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Clerk of the Works' Blog: November 2014

The Cathedral in autumn light
Posted By : Gary Price Wednesday 5th November 2014

I know there are some people who don’t look forward to Autumn, but I’m afraid I have to disagree; not only does nature put on a spectacular show in the changing of the leaves, but our very own Cathedral seems to go into high definition in this light with dark, dark shadows and brilliant reflection from the stone work. The picture at the top of this month’s blog hopefully gives you an idea of this, it’s one I took from just by the Works Yard so not many people have seen the spire from that angle.

Some of you might remember from my June blog (award yourself 5 points if you do) that Escape to the Country filmed some footage here. Well the episode was shown on 23 October so will be on iPlayer for a while yet if you would like to see it; I was very pleased that so many of my masons got included. The production team very kindly sent copies on DVDs to us too.

Work has started on our next 'Sponsor a Stone' brochure - I’ve put a couple of the potential cover photographs in the gallery, we should join in with the current craze and get people to phone in and vote for their favourite! The scheme has been so successful so far, raising £50,000 this year and allowing people the opportunity to become a part of the Cathedral. We want to keep it going to offer that potential legacy to as many people as we can.

Talking of this month's gallery, I hope you will be able to take a look as it features some photographs of artist Barry King and the astonishing model he is making of the Cathedral out of matchsticks, which he thinks will take 13 years to complete. He is aiming to break the current Guiness World Record that, I believe, uses 4.75 million by using 6 million. He has worked on it for a year and a half so far and has the 'foundations' in place as well as the majority of the west front, complete with fully carved statues. Barry is making this masterpiece in aid of Salisbury District Hospital's Stars Appeal and you can go along to watch progress on the first floor of the Cross Keys Chequer between 10.00 and 18.00 on Fridays and Saturdays and between 10.00 and 16.30 on Sundays; I went last Saturday and it's even more impressive in 'real life' than my pictures can show.

We’ve got an installation by Bruce Munro scheduled to come into the Cathedral on 13 November that is very fitting for the time of year as it is entitled “Star of Bethlehem”, without wishing to give away any of the magic, the preparations will involve me going up to clerestory level in the Cathedral to suspend a projector 12metres (39 feet) above the font – please note this means the area around the font will have to be closed off for a time on the 13th, but it will be worth it as a trial run we did a short while ago produced some spectacular results.

Finally I was also involved in a site visit from Squidsoup who are going to be installing what promises to be a beautiful light display in the North Porch as part of our Magna Carta anniversary celebrations; we’re also going to take the opportunity, when it later comes down, to replace the pigeon netting…talk about coming back down to earth with a bump, but then that sort of contrast is partly why I love my job so much.