Once upon a time…… the beginnings of the Ashby de la Launde FTTH project have almost a fairy tale feel to them in the light of the last few months of bad – mouthing, insults and worse from someone who does not need to be named, but we must all be fully aware by now. This is an engineers’ perspective of excellent, the good and what could have been better
THANK YOUS AND ……..
Ashby de la Launde was fortunate to have champions such as Eran , Michael, Will, all of whom generously gave way leave rights, and all the other people who I did not have the fortune to meet who enabled the project to go forward and the network to be built. I will always remember the goodwill of the village residents, they could not have been more helpful or enthusiastic and certainly did not deserve to be given the name of peasants by Guy Jarvis. The fact that he still uses the term today with his cronies proves the old saying about silk purses and sow’s ears.
John and I came down to Ashby to ensure that the two road crossings required for the project were installed and back filled before the road was re – surfaced. A really good move, the road works were completed with the full co – operation of the local council, which ensured a really smooth beginning for the project. (In my experience this does not often happen)!
Some weeks later, the machines arrived, Simon Davison and John began to dig the first sections of trenches across Michael land and also the main groundwork for the project work. John and Simon built the DVP ( Digital Village Pump),at the rear of the village hall whilst Steve Bancroft gave his services (and his metal detector), to ensure that as far as reasonably possible nothing of archaeological importance was lost, nor was there any large lump of metal lurking to damage the trenching machinery.
Shortly after, Jason and I arrived to assist in the installation of duct work and the back filling of the trenches whilst Simon and John continued to open up new trenches and prepare them for the duct work to be installed. During this time, the four of us worked well as a team, informing the residents of progress, and ensuring that the residents were preparing to dig their own trenches for the duct work. If needed, we helped those people who were unable to sort their own trench, this was community project work at its best.
THEN THE RAIN CAME…..
I thought we had pretty bad rain in East Yorkshire, but I’ve never known ground get sticky and unworkable so quickly, and stay that way for so long!
The next part of the project entailed digging trenches through the woods at the back of the village hall and on over the road crossing and through Eran’s field. From there we took the network through Will’s yard and around the back of the village. There was a leg that led off to RAF Digby for the main feed, were John and Simon built a DVV, (Digital Village Valve).
It was during the rainy season that Guy Jarvis starts visiting the site, then the inevitable run of bad luck started. It started small with the odd drainage pipe being caught, then a water pipe and to put the icing on the cake, a 3 phase electric cable got damaged; thankfully no one was injured. I cannot remember if Guy ceased to visit the site, but then the sun came out and all work went well, we started installing the main 24 way duct – then Guy turned up as we were pulling the duct in with the Land Rover. He decided to give us a hand as it is heavy stuff. Somehow he managed to put a kink in the duct and how he escaped loosing his fingers will always be a mystery. I’m sure that man could cut himself with a ring spanner! A very expensive mistake in time and money as we had to install another junction box/splice chamber to fix the break.
CTTS arrived just as Jason and I were winding down our part of the project, they were blowing the fibre optics into the duct work, terminating and testing to ensure the problem free commissioning of the network. The first part of the community project was completed, Simon, John and Guy installed the CPE equipment in the homes whilst CTTS completed their final checks.
Jason and I left Ashby de la Launde feeling that we had taken part in a really worthwhile project and we thank everyone locally for their patience and good humour.
I wish to make it clear that I do not blame Guy for the rain, he’s not that clever no matter what he might believe.