Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Water pistol owners welcome in Helensburgh (Please go) for ‘Douse the House’

Be nice if some of our east water pistol owners went to Helensburgh – and got lost on the way.

I think they even made the media a while ago, when some of them decided to go touring  – and drive around soaking people walking along the road. Not an urban myth or something a bored reporter made up to fill some space on a quiet day, I was ‘licky’ enough to meet them one night.

Doubt they’d go to Helensburgh though, as answering this appeal would be too much like work for them, and be helpful.

Water pistol owners are being invited to drench a Charles Rennie Mackintosh masterpiece to see if a protective covering is doing its job.

The National Trust for Scotland installed the world’s biggest chainmail mesh around the Hill House to stop it dissolving “like a sugar cube”.

The property in Helensburgh, Argyll, is considered to be the architect’s finest domestic project.

But due to its design and materials it has soaked up water “like a sponge”.

Now the trust is inviting the public to bring water pistols to the property to test the 32.4 million chainmail rings in an experiment believed to be the first of its kind.

“We came up with the idea of the water pistol wet weather test as it’s something that everyone can get involved in and it should show how well the chainmail is doing its job.

“Anyone with a water pistol – the bigger the better – is invited to come down and Douse the House and we’ll have National Trust for Scotland experts on hand to monitor the experiment and explain why the box is needed.”


Water pistol owners invited to soak Charles Rennie Mackintosh masterpiece

While the materials and methods used for the house were new and innovative when it was built, they were also not subject to the same sort of long term test and evaluation expected nowadays, and Scotland’s predominantly wet weather has proven to be problematic for the build.

The building could ultimately fall apart.

It has now been placed under cover, with the aim of drying it out, and keeping it dry, using a ventilated enclosure.

It is a vast semi-transparent shelter around the main house – granted official museum status in June – consisting of a 165-tonne steel frame swathed in chainmail made up of rings weighing 8.3 tonnes.

The free Douse the House experiment takes place at 14:30 on Saturday 28 September.

Hill House Enclosure Via NTS Image

Hill House Enclosure Via NTS Image


20/09/2019 - Posted by | Appeal, Civilian | , ,

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