Arkholme was the third stop on B4RN’s awards trophies tour.
The INCA and ISPA prizes are doing the rounds of the volunteers, champions and communities who’ve been digging in the network over the last decade.
A group of three volunteers met at the Village Hall to be pictured near where a trench was dug to connect the local school.
John Hamlett, Chris Hall and David Smith stopped to reminisce about the project some ten year ago…
Jon Hamlett – “There was a lot of learning. We didn’t do anything with moleploughs back then.”
David Smith – “We had quite large diggers. And a lot of spadework!”
JH – “We had no idea how resilient this stuff was to chuck in the ground – every inch was kicked level before you put the duct in.”
Chris Hall – “…every stone taken out!”
CH – “I can operate a blowing machine, splice fibre… things which I’d never have dreamt of doing!”
JH – “Yeah, you got to do everything back in those days!”
CH – “Everything, drilling through houses.”
DS – “It was a tremendous group we had. I can remember about 30 people digging the trench from the cabinet through to the school. There were children, mothers, grannies!”
JH – “I was a little bit sceptical [in the beginning]. You think ‘how community is this really? How much do they really knowabout what they’re doing? Is it going to have any success?’ But [after going to the share launch] it was like ‘right, whole hog, we’ve got to support this!’ – we just believed in the project and the community side of it.”
DS – “You, John, came to our house one day with your work to upload as it was taking you all night!”
JH – “I do video production and I was limited. Upload was 0.5Mbps and down was 5Mbps. Dave got B4RN before me and I came round. Work that would honestly take days, took minutes – it was crazy!”
CH – “I got to know… well, I was in just about every house in the village. It was really good – a way to make the community stick together. There were days we would have 20 people actually digging.”
JH – “It was really an exception when somebody said they wanted a connection but you didn’t see them in a trench.”
The trio also wished to give honourable mentions to Eric Lang and Christopher Collingwood.