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Onlookers might have been forgiven for thinking we were drilling for oil on our land, but in fact this was a crucial part of the new building – hammering steel piles deep into the ground to strengthen the foundations.

Our land at the edge of Victoria Park was originally a curling pond. Back in the 1970s the pond was filled in with rubble from one of the mills that had been demolished in the town, and the result was ground that wasn’t actually very stable or easy to build on. Hence the need for deep piles, rather than just the more normal strip foundations that you might see on other building sites.

The noise of the giant hammer could be heard for miles around – thankfully it only went on for three days (three days too long for our long-suffering neighbours!)

This part of the work has been done by a specialist company, Van Elle Total Foundation Solutions.