Ancient stuff

A collection of past memories


06 May 2005 / Posted in: Ancient stuff

The horror of the tsunami was perhaps a reminder of the awesome and indescriminate power of the natural world, and the inevitable suffering of the poorest and least protected, whose lives were destroyed in minutes. In contrast it seemed almost insensitive to carry on with almost the trivia of life - the xmas decorations, the squabbles over the remote control, party games, opening beer and presents, new year resolutions, let alone mentioning the sad decline of Nottingham Forest. But maybe that's how people cope with pain, fear and helplessness. They immerse themselves in the every day. Cooking, shopping, moaning, gossipping, and complaining about the decisions of referees.. !

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Nottingham Forest Memories

06 February 2005 / Posted in: Ancient stuff

Nottingham Forest Memories

The agony and the ecstasy 28th Feb 2005 The week starts with Forest being nine points from safety. Slipping slowly towards that unbearable drop. A premiership size club facing obscurity in the old second division. The odds further stacked against them. Then at the weekend a brave & deserved FA Cup draw, away against Spurs. What a fight that was ! Forest were seen as 10-1 on to lose the match. Spurs had a wealth of talent and international superstars, and were expected to coast it against the 23rd placed championship side. Yet Forest were mighty with guts, passion and yes with skill that brought them within a hairs breadth of victory. Wonderful ! Several days later and Forest are facing make or break against Preston, high flying in the play off zone, and who'd been unbeaten in 10 games. If we lost, and Coventry won (also playing that night) then we'd be sunk to 12 points from safety). At half time it looked likely with Coventry winning, and dismal Forest out played by a better team. But the Gods smiled on plucky Forest, and blessed them with two second half Goals from inspired Commons, whilst dishing out defeat to struggling Coventry. We were now six points from safety, with two games in hand! ....... READ MORE.. READ MORE..

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A wet celebrity summer

06 May 2004 / Posted in: Ancient stuff

One day hot, one day cold. Sun, rain, floods, gales.. the usual unpredictable summer. All hats off to those landscapers who struggle on. Our busy internet site brings in a wealth of warm praise & orders from all over Europe & the UK, with an increasing selection of exciting and unusual projects including 'Troy', 'Big Brother', Leeds Music Festival, Theatres, Flower shows, & hundreds of brilliant garden, construction and furniture projects. How lucky we are to be part of what you are doing, and thankyou for the digital pictures you send to our 'projects page'. Keep them coming ! They're fab!
The annual Kilgraney summer holiday was taken amongst crashing Cornish waves, Pembrokeshire sands, and the background of Portuguese football fervour, that promised so much, yet somehow deflated at the vital moment. 

Forest's pre-season American tour, set up to benefit Pinacle Insurance, seemed to be likewise disappointing, and threatens to spill over into the season proper, following friendly defeats to Middlesborough and Spurs. That sinking feeling again ! Thank goodness our offer to sponsor Nottingham Forest several years ago was rejected - at least we can sleep at night! .. unlike Sven.

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The arrival of a wolf

06 March 2004 / Posted in: Ancient stuff

The great wall progresses, the sun comes out & the white wolf finds a new home
SPRING 2004 It never ceases to amaze me when the warmth of spring arrives - as though I've forgotten of it's existence over the dreary winter. A thought clearly shared by hundreds of gardeners who now contact us with their exciting projects that have taken shape in armchairs over the winter... raised beds, retaining walls, steps, playgrounds, benches, fireplaces, decking... they all come tumbling out from the long cold nights of eager planning. From Junior schools to Army assault courses, Dubai to Dublin, goat sanctuaries to stately homes, 'Big Brother' house to national magazines, a string of creative ideas & designs continued below...The Great wall of China has almost finished, after an enforced winter break. A momentous project for the inexperienced band of enthusiastic diggers. My thanks to all for creating a wonderful garden. Just the final planting to go.
Nottingham Forest have decided to join the excitement of spring time with green shoots of their own. A new 'head gardener' has plugged the spiral of non-scoring and dreary losses, and encouraged a brightness and confidence that has pulled them out of the relegation doldrums. Only time will tell whether Jo Kinnear has green fingers.
Bruno, the visiting wolf, has decided to make Kilgraney his permenant home, after a few tasty visitors. He has learned to round up customers and encircle the forklift, and is very welcome.
A big thankyou to all those who continue to send us digital photos of their projects. We are creating a wonderful resource.

