Clerk of the Works' Blog: Feb 2016 | Salisbury Cathedral

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Clerk of the Works' Blog: Feb 2016

Posted By : Gary Price Thursday 18th February 2016

Someone’s got hold of the Cathedral!


The brilliant picture at the top of my blog this month was taken by our Archaeologist, Graham Keevill at the perfect angle to look like Excaliber coming out of a lake of green.


Some of you may be aware we are currently showing pieces by sculptor Sophie Ryder here until July in the “Relationships” exhibition. There are the clasped hands you can see in the picture along with hares, minotaurs, dogs and another hand by the Cloisters; I’ve put a few more pictures that Ash Mills took in the gallery, including some of my team putting the sculptures together during their installation, but if you live locally do come down for a look if you can, often pieces can look a little lost against the scale of the building, but many of these do hold their own.


If you’ve been into the Cathedral over the past few weeks you will have seen more of my team working in the Trinity Chapel in what we’ve affectionately been calling the “CSI tent”. We’ve been removing the dais and the tent has been in place to contain some of the dust raised as we break out the pavement. We found some stone from Old Sarum, which was the site of the original cathedral and some medieval tiles.


We’re starting to gear up again for our peregrines now too, Paul, our IT expert, and my technician, Phil, have been instrumental in preparations for new equipment to try to make our video coverage more stable this year, for some reason when the building was first put up the problems we would face with relaying a solid signal back to ground level just wasn’t factored in, but it’s those sorts of challenges that make life interesting. The birds have been seen in the vicinity so we’re hopeful for more chicks later in the year, we’ll keep you posted.


I don’t know if you saw my supplementary blog last month where I showed some of the process of making Exeter Cathedral’s new font bowl, following on from that we are welcoming one of Exeter’s masons to work with our team.


Talking of blogs, well, sort of, I don't know if you have seen our stained glass department's website; if you haven't, or haven't looked in on it for a while I would urge you to do so as there are a couple of updates on there with video of Sam Kelly the department's manager lead casting and lead milling in the Gallery section, this link will take you straight there.


Finally for this month if you’re a regular viewer of BBC1’s The One Show you’ll know their resident hairdresser, Michael Douglas, sometimes travels around to cut people’s hair and I had mine done by him just the other day. It will be in the programme that will go out on Good Friday, which is all about how the Cathedral prepares for Easter. Michael was a really nice chap and tells me he has cut Johnny Depp's hair and Ewan McGregor's and that he travels to Austria regularly to do Davina McCall's for her programme The Jump. We were in the banker shop for filming and I've put some pictures in the gallery so you can see the end result, which I'm really pleased with. 


Extra time off at Easter for me means I probably won’t have an opportunity to post a blog in March, so firstly I’ll wish you all a happy Easter and then leave you with promises of letting you know some initial dates for this year's "Have a Go" stone carving courses and about how the fundraising dinner went for my skydive and the actual event itself. Yes, really.