The prevailing winds of Wales fail to prevail.
When we had the Coach House roof renovated as part of the project to prepare it for self catering accommodation, we decided to do a special job on its weathercock.
It is an impressive construction, with a substantial base with its four compass points and a magnificent cockerel and arrow on top.
An interesting feature that I discovered when it was taken down was that the rotating part was on a two foot shaft and its corresponding tube on the base was filled with oil. I would not have suspected this but on further consideration realised that these things are meant to go up and stay up. The pivot is the weak spot and nobody wants a weathercock that only tells them the prevailing wind direction.
I cleaned it all up and painted all but the bird black using smooth hammerite paint. Hilary produced a mock-up of the cockerel in black, yellow, red, green and brown – and I copied it to the real thing. We like to restore and paint, here’s how we decorated our house’s doors.
When I finished she insisted I paint a black pupil in his eye. I thought it would not matter, but she was right as when he was restored in his colourful glory his beady eye was clear to see – and still is!
Over the last couple of years the weathercock has developed a noticeable list to North East, and during the recent gales he has seen to wobble.
You can see the aforesaid list and array of ladders and bits required to get access – quite a palaver. On inspection, it turns out that the block of wood to which the weathercock is attached, hidden under lead flashing, is insecure and requires more attention than can be given in current conditions. I decided to bring him down to reduce the chances of the whole thing collapsing.
You can see that he is still in excellent condition with only tiny spots of rust in some edges and – as is common in this part of Wales – several patches of lichen! (This witnesses the cleanness of the air.) He will receive a makeover and be replaced in his glory as soon as conditions permit.
Read more of our maintenance adventures, including Ivor’s gallery of bodges.