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Struggling in mud

06 October 2003 / Posted in: Ancient stuff

AUTUMN 2003 Well, the wet & the wind has finally ended the driest spell since records began (they always seem to say that) which is bad luck on landscapers and all those commissioned in building Kilgraney's 'The great wall of China', and 'The great wall of China 2' Luckily all the main trench and construction work was completed before the down pour started. Struggling in mud has also spread to Nottingham Forest , Kilgraney's team, who's results have taken a nose dive, despite our fervent support. In fact, if Forest were a landscaping project, they'd be abandoned half way through, or kicked off the site. No goals, no wins, and sliding towards the abyss.
On a brighter note, Bray, our supposedly ferocious guard dog has invited his cousin Bruno (seemingly a white wolf) to stay for a few months, and eat a few visitors. He is very welcome. Damp November, a quiet time for landscapers is still busy, with sleepers & poles leading the enquiries from builders,architects & councils etc.. The end of a busy year. 

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Kilgraney music festival to topple Glastonbury!

06 July 2003 / Posted in: Ancient stuff

SUMMER 2003. A summer that's been hot hot hot, with increasing streams of eager landscapers and gardeners from all over Britain. Our internet landscaping site is attracting thousands of visitors, and we now seem to supply a wider range of sleepers than any other company in Britain. More TV appearances have included 'Garden Invaders' with Charlie Dimmock, Channel 4's 'Demolition day', Reading and Leeds Music Festivals, Redbull Bike Challenge, and the world famous Kilgraney Music Festival, the current rival to Glastonbury(!) Clearly knighthoods all round are on their way!
It's an exciting busy time with telephones, faxes and e-mails constantly going. Sleepers and landscaping materials are being transported all over Britain and Europe, and the world seems immersed in gardening fever! Still, no summer would be perfect without the Kilgraney annual holiday. Last year we were the guests of Monaco, and this year we took up residence in Barcelona and the Cap de Begur. A feast of idyllic swimming, burning sun (42 degrees), evening terrace restaurants, and striking Catalonian architecture. No holiday is obviously complete without railway sleepers, and the holiday pics included raised beds and steps from the beach village of Sa Riera.
Incidently more and more of you have been sending in your photos of garden projects and creativity using our railway sleepers and landscaping products. A big thankyou ! It's really useful for people waivering at the planning stage to be inspired by what's possible (and not!) Please be patient if you don't see your works of art appearing on our web-site for some weeks - it will eventually, and your moment of fame will have arrived ! Celebrity status is guaranteed as Charlie Dimmock, Dirmuid Gavin Alan Titmarsh all use Kilgraney materials. WARNING they may try and steal your designs in their coming gardening programmes. Watch out and insist that you are invited to appear as guest landscaping consultant..... Well, it's nice to dream !
PS. We've always tried to maintain a tongue in cheek element to our web-site, despite the expansion of our business into the universe, & we hope to continue in this vein. Please remind us if we take ourselves too seriously. After all, they're only just old bits of wood ! 

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Holywood star slain by Kilgraney avalanche

06 May 2003 / Posted in: Ancient stuff

April / May 2003 What a frantic period, in which we've scarecely had time to update this news page as we've responded to a huge number of enquiries and orders. An exciting time in which we've delivered all over Britain, and even Europe, as our Internet presence generates yet more customers. Clearly it would be churlish to complain about such healthy progress, yet at the same time it's brought pressures and new challenges which can be both time-consuming and demanding.
Warner Bros have ordered yet more wheels to support their Trojan horse epic 'Troy', that's being released in a year or so. "Will they hold the weight ?" we are asked by an anxious producer, terrified of a vision of 50 tons of cascading tree trunks flattening dear Julia Roberts or whoever takes the part of Helen of Troy. Mind you, that would add to the melodramatic quality of the blockbuster - 'Holywood star slain by Kilgraney avalanche!'
Talking of blunders, we must apologise in public to a very tolerant Grant, who's wall was rearranged by an overeager delivery of a sleeper.. and thanks for the incriminating photo ! (to be published soon, on our 'how not to do it' section). One of the problems about expanding our business, is that we inevitably use outside hauliers, whose enthusiam is not always matched by their precision. Sorry.
Thankyou to all of you who supported us through the ectacy and agony of Nottingham Forest's play-off drama. The culmination at Brammell Lane, Sheffield, was emotionally uplifting and obliterating in equal measures. Thanks also for the condolences from the Brighton and Hove Albion supporter, who certainly knows about suffering. Incidently, Forest finally decided to accept the Multi-million sponsorship of 'Capital-one' rather than the less lucrative benevolence of Kilgraney. It was a close battle, but despite our generous offer of free railway sleepers per goals scored, we were spurned.
Latest latest creosote news: the implications of the partial creosote ban are still unclear. Sleepers WILL still be released for sale by Railtrack and also WILL still be imported into this country after June 30th, so rumours of empty supermarket shelves are false. Clearly creosote treated sleepers should now not be sold to schools, play areas and public places, where there might be 'excessive skin contact with creosote' but at the same time it is green light as usual for professional and industrial uses, which include: agricultural, railway, forestry, fencing, harbours and waterways and electric power transmission and telecommunications. Governmental advice to Kilgraney recently acknowledged that private use of sleepers in private gardens was argueably still acceptable. 

