Bit by Bit Off: Piece by Piece On, 4th May 2016


“May the 4th be with you!”  Sorry. Couldn’t resist that greeting.  But it really did feel like the forces of nature were sweeping over the site at the start of May.  The weather was really beautiful, the trees were all starting to blossom and a lot of progress was visibly being made.  Mother Nature was the main focus of my ‘real-time’ post of May 9th which contained images of glass and metal panels on the new build on May 4th, but, once again, more things were going on that day.  Not least that when I turned the corner into Tankerville Terrace, the Main Building roof was in the process of being removed bit by bit.

Roof tiles being removed one by one.
The slate roof tiles being removed one by one.

I was a little puzzled as I stood and watched, wondering why things were being stripped off at this point rather than being put back on.  It was fascinating to watch roofers at work though.  Some of my very first ‘artistic’ photographs with an SLR camera as a young woman were close-ups from an attic window of a view very similar to this.  With each slate removed, the visual pattern shifts just a little bit.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADown below on the pavement, a similar process of ‘edging along’ was occurring.  Yet again I could hardly have timed my visit better.

Spring-cleaning in progress on Tankerville.
Spring-cleaning is in progress on Tankerville.

Now the new paving stones have been laid and the cones removed, a cleaning firm are hard at work on site sprucing up the brickwork.  The high pressure water jet was very impressive to watch.  It made good photos too.  Nothing beats a ‘before and after’ progress shot and it was amazing just how orangey/red the clean brickwork was.


clean wall

As I walked past the main entrance on my way to the new build, I took one last photograph of the ‘Old Girl’ with her ‘lived-in’ look .

There is a lot of dirty brickwork still to be cleaned.
One last shot of the front façade brickwork as we all knew it.

The new building also looked good in the bright spring sun, which was lucky.  With the site being so busy that day I had a long wait.

Bright sunshine, flowering cherry and lots of site traffic today.
Bright sunshine, flowering cherry and lots of busy site traffic.

I was enjoying photographing the trees when a van pulled up behind.



The UK Mail delivery man – who I now know by name, Ji Carr – got out and we passed the time of day for a while as we waited.  And then for a bit longer.  He couldn’t get on site either and his time was limited.  All of a sudden a flash of yellow zoomed past inside the enclosure and a voice boomed out, ‘Will you sign for that Christine!’  I don’t know who found it funnier, me or the delivery man, but I did.  The compliment wasn’t lost on me though.  I felt like one of the team.

I can now tick signing for parcels off my list.
I can now tick signing for deliveries off my list.

When I eventually got inside the gates, as I reported in the real-time post, I was keen to see how much of the bronze cladding delivered the previous week had been put in place and what it would look like.  Just as the slates were being taken off the old building bit by bit, so the panels of cladding were being winched into place piece by piece.


Dave from Wates is overseeing the process.
Dave from Wates is overseeing the process.

A further development that day was that the new build now had its entrance doors.  Glass, even more than metal cladding, will be the trademark of the new building.  Glass is also the architectural design feature which links the new and old buildings together.  Don’t forget, it was the 1998 extension which first introduced a glass walkway.

The glass entrance doors have now been fitted.
The new building glass entrance doors have now been fitted.  This glass mirrors the front of the old building new extension.


The glass walkway linking the 1998 Barbour Wing to the old building.
Glass walkway linking the 1998 extension to the old building.

CH Art Corridor

Giuseppe was out and about taking photographs on May 4th too.

The 'shadowy' Giuseppe out and about on site.
The ‘shadowy’ Giuseppe Ferrara is on site too.

I’m always really pleased with my photos until I see some of his.  As I’ve said before, to slightly misquote the famous Heineken advert, Giuseppe reaches parts of the building Christine just cannot reach.  But, if you put our shots together, we’re a good ‘story-telling’ team.

The cladding panels from the old building roof.
Bronze cladding panels from the old building roof (

new build panels 3

Full Circle: back to those roofers again.
Full Circle: back to those roofers once again.

roofer 2


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