‘The April winds are magical, and thrill our tuneful panes’ wrote Ralph Waldo Emmerson, American essayist, lecturer and transcendental poet. I’m not sure what he meant by ‘tuneful panes’, but window panes were still the prevailing theme of the Old Build renovations on Wednesday April 6th. However, only a keen eye would notice that the double-glazing has now been replaced across the frontage of the original Newcastle High School building, including roofline dormer windows, but has yet to reach the 1930s north extension.
‘A mild spring zephyr’, to quote Owl in Winnie the Pooh, was certainly causing workers some problems high up on the New Build. If you know the song, sing along: ‘It looks like a rather blustery day today.’
As you know, tree protection fencing has been in place throughout the construction process and this has worked very well indeed. One tree was lost at the back of the Sports Hall in December, however, but more will be planted there for screening purposes eventually.
There was evidence on site today of trees being planted in other places too, which was really nice to see. More green is always good.
Great progress has now been made with the New Build’s windows. On the north side of the building, only a few still need to be fitted.
The most impressive side of the building as far as windows are concerned, the west side, isn’t visible from Tankerville Terrace. This wall of glass is now complete, bar the doors. A brickie was at work there today finishing off a small wall, three bricks deep, at its base.
Do you remember pictures I took inside the Main Hall a few months ago? I told you that holes had been made for vents beneath the roof.
Well, as I left the site today, there was great excitement in Peter’s cabin. A new delivery had just arrived and was now being opened. A fascinated onlooker, I was as pleased as punch with myself when I correctly guessed what it was: the first of the Hall vents had arrived.
As I signed out and returned my safety kit at Wates’ Office in Westwood House, I popped into the back room to say ‘Hi’ to Conal who has previously guided me round the site. Westwood used to be the Church High School of Music, you may remember, and this room once served as a staffroom. Mr Noble certainly had a desk in here.
It’s strange how you look at buildings differently in retrospect. I had little need to be in this room while working at Church High and had certainly never looked out of its window. How bizarre that a view of such an unattractive backyard could prove so fascinating to me now.