It is as though the Fairy Godmother waved her wand some time around New Year’s Day: Claremont Tower (or as it’s now called: The Henry Daysh Building) was opened for academic activities in early January, and since mid-January students and staff have been milling around it (from the Ground upwards) as though the last 16 months had never happened.
Even last week, it was all rather strange: on the Ground Floor, University people were picking their way through hard-hatted workers; the Lobby was barriered off still; the floor was still concrete; the Basement was not finished by any means, full of contractors and muck, and Out of Bounds.
But today … today! … suddenly the Fairy Godmother’s spell was complete! In the Lobby, the floors are all carpeted; the furniture has all been delivered; students are sitting comfortably and amiably all over the place; and – suddenly – the Basement is equally complete!
And – sorry, USB and EBB dwellers – the HDB is wonderful! Comfortable, cosy, beautiful, perfectly appointed …
Below Basement Level it’s still all hard-hat, Out of Bounds – still a building site. (It’s not clear to me if McAlpine’s have stopped at the Basement, or if the lower levels will also be given a thorough going over — I don’t know. [It’s a bit like the mystery of the Bridge over Claremont Road: millions spent on the building, and on refacing the entire block … but the original, bare, 1965 concrete is still what spans the road itself, complete with streaks developed over 55 years — is that it, then?!])
A big “High”
For us “curators” (i.e. me), it was a really big “High” today, exploring some of the new building: there is a wonderful tranquil, comfortable feeling about it, as though the building itself is happy. It has never been so quiet in the building – even in the Sub-Basement – since September 2018! I feel that proper work can start again on the Collection, and that before too long others will be able to join in! Here’s a few amateur snaps for you: