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Head Mason's Diary: December 2014

Carved finial
Posted By : Lee Andrews Monday 22nd December 2014

Firstly I would like apologise for not writing a blog sooner - since July it has been non-stop in the Masonry and Conservation departments. As I approach the end of the year, I want to go back and talk about the things I missed and the achievements we have accomplished.

One of the major works in this past year was MRA (Major Repair Area) 8 on the north side, finishing all the working of the stones by October, fixing and conservation by the beginning of December. But we couldn’t have done all this work without the hard work of the other teams. The lead rainwater pipes were taken out and repaired and re-fixed and the windows have had any repairs done, cleaned down and frames repaired and oiled. Everyone has worked amazingly hard in completing this phase of work before Christmas, so that the scaffold as you can see now is being dismantled and the view of the north side will finally be scaffold free!

But alongside MRA8 was MRA3 - on the south side - where we started the mould cutting in July, finishing all 330 stones in September. Sawing was completed by November and now everyone is in the banker shop working the stones for that phase so we can hopefully go out in the New Year to start the fixing.

There have been many side ventures we have been involved in, one recently being the removal of the Bronze cabinets from the Chapter House getting ready for 2015 and the Cathedral's Magna Carta celebrations .

But now it’s December and my favourite time of the year where the family all come together, enjoying decorating the tree and seeing the Cathedral always busy with services. There is always something else coming up that has to be done. Even now walking through the Nave while the rehearsals are happening or working on the scaffold and hearing the Carols coming through the window just takes me back to being a kid; then there is the Christmas tree at the West end of the Nave, which in one word I would describe as Amazing!

This year has been my first full year in the Head Mason role and though there have been some challenges I have enjoyed what this year has brought. I am very proud to have the team of masons and conservators that I have here - we are like a family, always supporting each other, and I couldn’t have asked for a better team.

So that was 2014, all I want to do now is wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! (And as my New Year’s resolution I will try harder to keep up the blogs next year).