When I said to Hilary that I wasn’t interested in photographing what I described as ‘fixtures and fittings’, I meant it. We were talking in her Eskdale office on the very last day of the summer term as I was negotiating to get access to the site once again as the school holidays approached. She looked a bit surprised, but, as far as I was concerned, once you’ve seen one grey or white Ikea-like modern flat-pack unit, you’ve seen them all. It’s the bricks and mortar (or copper and glass) which will stand the test of time and be remembered in the School’s history – and that is the concern of this blog, of course.
Having said that, I was also fully aware that I had all the access I needed to the interiors of both buildings via Giuseppe. And, to be honest, the traipsing round the site in heavy PPI kit each week had become very time-consuming and really tiring on my legs. So, perversely, it had actually proved very liberating NOT to be doing that now. However, my trips up to Tankerville Terrace each week remained of paramount importance to me. It’s not an exaggeration to say that they were the only things keeping me going at that time. By then, I was literally counting down the days left in the Eskdale building, adding a day to one number and subtracting from another in my work diary each morning on the Metro journey into work.
Of course, from my weekly conversations with the guys on site, I always had a fair idea of what was happening inside the building. For example, thanks to ‘Dangerous Dave’ I knew that the Science Lab furniture was being delivered around about June 17th. The Science Labs in fact turned out to be a bit of a ‘hot potato’ at that time. Dave didn’t become known as ‘Dangerous’ with the guys for nothing! It was Dave who triggered ‘Science-Lab-Gate’, the reason all NHSG staff were banned from the site in the first place. No, it had nothing to do with the blog, if that was what you had been thinking. I had the whole story from the guys – and an apology from a co-worker a lot later because of the consequences for me. There was much shaking of the head as we all stood in a circle outside the site gates: “Dangerous by name, dangerous by nature” were Peter’s sage words.
As most storms-in-a- teacup do, the situation arose out of a mixture of sheer frustration, a loose canon (or two) and a few carelessly-worded, off-the-cuff phrases (from Dangerous Dave). I believe “Not big enough to swing a cat in” lit the touch-paper here. It all sounds ridiculous now, but things were a bit tense at the time. The clock was ticking down fast and not everyone felt the same way as I did about ‘the move up-the-road.’ My mood was lightening by the day.
Because I don’t have a lot to say about it, I’ll let the photos do the talking for you now, firstly in the Labs, then later on in the Kitchen.
The plans for the Kitchen area of the New Build looked complicated.
For some reason, I was very taken with this shot of the Chiller door.