11: Laying the Foundations

Does anybody remember the Richard Scarry book “What do People do All Day”?  When I was a child I was fascinated by all the different skills and trades that kept a town going (albeit an American one).  Especially how to build a house!

Over the last couple of weeks we have been watching men digging holes.  For a non-builder, the creation of our extension’s foundations is an interesting process.


I was surprised to see the slots being dug in small sections, which were then filled with concrete.  This is the foundation between the social history gallery / temporary exhibition spaces (the flat-roofed section) and the stores / learning room section, which will have a pitched roof echoing the main museum building.

The ground was then dug out from around the foundation sections, pipes laid in the gaps, and more concrete poured in around them.

I’m guessing the  metal plates are to fix the steel frame in place.

This next section of foundations marks out the outline of our new shop, which will face the High Street.  Above it will be our new office, looking out into the town.


The foundations nearest to the bridge are the most difficult to lay – they can only be done in small sections so that there is no risk of the bridge collapsing into our building site.

The noisiest part of the job has been cutting holes in the wall of our existing building to receive the ends of the steel frame.  You can see that the new building will sit just below the beautiful decorative terracotta flowers which run all around the eaves of the museum building.  Our new building will also have terracotta detailing around the top, as I explained in the last post.


It won’t be long now before the steel frame arrives!

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