Some of the ideas discussed in this blog are published in my new book called "The Stonehenge Bluestones" -- available by post and through good bookshops everywhere. Bad bookshops might not have it....
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Saturday 8 June 2024

Millennium Stone project 2000: the pole bearers

Somebody posted this photo on Facebook, from the great stone pull in which I participated in the year 2000.  It shows the importance of the pole bearers, who are marching along behind the sledge with the stone on it.  Phil Bowen, the organizer of the whole thing (and the slave driver who kept us all hard at work in a vaguely coordinated fashion) realised right from Day One that even on asphalt roads in perfect weather conditions the sledge kept on sticking or stalling, making it impossible to move even with considerable pulling power ahead of it.  Over and again levers had to be used to get the sledge moving again -- and so that is what the poles were for.  The friction on the road surface was an almost insurmountable problem, and as described before, low friction "netlon" netting had to be used, with a special team rolling it out between the pullers and the sledge.  And then, on hills, the friction was too little, and the sledge (and its precious load) kept on sliding sideways off-course.

A nightmare.  And that was on asphalt roads -- in areas of boggy woodland (which would have been the prevailing landscape type at the time) the movement of a sledge with a two-tonne boulder on it would have been virtually impossible.  It's sad that the human transport believers are in a permanent state of denial about the realities of the exercise which they so loudly trumpet.....

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