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Bombs and Trojan horses

06 March 2003 / Posted in: Ancient stuff

March 2003 A sunny spring whilst bombs drop on Iraq. There's a surrealistic quality to planning raised beds and adventure playgrounds during war with another country... an eerie contrast of one population donning gardening gloves, and the other gasmasks. May it be over quickly.
Strangely enough we had an enquiry and purchase of sleepers from the Prime ministers office, but I don't think it was for the war effort. We did however supply Warner Bros. with huge turned tree trunks to support a 50 ton Trojan horse for... their forthcoming epic 'Helen of Troy' filmed in Malta, and then Mexico. (I hope we get tickets to the world premiere). Speaking of world firsts, we also provided a telegraph pole to be climbed on the set of a international theatre company 'The David Glass Ensemble', for a new play about apes, humans and communication. Wait a minute.. war on Iraq.. prime ministers's office.. trojan horse.. communicating apes... there's got to be some connection somewhere.
Showing a confusion and a distinct lack of communication is the recent possible banning of creosote treated sleepers. See 'our materials' ...Railtrack is supposedly not releasing any used British sleepers that they take up from the track, after March 30th. They will be stored somewhere and eventually disposed of, through whatever means. June 30th is meant to be the actual ban day in this country, according to the European parliament, for creosote treated sleepers. However there's masses of uncertainty. What about untreated sleepers, like Jarra ? What about salt treated sleepers ? What about imported graded creosote sleepers that are designated for landscape or construction use ? Lots of uncertainties... and most people in the business scratch their heads with incredulity. Will there be midnight raids of sleeper depots, or a shady blackmarket with sleepers being exchanged on isolated waste grounds for cash in brown envelopes. Will there be a sleeper mafia with turf wars on old railway sidings ? Who knows. 

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Vehicle protest

06 February 2003 / Posted in: Ancient stuff

Feb 2003 The odd rattling from the engine in our trusty local delivering landcruiser, became an excited pinging, like a fly inside a lamp shade. The visiting mechanic swore that he'd never heared such a noise in all his life, and was awake at night thinking about it (as if we believe that !) Finally the clutch went on the hill up to the farm ('Devil's drop') on the way home from Nottingham Forest beating Crystal Palace 2-1(which softened the blow, as we walked home in the ice). It turned out that the flywheel had exploded, and could only be replaced by a part from Belgium, which of course would take 2 weeks to collect In the desperate mean time a replacement landcruiser was frantically sought from London, and normal service was eventually resumed, after the postponement of several local deliveries. Sorry.

On a completely different issue: - Last week we were offered railway sleepers from Zimbabwe (described as 'Rhodesian', a dubious anacronism in itself). Should we buy or boycott railway sleepers from Zimbabwe ? Is buying them supporting a corrupt regime, and empowering Mugabe, or does it enable trade, and the trickle down effect to those empoverished ? 

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International enquiries

06 January 2003 / Posted in: Ancient stuff

Jan 2003. A year or two ago, this time of the year would have felt like a holiday.. a quiet time to plan, take stock, do the accounts and get away for a break, whilst Jo Public warmed themselves in front of gardening magazines and seed catalogues, from the safety of the armchair. This year, a surprising (and welcome) stream of enquiries and orders have continued unabated. Initially we supplied only to the midlands, with the occasional foray into darkest London. Now we are quoting for customers throughout the UK, Ireland, Norway, Australia, Israel, USA, Syria, Yugoslavia etc.. An exciting time, with our web-site reaching thousands of international vistors. 

Xmas cheer. Dec 2002.
November's wetness has been replaced with ice, a frozen yard and failing forklift batteries. The height of excitement has been the discovery of millions of hibernating flies in the decking packs and the delivery to and long wait at a local sewage plant ! Not to mention Nottingham Forest losing both their away games, which may put question marks over our sponsorship deal. Tough!

On a brighter note, we wish you all a restful festive time over xmas and new year. We've appreciated meeting you and seeing your projects come to fruition. Thanks. 

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