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Clerk of the Works' Blog: October 2014

Gary changes one of the spire warning lights

Did you come to the Heritage and Craft Fayre held here in September? If so I would like to thank you on behalf of the Cathedral, and I know the joint organisers, the Rotary Club, would too. I know for sure that some of you did as you kindly told me you read my blogs when you saw me after my talks; over the two days we had a total of between 2,800 and 3,000 people so I think it can definitely be declared a successful event.

 

There was a private viewing on the Friday before at which some items were auctioned for charity and I’m very pleased to say that the highest bidding of the evening was for an exclusive tour of the Cathedral taking in areas that the public tours do not cover coupled with two places on our next stone carving course, so thank you to the person that eventually won that.

 

We were also lucky enough to win an award for the “Most Interesting Demonstration/Workshop” on the day, I have to say that was up against very stiff competition so my masons and glaziers were richly rewarded for all the effort they put in on the day and in preparation. We certainly had a lot of visitors as all 300 pieces of stone we took along for people to try their hand at carving on got used and taken home.

 

I had some difficulty on the day with my talks as the weather was so good it made the images from the data projector almost invisible, so I improvised with some ‘props’, hence it looking in the gallery for this page (to your right) like I’m about to go into the “alas poor Yorick” monologue from Hamlet.

 

We, in the workshops, and some colleagues in other departments took part in Friends’ Day the weekend after the Fayre. The Cathedral’s Friends do so much good work for us it’s a pleasure to give back a little bit by showing them behind the scenes. I think I made a few of them a little late for lunch as I overran my allotted time with them; I was enjoying myself a bit too much, hopefully they were too! If you would like to find out more about the Friends of Salisbury Cathedral clicking here will take you to their page.

 

If any of you can see the spire after dark you may have noticed it changed colour... It will be back to normal by the time you see this, but for Childhood Cancer Awareness month we were honoured to work with CLIC Sargent as one of the buildings that turned gold courtesy of my technician, Phil, who fixed gels over the spire’s lights. You can see how the Cathedral looked in its finery in the gallery.

 

Also in the gallery are some photographs of my climb up the spire to change the warning lights’ bulbs, I must be starting to get used to going up there as usually I just feel excitement, but this time very slight nerves crept in and the spire felt more slender than usual… my PA, Lorraine, says this is what ‘normal’ people would feel.  If you’ve ever wondered what the climb might feel like I have some video that my rope access colleagues took while we were there, which I should be able to post soon. The operation on the warning lights was a success and everybody is set to know we are here for at least the next two years… although seeing the department I’m in charge of I do rather hope it’s perhaps a little longer than that.

 

Just going back to my PA, Lorraine, I would like to make her my leading lady this month for all her hard work and dedication that she gives to me and my team throughout the year and for which I am truly grateful.