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Clerk of the Works’ Blog: September 2015

Posted By : Gary Price Tuesday 22nd September 2015

Well, when I said last month that I thought there would be more to tell in my blog this time, it turns out I was right.

 

The Heritage Festival was again a success, my masons and glaziers did the Cathedral proud on their stall giving short “have a go” sessions, demonstrations and answering hundreds of questions over the two days – a big thank you to them for their hard work and to everyone who came along and to anyone who paused for a while for my talks. There were some amazing things on show in the tents just as there were last year, there is a lot of talent out there.

 

You may remember I was going to our former Canon Treasurer Sarah Mullally’s installation as Bishop of Crediton on the 12th at Exeter Cathedral and had even been invited to process. It was lovely to see Sarah again and to be part of such a noteworthy and rather spectacular occasion, the picture at the top of my blog this month is of Sarah and me together after the ceremony. She gave a very impressive and inspirational speech, as I knew she would.

 

This month I can’t use the word “spectacular” and not apply it to our Magna Flora Flower Festival, goodness me what a show! You may have seen Michael Bowyer’s article in the September/October issue of Cathedral News, which is available here, telling of all the years of thought and work that went into the designs. Preparations started in earnest, for us, a week before as we started hoisting elements up to triforium level and a couple of months before that with making stands for external displays that I mentioned in July’s blog.

 

A lot of us staff and volunteers took up various posts during the almost week-long festival ranging from ensuring people had their entry stickers, providing assistance at the information desk and selling off flowers at the end; it’s nice to work with colleagues that we don’t normally get to see so often.

 

I’ve had to hold back with the gallery pictures as it would have been very easy to cram it to bursting with just Magna Flora.

 

I was filmed doing some stonemasonry a week or so ago by Bournemouth University for an upcoming documentary film on Elias de Dereham, which will be posted on the Cathedral's website once completed. As well as filming me here in the Works Yard, they also went up the tower. They had already produced some media for our Magna Carta 800th anniversary celebration displays in the Chapter House and this is another part of that same project.

 

Talking of filming, if you've been watching the BBC2 series "Terry and Mason's Great Food Trip" featuring Sir Terry Wogan and Mason McQueen (The Cabbie Abroad), you will have seen the programme they filmed here in Salisbury, in case you missed it it's available on iPlayer and this link will take you direct to that episode. It features footage from here at the Cathedral, including me being interviewed by Sir Terry and him trying some of our Magna Carta chutney, specially made for us and available from our shop. They also filmed in the market square as well as some of the surrounding area; if you are familiar with Salisbury see what you recognise and if you aren't, everything they say about lardy cakes is true!

 

I'm off back down to Exeter this month when they host the Cathedral Clerks of Works' AGM, they're really useful meetings and always show how we all share so many common goals and issues, for instance the last thing we shared was how to organise for unmanned aircraft footage to be taken in the safest possible way and we were able to launch our policy along with some footage taken on an early morning in May of this year, you may have already seen it, but just in case you haven't yet I'll link to the video here.

 

I had a very enjoyable evening with the Salisbury Local History Group recently when I was invited to give a talk on the Cathedral's Major Repair Programme, it went very well and it was lovely to meet most people who came when, afterwards, I (hopefully) answered their questions, they were a very good audience and hopefully enjoyed it as much as I did.

 

So that's September so far, I'll catch up with you again in October when we'll be back to normal, so just the auctioning of the barons to tell you about then I expect, as so often happens...