by Jo Clarke, Marketing and Communications Officer

I’ll start today’s post by bringing you up to speed with the time lapse footage from the construction site web cam. Here’s the footage from September and October which we haven’t yet shared on the blog. We do post this footage on our YouTube channel each month too.

Other updates from around the site include our scaffold banner which has been installed on the North Hill side of the site to complement our hoarding graphics and give additional visibility to the project. Although not shown in this image, our building contractors Willmott Dixon have had an equally large banner installed to the right of this.

The Box scaffold banner

The steel frame for the extension next to St Luke’s Church is also up. The extension will be the place where deliveries for exhibitions are made. It will also contain a workshop area to assist with exhibition installs.

Steel frame for the St Luke's Church extension at The Box, Plymouth - November 2017

On the other side of Tavistock Place the concrete base for the main extension to the former Central Library and Museum buildings is currently being poured.

Pouring the concrete base for the main extension for The Box, Plymouth - November 2017

Work is continuing inside the buildings as well. I went on a Hard Hat Tour recently which was really enjoyable. We were able to go inside St Luke’s where I was particularly interested to see the work that is being done to protect some of the pews. We also went into the Museum foyer which was really strange! I’ve worked here for over 11 years and used to walk through the foyer a number of times a day. When I stood there last week it was the first time I’d been there for months!

A building contractor working on the pews in St Luke's Church as part of the restoration work for The Box, Plymouth - November 2017

You may be interested to know that new Hard Hat Tour dates for January, February, March and April are now live on our website. We’ll also be running a couple of tours specifically for families in February and April. Find out all the details here.

And what about these interesting items our building contractors recently found under some floorboards in St Luke’s? We’ve been trying to decipher the handwritten text on this item with varying degrees of success. If anyone thinks they can figure it out please let us know! It appears to be a passage of text about forgiveness. I wondered if it was a list of pointers/reminders for someone delivering a sermon?

This second item appears to have been printed for a service of thanks that took place on 15 November 1849 – 168 years ago! The ‘grievous Disease with which many Parts of this Kingdom have been lately visited’ most likely refers to the cholera epidemic that began in 1849. It killed people in their thousands across the country, including more than 1,800 people in Plymouth.

This is our last Build Update post for 2017. We’ve still got a way to go but hopefully those of you who follow us will agree that a great deal has been achieved on site since our ground breaking ceremony in January. Myself and colleagues will be doing our best to keep you up to speed with progress next year when there will be many more exciting developments to report on, as well as key milestones such as the laying of our foundation stone and our topping out ceremony.


UPDATE on 3 December 2017

Thanks to our colleague Graham Naylor from Plymouth Libraries we now know that the handwritten piece mentioned above is most likely to be the front flyleaf of a Book of Common Prayer (or similar). Handwritten notes on those blank pages were common and give a lovely insight into the religious life of the church.

The writing relates to verses from the Bible, probably read during a service, or more likely preached upon. The item found at St Luke’s Church is very much about forgiveness through Christ – wonderfully New Testament and High Victorian!

Graham has transcribed it, as follows:

4 chapter Mark
26-27-28-29 verse

Sunday October 7 1888
Morning Text 4 Chapter Ephesians 9 verse 17-22-23-24-29

God in Christ has forgiven you

2 chapter [Ephesians] dead in trespasses and sins

7 Luke
Thy sins are forgiven thee

Thanks very much to Graham for taking the time to decipher this and let us know.