I normally begin these posts by making reference to the Wednesday each series of photographs was taken. However, as the post dates make clear, pressure of work at the end of the busy Spring Term has meant I’ve fallen quite some way behind events at the moment! Writing this way does have some benefits though, not least that I am more aware of ‘where the story is heading’ – a luxury we simply don’t have experiencing events in ‘real-time’, of course.
It will also explain why yesterday’s post had a religious feel and why this one will be no different. Today is ‘Holy Saturday’. Because of this, I opened today’s post with an image of ‘Heritage Saturday’ at Church High. I took lots of photos on that day too. Some were used for the Heritage Magazine: most were just filed away in my archive. This blog is now allowing me to share memories of the ‘old days’ at the same time as introducing you to the building being ‘made new’.
Sarah Timney created the wonderful Heritage Display in the School Hall which many of us were able to enjoy that day. The stage was set up as everyone who went to Church High will most remember it: the heavy oak table in the centre; the tall Headmistress’ Chair alongside it; the intricately-worked wooden lectern positioned at ‘stage right.’
I’ve always meant to ask whether Sarah chose the place the School Bible was left open at specifically, or whether it was a random page. I remember thinking at the time Isaiah, Chapter 45 seemed very apt.
As I write this, it is now the Easter Vigil, that time between sunset on Holy Saturday and sunrise on Easter Sunday when we remember a world still engulfed in darkness before the stone was rolled away, a time it would have been very hard to remember God’s promise in Isaiah: ‘I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight.’
On site on Wednesday, 10th February, the pictures I took tell me that there wasn’t a lot of building construction going on that day. However, there was a strong sense of things being straightened out and new access ways created – to both the old building and the new.
Directly in front of me, the new build was not exactly a hive of activity, as it now appeared to have most of its concrete boards in place.
I did however get a friendly wave from the gentleman going up and down on a red contraption adjusting things in the staircase area.
To my left, there seemed to be more activity going on around the new extension to the old building, though my attention was most drawn to a skip in front of me which was full of old red bricks. I was later to learn from Nick White, the Project Manager, that all bricks removed from the old building during the demolition and re-modelling process were put to use again filling in all the old ‘holes’ (doorways and windows, etc) which were now no longer needed.
The main activity on site today was hard to ignore, however. Immediately to my right, a large yellow JCB was in the process of laying down lots of gravel-like material. Peter Wilson informed me that a new road was being created in front of the new building. This will serve the second site access which has just been created at the Sports Hall end of the site. At present, this is a temporary access, but an application will ultimately be made to make it permanent. The aim here is to reduce school bus congestion on Tankerville.
As I left the site, I noticed to my right that more work was underway on what had appeared to me to be the old building’s foundations.
However, closer inspection and an illuminating conversation with Peter put my mind at rest and revealed what was really going on there. A new concrete access stairway is now being created for the Boiler Room. The ‘Old Girl’s’ foundations are rock solid after all!
I should never have doubted it, of course, had I remembered the ‘promise’ clearly displayed for anyone who cared to look for it in the Hall on Saturday, June 21st 2014. It is now ridiculously late/early. My ‘Easter Vigil’ is nearly over and it will soon be time for us to be reminded of a huge, heavy blockage being ‘magically’ rolled away. You may not be religious, but, if by any chance you are even a little curious as to what exactly the Church High bible displayed that day, Easter Sunday seems as good a day as any to reveal it to you now: