Old build metalwork is cut off, new build piles prepared for capping off, 14th October 2015

Today on my weekly visit, I arrived at the bottom of Tankerville Terrace with my camera just in time to catch the old black metal car park gates being removed and finally carted away.  Only old gates, I know, and not very pretty ones at that, but still sort of sad to watch.

Saying 'Goodbye' to the old Church High gates.
Saying ‘Goodbye’ to the old Church High car park gates.

It was evident straight away that there was a lot of hub-bub and activity on site today.  To my left, I noticed that the scaffold rubbish chute, having now clearly served its purpose at this stage of the work, was in the process of being dismantled by a team of men.

Strip-out now complete: the rubbish chute is dismantled.
Strip-out now complete: the rubbish chute is dismantled.

What this now allowed was a clear view of its entry point into the building.  The shaped coping stones had been carefully removed from the sill and were piled up to the right of the window’s base.

Chute entry point: through the windows of Room 7.
Chute entry point: the south facing windows of Room 7.

A close-up view clearly showed scaffold poles forming a sort of stairway up to the window and, up against the familiar pale-blue paint of the upper walls of the room, what looked like a noticeboard removed from the wall now standing propped up against it.  Room 7 clearly looked very different now to when I last photographed it just before we left for church on the final day of Church High in 2014.

Main building window architecture in close-up revealing the changed interior of Room 7.
Church High main building window architecture in close-up revealing some changes to the interior of Maths Room 7.

The approach to the gates of the Junior School grounds confirmed that there was indeed a lot of activity on site today.  Red metal moving behind the trees to my left, sharp bursts of harsh, grating noise punctuated by occasional flashes of sparks were unexpected.

Red metal and sparks behind the trees.
Red metal & sparks appear behind the trees.

However, once positioned at the site entrance, the focus of activity became clear.  The metal fire-escapes off the Staff IT Room on the third floor and Social Staff Room on the second, which exited onto the kitchen roof before reaching the tree-lined pathway between the two schools, were now in the throes of being blow-torched.

Main building fire-escapes in the process of being dismantled.
The Church High main building’s metal fire-escapes in the process of being dismantled.

Hot metal is only metal, I know, but memories of the Staff Room door being swung open, its brass door-knob roped onto the handrail on balmy summer days, came flooding back; also even more distant memories of times further back when staff used to sit on these stairs to enjoy the sun at break and lunchtimes.  It always was a sun trap.

The fire-escapes onto the kitchen roof sun trap.
Metal fire-escapes leading onto the kitchen roof ‘sun trap’.
Top (closed) door, Staff IT Room; open door, Main Staff Room.
Top (closed) door leads off the Staff IT Room; lower open door reveals the Main Staff Room & Madame Chantal Oliver, Head of French,  one sunny summer lunchtime.

Directly in front of me, there was plenty of activity on the new build foundations too.  The piles were in the process of being prepared for the final capping off with concrete to support the steel framework.

The foundation piles being prepared for capping off.
New build foundation piles being prepared for capping off.

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To my right, it was pointed out to me that the huge blocks of white concrete stacked where the Junior School car park used to be were the first delivery of floor beams waiting for the next stage of work.

The first delivery of concrete floor beams for the new build.
The first delivery of concrete floor beams for the new build.

 

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