group from Forest School Camps. This organisation embraces life in the great outdoors, with cooking on wood fires. They specialise in dug latrines, so were un-phased by the lack of flush. I now know that if the “flush” has a choice to turn left or right when going down a plastic pipe, it will not be able to make up its mind. So, with a quick bit of digging and the installation of a manhole, it all looked quite simple to fix.  Except joining the pipes.  You see there are collars which must fit tightly into one another, and unless you start all over again at the top they will not interlock.  I have often wondered why the traffic lights are in position in the road for days when it’s just one small leak.

Day two started on the task in hand.  I asked Paul, who knows everything, what to do, but to no avail.  Daniel, who was in the oil industry which is all to do with pipes, and a regular dog walker at Rushall, sensibly suggested employing someone who knew what they were doing. He had a point, but I have got my pride. With various bits of broken pipe I landed in Buildbase in despair. I insisted that Rob should have a proper joiner in stock.  He showed me what he had, but then shook his head sadly. We paused, staring at the joint, when a big hand landed on my shoulder.  Lloyd appeared from nowhere – “All you’ve got to do is chip this bit of plastic with a chisel inside the pipe, put it on one pipe, position the other one and then slide the two together. And problem solved”.  It isn’t often that you feel as though you have met an Angel in a builder’s merchants, but to me this was nothing short of that.  It is always good to learn new things.  After all, it was only three years ago on another groundwork task I made the important discovery that water doesn’t flow uphill.

John Bishop