Just before Christmas we had a 'Pre-Start' meeting with the guys at _space architecture and management. Fred Cosgrove of Hall and Partners, Project Managers and Construction Consultants has very kindly offered to look after Children North East's interests in our relationship with _space and he was also at the meeting. The big news is that _space take over the site on Monday 11th January to erect hoardings etc. Building work proper will start the following Monday, 18th January and is expected to take 26 weeks so the project should be completed by 16th July 2010.
The WEYES building retains some original features especially just inside the front door. There are some beautiful tiles on the wall illustrating scenes from literature (e.g. Morte d'Arthur) and stained glass panels around the inner door depicting signs of the zodiac. All these will be retained and cleaned. I noticed the stained glass was dated 1877 - presumably when it was built. This picture of Newcastle was taken in 1877, the year after the Swing Bridge (in the picture) opened.
1877 was the year in which Thomas Edison invented the phonograph, Alexander Graham Bell installed the first commercial telephones, the first Test Match between England and Australia was played and Tchaikovsky's ballet Swan Lake had it's debut performance.
We have a grand old lady in the WEYES building to be proud of. She needs bringing up to date but she also deserves to be looked after.