Saturday, 24 January 2009

After the mud

I'm sorry if I seem to have become a bit fixated with work going on around our Hall to provide a new car park. It's not been a matter of re-surfacing, because there hasn't really ever been a proper surface as far as I can see... more a case of mud mixed with spare tarmac from any local project which the contractor has kindly rolled into said mud.

Now that's all gone - and we have a shiny new surface (just wait till you get some frost on that, said one of our neighbours). It's even marked out with proper bays - eager anticipation of whether anyone will use them! How long will it be before advice is given that we could have got another two or three spaces in there?

But it's a brilliant piece of engineering. And we've at last been able to erect railings round the window well which were commissioned 10 years ago when we put the extension on the Hall. They look a bit battered, but that's because it's nine years since they were painted, and they've been stolen from our craftsman at least once during the time he's held them in storage. So thanks to him - Tad Jurowski.

For getting this latest project complete thanks to our local Derwentside District Councillors who found the funding, and to Trevor Watson and the Engineers' Department who have see it through. And I've enjoyed the huge machines we've had on site...

We look at the landscaping next (depending on how much is left in the Budget)....

And for our next project... we've almost finalised the plans to complete the Hall basement renovation and the new extension meeting room. We just need the money.

For people who think this is taking a long time, we only started in 1881 - and there was a pause in building work between 1898 and 1999. Compare this with the building of the Cathedral in Milan - begun in 1386, completed 1965. This latter information comes courtesy of "The Tablet" which this week carries an interesting article on the "artist-in-residence" scheme in our own Durham Cathedral, itself built in a mere 40 years... Actually there has been the odd bit added since, but the fact is we can never think we're finished and stick our feet up. Everything is a work in progress - or should be.

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