Friday, August 08, 2008

Market activity

This past few days the scaffolding and enclosure that has contained the work being done to restore O'Neill's pub after the fire has come down on schedule. There's still equipment and a skip to be moved, and probably lots of internal work to be completed, but it looks as if the street will now be clear for the completion of the re-paving. The area in front of the market entrance is currently being done, and cleverly managed to enable people to use the entrance safely while work goes on either side of the walkway. Once this is done, the pathway across the churchyard will be next to be re-paved. I wonder if excavation will bring any surprises? Probably not, since it was first dug out and laid in 1892. The brass grave markers will go when re-laying takes place, but all the original numbers, displayed on the original map of the path will be inscribed in granite, and the brass markers will eventually become an exhibit in Cardiff's new history museum.

It will be interesting to see how quickly old Cardiffians pick up on this change, and what sort of comment it generates. Certainly, inscribed granite will be more durable than a fresh set of brass numbers plumbed into the stone, offering a target for a certain kind of local handyman who can buy tools with which to prise them out of the paving from a market stall, as they've bought tools to prise open collection boxes and liberate bicycles chained up. There's really no control over what people do with tools they can source locally - like the smash and grab guys in Castle Arcade last year, who bough a couple of sledge hammers for the job at B&Q (conveniently leaving on the labels, and assisting in their detection by B&Q CCTV. I don't think market CCTV is that all embracing.

It was gratifying to learn today that last Saturday's Mission Fayre raised £1,300 for USPG's work, despite the worries expressed that business was slow. That's more than last year, and more than I expected, since we're supposed to be in recession. It hasn't stopped people wanting to be generous and willing to work hard for a good cause, however.

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