The scheme of works in the four cellars was relatively simple. The walls were repointed, doors and windows refurbished or replaced as necessary, the ceilings fire-proofed and building services renewed.
The biggest change was to the huge Cellar 1. This had accumulated a huge amount of materials and equipment over the years (Image 1), which resulted in very little usable workspace for activities such as setting nets. In addition a large quantity of sand had broken through the windows at some point in the past. This covered the floor to a depth of up to a metre in some parts, and much of this had also been shovelled into the large pilchard tanks around the edge of the cellar.
The budget allowed for this cellar to be cleared. To start with all the materials not claimed by any existing tenants were taken away, then all the sand removed from the floor (Image 2) and pilchard tanks (Images 3 – 7). This revealed a cobbled floor (Image 8), and evidence of a cooperage and a previous existence as a pilchard pressing cellar. Finally a weak limecrete slab was poured over the cellar (Images 9 – 11) which acts both to protect the cobbled floor underneath, and also provides a greatly improved and safer working environment.