Clerk of the Works' Blog: May 2015 | Salisbury Cathedral

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Clerk of the Works' Blog: May 2015

Posted By : Gary Price Tuesday 2nd June 2015

Did you see any news coverage on the ringing of our peregrines? I and 12 others, including Ed Drewitt who was actually doing the ringing again this year and members of the RSPB and media, went up on the 27 May (BBC Wiltshire’s coverage is here). We found we have two males and two females; we had opened the opportunity to staff to propose names for them that we then drew, so we can now proudly introduce you to Kate, George, Anthony and Justice. I’m holding George in the picture at the top of this blog and there are more pictures in the gallery.


Now another question for you, no points available, if you live locally have you notices that the spire has turned pink as promised in my last blog? I’ve put a picture in the gallery showing my technician, Phil, putting one of the pink gels on and another of how the Cathedral looks after dark. We’re keeping the spire pink for about a month to raise awareness for the upcoming Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, which will be run on 12 July in Salisbury but there are numerous different events on different days throughout the country, if you would like to find one close to you have a look on their website.


A number of colleagues and I gave talks and tours to a large group of people from Investec one evening this month, our Library was open and they also were shown round the Chapter House, which houses our Magna Carta and associated exhibition and I gave four “behind the scenes” workshop tours following my talk in the Refectory. There were 50 people in all so quite a daunting audience to begin with, but I like to think I hit my stride and actually enjoyed it very much, I do hope they felt the same!


We’re all busily continuing with our Magna Carta anniversary celebration events and two elements that we in the Works Department have been particularly involved in have been moving our Front Desk facility out into a marquee adjacent to the Cloisters to make welcoming our visitors easier and hopefully more free-flowing. My plumber, Brendan, and joiner, Richard, have made an excellent job of constructing a new desk, which almost had Richard as a permanent feature on it, but that’s another story. Secondly we’ve been grouting in a display of tiles made by inmates of Erlestoke Prison and I’ve put pictures in the gallery of two of my masons finishing off the tile display and of the finished result in situ. Please do come and see it in the south cloister if you can.


One of the masons in the picture working on the tile display is our current apprentice, Christian. He is just going into his final apprenticeship year and has produced a beautiful piece of work for one of his exams, again there is a picture in the gallery of him working it and of the finished piece. Do have a look, it’s stunning and if it inspires you to try your hand at a bit of carving don’t forget there are still some places available on our two-day ‘have a go’ courses this summer.


A few blogs ago I was a little later publishing than usual, at the time I didn’t reveal why, but can now tell you that I’ve been working on a video using aerial footage and a cover version of the song “Feeling Good” by local band, Insomnia . We had a trial run with another version that some of you may have seen a month or so ago, it was met with such enthusiasm we have now been working with Jacques Eloff of Vertech Imaging, again with Insomnia’s song, to produce a full version to try to engage with anyone who perhaps wouldn’t normally think of coming to the Cathedral, to show off just how beautiful and impressive it is and that just that in itself can absolutely be the reason to visit us. There are a couple of stills from the filming in the gallery and the video will be going on YouTube and our Facebook page, so if you use that do please share it around, I would love it to go viral and with your help we can make it happen.


Finally for this month a quick update on the Fabric Office’s garden, there are tiny shoots! If you’re visiting this month’s gallery you’ll see how the garden looked after it had been cleared and then you can see things sprouting, I have absolutely no idea what those things are yet, but stay with it and we’ll find out together as the year goes on.