Two of the three stone carving courses have now run and the feedback we have had has continued to be incredibly positive, not least from my masons who have had great fun delivering them. There is only one more to go this year, but when we can do more I’ll let you all know via this blog as well as them being advertised again on the front page of the website.
The private viewing of Salisbury Museum’s new Wessex Gallery was a splendid occasion, the quality of the Gallery is, as you would expect from the Museum, exceptionally high and on the day it opened to the public there were over 2,500 people. Our stand at the opening was popular with all 300 pieces of stone that we took along for people to have a go at carving a shield or their initials into being used up. One of those 300 pieces was carved by Professor Alice Roberts, who just happens to be stood with me in the picture at the top of this month’s blog; Professor Roberts had placed the final exhibit in the Gallery and was also the person who opened it and if you don’t recognise her for her scientific work, you may recognise her from presenting the series The Origins of Us, or from having appeared on some of the Time Team episodes or the One Show. Did I mention I had my photograph taken with her?
If you weren’t able to come to the Wessex Gallery opening there will be another chance to have a go at stone carving at the Cathedral’s own Contemporary Craft and Heritage Fayre over the weekend of the 6th and 7th of September.
I was delighted to be able to help out again at our annual Volunteers’ party, which is an opportunity for us staff to say a small “thank you” via the medium of Pimm’s, wine and nibbles for the priceless work they all do and to serve them for a change; even our peregrines joined in by giving an aerobatic display almost directly overhead, which was an absolutely thrilling sight.
Finally for this month I have to say how excited and grateful we all were in the Works Department when we heard the announcement of the award of £485,000 from the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repair Fund, which we are going to use for the work on MRA3. The monies need to be fully allocated within a year of the date of the announcement so we are currently working with our very supportive Chapter on various schedules. Game on!