Photos: 6 August 2020
Text: 10 February 2022
It had been almost five years since we returned the metal and red fabric gazebo to "The Range". It was luck that we were to have it for our wedding. Because of our "pre-nuptual honeymoon the date arranged for it to be collected ended up being after the wedding.
It then took a long time to decide what should replace it. Should the replacement also have a removable fabric roof, whose longevity would always be in doubt. Should it have a clear or translucent roof, which might then suffer from cleaning problems when it would be so close to trees. By July 2020 we'd finally made up our mind about what should replace it and that was to be a more rustic oak framed affair with a solid roof.
In the days before the men arrived to erect it I had spent a few days relaying the patio on which it was to stand. Always being reluctant to commit to a patio project I had laid the slabs on sand, not concrete. In the five years that had passed moles had undermined some of the slabs so it did need attention. Not only that, the suppliers of the gazebo were specific. The posts supporting the new gazebo needed a concrete base.
The team who were to erect it arrived before 08:00 on the appointed day and had the first two posts and first beam almost in place by 08:15.
By 09:24 all four posts were in place along with all the braces.
The four roof panels were in place by shortly after 10:00.
Then the apparent rate of progress slowed. First a layer of felt was fitted followed by the felt shingles. We'd chosen these to be red, to match the roof of the shed close to which it stood. The shed itself was stained black to match the cart shed by which it stood. As you'll gather we were aiming for a coordinated look.
The roof is topped with a decorative wooden ball. Decorative because while you might think it's function is to secure in place the various layers of shingle that all meet at the apex, the reality seems to be that there are so many over lapping layers at the apex that the screws that hold the ball in place barely appear to be secured any wood under all the layers of felt.
The guy who had the job of fixing the ball in place was concerned that I should be satisfied that it appeared vertical from all sides as the base of the ball was flat. I could understand his difficulty. As soon as any screw was tightened the ball was pulled down on that side. when you're sitting almost astride the ball the effect of even half a turn of a screw wouldn't be easy to detect.
I don't have a record of when the job was complete, but can say the final photo was taken about 18:20, by which time the old picnic table had found its way back onto the patio for the first time since the patio was relaid.