Clerk of Works' Blog: August 2016 | Salisbury Cathedral

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Clerk of Works' Blog: August 2016

Posted By : Gary Price Wednesday 31st August 2016

Time is flying at the moment, it doesn’t seem like two weeks since my holiday, but that’s just what it is and talking of flying our peregrines have fully fledged, all that remains to be done is to clear up after them. We may make a small adjustment to their nest box too to make the surface flatter. The RSPB tents proved very popular so a lot of people got to see them before they went.


A few of my team had a stall at the recent Festival of Archaeology organised by Salisbury Museum back on the weekend of 23/24 July where lots of people were able to have a go at carving their initials into a piece of stone to take home, if you missed out but would like to try your hand we will be doing the same at the upcoming Heritage Fair, which will be hosted here at the Cathedral for the third year, this time for three days from 9-11 September inclusive.


More people were able to have a longer go at the heritage craft of stone masonry when we again ran our “Have a Go” two-day courses over the end of July and start of August, I’ve put some pictures in the gallery of some of the pieces our attendees produced. We tried something different this year and one course focused on teaching people how to make a specific piece; a flower panel, which was very popular. Unfortunately someone had to drop out of one course, so we contacted another lady who had been unsuccessful when trying to book as all the courses had sold out, but left her details as being interested and she was able to come along, so if you are interested in booking on a future course and find all the places are gone please do register your interest with our Front Desk as you never know!


In my last blog I mentioned the Whistler memorial prism’s display developing a fault and intermittently not turning. As with all intermittent faults this one proved a real challenge to track down and some of the finest minds in the Works Department were at full stretch, but it was worth it as it is now returned to the Morning Chapel and (although I maybe shouldn’t type this out loud) is working beautifully.


If you’re a fan of glass sculpture do try to pop in to the Cathedral where you can catch a glimpse of “Reflections” our current exhibition featuring an array of different glass pieces from the mirrored sculpture on the west lawn to a hanging mosaic over the font. You can view images of the artwork here. It took us about a week to install the pieces over the font and in the north transept (my header picture this month is me making sure the measurements are right at the font).


Finally for this month is the great news that we were fortunate enough to be awarded a very generous grant from the WWI Memorial Fund for our Major Repair Programme. We need to recruit two more masons to complete the work within the specified time period attached to the grant and had great success in taking someone on just recently with a further advertisement currently on the website and being circulated to other cathedrals with Works Departments so keep your fingers crossed for us, then we’ll be heads down, tails up with stone dust flying everywhere!