Week 20: Taz’s tiles

Those of you who follow our Facebook page will already know that this week we took some of our volunteers to see how work is progressing on the terracotta tile frieze that will run around the outside of our new wing. This is ceramic artist Taz Pollard demonstrating the amount of energy needed to fill … Continue reading Week 20: Taz’s tiles

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Week 19: On bricks and bricklaying

This week saw a significant milestone in our build - the laying of the first brick.  We were delighted that Keith Abraham was able to come along and do this for us, using a silver trowel he found in his collection.  We will get the trowel engraved to mark the occasion. https://www.northdevongazette.co.uk/news/museum-extension-first-brick-1-5768956 Now work is … Continue reading Week 19: On bricks and bricklaying

Week 18: Looking back to 1963

Now that the building is taking shape, I thought it would be interesting to remind you all of the history of our site.  When we were applying for planning permission for the extension, we had to discuss the options with Historic England and our Conservation Officer, because we were not only affecting a Grade II … Continue reading Week 18: Looking back to 1963

Week 17: On Hillforts and other community projects…

Last week, on the same day that work started on the steel for our new extension, I attended North Devon Archaeological Society's latest talk.  The subject was "Iron Age Devon and its Hillforts".  The Speaker was Henrietta Quinnell, Honorary Fellow of the University of Exeter and acknowledged doyenne of all things prehistoric in the South West … Continue reading Week 17: On Hillforts and other community projects…

Week 16: The Steel Arrives!

After many weeks watching men dig holes, at last the steel has arrived.  Now we can see the shape and the scale of the structure we are building. On Tuesday 16th we found the Square had been occupied by possibly the biggest crane in North Devon.  Shortly after that a lorry full of steel girders … Continue reading Week 16: The Steel Arrives!

Week 15: Time for an update

You are probably fed up with pictures of foundations so I will only include a few this week.  We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the steel (due on Tuesday now).  The museum is now hidden behind graphics showing some of the objects that will be out on display when we reopen next summer.  If … Continue reading Week 15: Time for an update

Week 14: The tale of a table

Sometimes things just happen and you have to drop everything.  Even in the middle of a massive project like our new extension there have been a few occasions when I have had to focus on something completely different, and that was the case with the Landkey Parish Table. "If ever there was a piece of … Continue reading Week 14: The tale of a table

Week 13: Unlucky for some?

It's 13 weeks into the build and we have a new site manager.  Mark Jordan (he's the one on the right) has replaced Clive, who had to leave for family reasons.  He was quite disappointed to leave us, as this is one of the first Barnstaple sites he has been responsible for and he live … Continue reading Week 13: Unlucky for some?

Week 12: 30 years ago…

As we wait for the foundations to be finished and the steel to arrive (and oh! what a long wait it seems) I have been looking back at the Museum recent history.  The last time any major work was done to our building was in 1988-9 when the Council bought the old Athenaeum and began … Continue reading Week 12: 30 years ago…

Week 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 … Continue reading Week 11: Laying the Foundations