The shell of the tea room, the next time you see people will be making a brew.

The tea room shell; the next time you see a picture of it people will be gathered making a brew.

There are really 7 separate elements of the project. Most of which, individually, are pretty achievable but trying to co-ordinate and ensure that each can be built whilst we remain open to the public is a bit like three dimensional chess. Each piece of the jigsaw is dependent on something else being built, moved or constructed. Stephen from our contractors Desertoak is in charge of the programming and I don’t envy him that job.

Rather amateurishly I had imagined the relocation of our volunteer and staff rest room would be a simple job. The current space is right at the top of the building in a particularly difficult to reach attic room, it has never been an appropriate space even Jimi didn’t use it very much so this is going to become an office and storage space. The new volunteer room, previously an underused public part of the museum, is two floors down and will be much easier to access and use. Also once completed we can close off the top floors completely as a building site and the staff, volunteers and builders will not have to share facilities. A simple discrete job – or so I thought…

In short a staff room needs a tea point, tea needs water and water needs a pipe. The pipe couldn’t impact the fabric of our beautiful listed building but somehow needed to be carefully and correctly installed, this couldn’t be done until the scaffolding went up – so we waited. Then there is a cupboard for the cups, teabags and the sink. We cannot have a fitted unit in our Georgian paneled room which means a specially ordered free standing tea station has to be acquired – we wait a little more. Then there is the floor itself, lovely wooden floorboards need protecting from the odd spillage and so have been covered with the aforementioned marmoleum.  The flooring arrived and was beautifully and lovingly fitted by a particularly hardworking chap. But on review it transpires that the joins are not up to our extremely exacting architect’s standards. Nothing to do with the way it was laid but the way the product has reacted in the room and so we wait again.

Luckily none of this is on the “critical path” (some members of the team might argue about whether tea is or isn’t critical) so this isn’t causing any delay. Just a slight inconvenience as we wash up our mugs together – although, honestly, I think we will all quite miss the coffee break builder banter!

Enthusiasm level: anxious excitement
Progress: positive
Quote: “A novice’s view”