Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Last minute rush

The city centre has been a hive of activity and excitement today. The building contraoctors are all working against the clock to complete the public realm works by tonight, the big clean up is going on inside the Grand Arcade, while the shopfitters arrange their stock and finish their window dressing. Several more new shop displays have appeared on the Hayes and Hills Street overnight. Hayes Island has acquired three stone tables with chess board markings built in. The first tournament is on Saturday this week. I wonder what the weather will be like.

I had a meeting with Archdeacon Peggy before the Eucharist, and that gave me some tasks to do in the afternoon, to provide her with necessary briefings on works achieved or in hand at St John's. Not an onerous task but one full of surprises when I look back over several years and realise how much we too have achieved and also planned, in order to 'regenerate' the place as one of the city's key visitor attractions. Already the increased number of visitors to the city centre has led to an increase in visitors to St John's and the tea room. I hope we'll be able to keep up the good service!

At six I returned to the centre to take photographs of the night before the Grand Opening. The streets were still busy, the Heras fencing still in place. The wide expanse of Hills Street next to John Batchelor's statue was still cordened off and turned into a temporary park for platform lifts and other machines. Outside Royal Arcade a fashion show catwalk has been constructed for a series of performances linked in to the opening of the St David Centre and the launch of the fresh branding of the Cardiff as a centre of fashion retailing. Will it all be ready for 9.00am tomorrow?

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