This is in reverse order. Scroll to the end to get to the beginning (if you see what I mean!)
19 MarchIt’s finished! Today they were taking the scaffolding down. It all looks great: a job well done, despite the sometimes awful weather! Click each image for a larger version.
10 MarchDespite the variable weather (frequently dreadful), the cupola is nearing completion. See below, complete with weather vane.
They’re Working HardToday is Sunday and I went along to see if it was completed. Sadly not, though I am sure that much of that will be because of the weather, which has been dreadful. However, two men were up there, doing whatever builders high up do – even on a Sunday!
Time for ReassemblyToday they are hard at work rebuilding the cupola. This was in urgent need of restoration, and had been taken down last month, leaving the building surrounded by barriers and scaffolding. There are full details (including this bit!) on the Oddments page.
24 January 2020 – They’ve Started!I was surprised, and very pleased, to see that they have finally begun this important restoration. They certainly need a head for heights! See the short gallery below.
An Update – April 2019I had forgotten about this until a few weeks ago, when I went to have a look. It seems that nothing has changed, and I have been unable to find the planning application or any newspaper article. Anyway, at least the bird enjoys perching on it!
The BackgroundAlso known as the Old Town Hall, it was known even before that as the Market Hall. The Town Hall covered most of what is now Saxon Square, and all of the Council offices were there, until they were relocated to Bridge Street in 1980. All except the Mayor’s Parlour was demolished – the buildings actually stretched as far as the Cross in Saxon Square (below).
In each case click on the picture for a larger version.On January 7th 2018 The Bournemouth Echo reported that the cupola and weather vane are to be replaced. It had last been replaced in 1988, but though the present structure is safe, there has been water ingress. The new cupola will be built off-site and then the High Street will be closed for a day, to enable a crane to be used to swap it with the old one. This building is a replica of the Town Hall of 1756, which was further down the High Street, at the junction near The Priory. Built in 1859, the Mayor’s Parlour continues to be an important part of the High Street. It started as a market cross, to which a roof was later added to keep firefighting equipment – thatch rakes, brooms and buckets! Then an upstairs was added, to give protection to some of the stalls and provide a civic meeting room. The stairs to the Mayor’s Parlour (first floor) are enclosed here, and the area beneath was known as the blind house, as it had no windows. The small room served as a short-term gaol for disruptive and noisy drunks! Processions begin there – the Councillors and Mayor dress in their processional robes inside. As you can see below, the building is even now a distinctive feature of the High Street.