The amount of excavated material that has been taken off site has already been mentioned several times in this blog. This is the story of one big bit of it.
We did all of the excavation ourselves with a hired one and a half ton digger, from Brandon Hire, and the skills of our digger driver Davey Innes. But Davey almost met his match when the teeth of his bucket scraped out a lump of sandstone a metre or so below the garden level. After most of the rest of the mornings digging we began to get an idea of the size of this little lump of Scotland.
At first it seemed an impossible task, driver versus rock, but Davey wasn't to be beaten so easily and using his great skill and the old judo principle of using the weight of the object against itself he managed to move it, firstly out of the hole it had lived in for who knows how long and gradually across the site towards the waiting arms of the grab and lift lorries. Incidentally we were also told that there had been a stone quarry somewhere nearby at some point in the past so the thought was this great rock was a remnant from those days.
There was some disappointment when at the first try the Grab & Lift couldn't raise the rock sufficiently to get it onto the back of the lorry. The rock was on the limit of the lorries capacity to lift it and the driver felt that final couple of feet was too much for the mechanism. The next driver that came to site had a bit more faith in his machine and he managed to lift the rock all the way onto the back of the lorry but..
He then realised that the rock was bigger than the bar that ran across the back of the lorry above his tail gate. When they get to the landfill site the lorries tip their load out of the back. The grabber is only used for filling it. So because the boulder was higher than the top of the tailgate it wouldn't be able to slide out of the back when he tipped it. So the driver promptly lifted it back out again and plonked it back down. He drove off leaving us to wonder what to do next.
At first we thought about breaking it up into smaller chunks but it would mean hiring a big enough breaker to do the job and that all took time and this rock had already cost us a lot of time. Then Davey came up with a brainwave. He dug a big deep hole and pushed the rock back into the ground for someone else to unearth in a couple of centuries time maybe and there it rests.