Good news: the slow wheels of insurance, diocesan tender bidding and the sourcing of reclaimed stones have turned and this week we have a hard-working builder in our garden. He is repairing the wall that was stripped of its coping stones by an early morning thief back in October.
Interestingly, sourcing the stones was a bit of a challenge – they couldn’t find enough stones of the right dimensions. Then the builders came across a rather quirky local reclamation yard. The yard wanted to be paid only in cash and wouldn’t invoice the builders in the normal way of companies.
Recently I saw one of the millions of reality police shows on telly, about the team tracking down metal thieves, who found BT and Network Rail cabling in a yard. But only because it was labelled as such. How does a reclamation yard check the origins of the reclaimed items they buy? Noone labels their bricks or paving slabs. What chance that the coping stones going back on our wall came from there in the first place? Not entirely unlikely I’d hazard.
We’re hoping to keep these stones and thankfully, those laid last night stayed there until the mortar had set so they’ll be much more difficult to remove than the ones we lost. Our wall rebuilder told us of another vicar he has done some work for. This chap was so fed up of coping stones being stolen from his wall that he got the builders to take a grinder to them, defacing them so that they wouldn’t be worth anything at a reclamation yard. I have to say, we are seriously considering that option now, to save us from any possible future stolen-coping-stones hassle.