Although the project team has yet to issue tender documents for the construction work, we have already seen some physical progress. Various walls in Webster’s have been opened up for assessment by the structural engineer and telephone and electricity engineers have also been in too.
The various modifications, over more than a hundred years, that were revealed as the plaster came off have been something of an attraction in themselves. As the Webster’s premises have been closed to enable this work, the heritage centre was unable to play its usual part in the town’s carnival and well dressing activities two weeks ago.
However Sally and Nicole did host a walk for a group of U3A members from Liverpool, which took them around the town and all the well dressing locations. Our hilly terrain was too much of a challenge for some of them but all thoroughly enjoyed learning about the history and techniques of this Derbyshire tradition. This month the volunteers and members learnt more about the project and the work still being done on the collection at a briefing update in the Memorial Hall, hosted by our chairman and the two consultants.
This was very informative and well attended although, personally, I thought there could have been more at the open briefing immediately afterwards. The two new trustees which I hinted at before, Michelle Laverick and Jo Higton Metcalf, have now been introduced and have attended their first board meeting at the project office. Like me, Michelle is fairly new to the town but Jo’s family has been here for many generations. They obviously bring welcome skills to the team, as Michelle’s background is in IT and Jo’s in education, but I can well imagine they will find plenty of other things thrown at them over the course of the project – including the odd turn with us in the shop.