Author Archives: Steve Tierney
Walled-Up Secret Room Uncovered in Wisbech Castle
We have some EXCITING NEWS.
Wisbech Castle have discovered a walled-up secret room in the Castle grounds.
This room is not on the current maps and although we did wonder if there might be something there we had not confirmed there was … until now.
Two test drill holes have revealed a complete underground room, in good condition, which has been hidden away for a very long time indeed. it appears to be empty, but clear and mostly dry.
Now we will need to do some checks to see if its safe to open the room up and once that it confirmed we’d like to do so.
More news to follow on the Wisbech Castle Secret Room in September.
UNBOSI Off To Pastures New
Well that was a crazy four days at Wisbech Castle.
Hosting the UNBOSI team and helping them deliver their grand experiment was certainly an experience.
Thank you to all the Castle volunteers who gave their time to put the event on.
Thank you particularly to UNBOSI for bringing such a lot of fun, inspiration and enjoyment to our town.
But most of all, thanks to the hundreds and hundreds who paid a visit to be amazed, aMUSEd and astronished on this voyage of discovery.
Wisbech Castle Update. 7th August 2018
It’s crazy at the Castle today – people everywhere!
Dave Topgood and Tony Bennett are repairing false windows and painting everything that needs painting and some things which don’t. Listen, if you pay the place a visit, don’t sit down for too long – or one of them will measure you, undercoat you and then deal with any rotten wood you have accumulated. Trust!
Roger Rawson and Brenda Barber are working around the grounds (and Roger has framed the photos he took, which we will be using as part of our decorations in the Castle Cafe when it opens.)
Duncan and his sidekick have almost finished the work on the Market Street Entrance paving and the Fairy Den. Which means that the entrance from Market Street to the Pump House is no longer a bit of rough waste ground, but is a lovely driveway of paved stones with the Castle Logo featured in the centre. This will make the Cafe accessible for hopefully everybody when it opens in September and is also a smart entry point for the grounds in general.
The Fairy Den! Wow, that has come out better than we ever imagined. The original idea to deck the area out as a secret Fairy Den for kids to enjoy morphed into a plan to create a camouflaged secret walk which leads from the Fairy Den to the garden through a concealed passage. The work is now complete and its great fun and very charming – I think kids are going to enjoy using the den and the secret walkway very much. Better still, its all ready in time to be used by the United Nations BOSI team for their event: Thursday through Sunday this week.
Speaking of the United Nations BOSI team – that’s crazy stuff, right there :)It’s like a colony of mad scientists has been set loose in the Castle grounds. All over the place there are weird machine, and strange devices, and bizarre doohickeys. This is part of their “Inspiration Trapping” experiment which the people of Wisbech are invited to help them with this week. It’s just absolutely awesome. Don’t miss it.
Rock Festival Wash Up
I know, I know. Every year I write up the Rock Festival and talk about how hard work it was but how well it went. That’s because it is always hard work and it does always seem to go pretty well. And when a small group of people work so hard to put something great on for our town its worth talking about, I think, even if its a bit repetitive.
Wisbech Town Council aspire to do our events a little bit better each year. We watch what works and build on it. We watch what doesn’t work so well and enact plans to prevent or reduce that problem the following year. This means that each year things run a little more smoothly. But there’s no getting around the sheer volume of the work.
The whole thing takes several months of meetings, planning and organisation to get set. Then the actual setup of the event begins on the Saturday night, when Councillors and volunteers meet up to get some of the early work done in time for the morning; getting dozens of safety barriers to the park, moving the gazebos ready to be set up in the morning (harder work than you might think, these things are heavy and they have weights to hold them down that are heavier.)
Then people arrive early in the morning on the Sunday to begin putting everything in place. There’s a lot to organise. Barriers, first aid tent, stage, traders area, litter bins, portaloos and toilets. All the volunteer stewards are briefed on safety procedures and “what to do’s” in the event of various possible issues.
Once the event begins, stewards (who have already been working for four hours at that point) then have to spend some nine hours keeping on top of things. Constantly picking up litter (otherwise it accumulates in a grim way and the place looks like a bomb has hit it), helping reunite lost children with worried parents, unblocking toilets, diffusing any potential disputes between individuals, handing out free water to people if there is a worry that the heat might be a problem, directing people to things, dealing with first aid issues and generally keeping the event running safety and smoothly. The park is split into three “stages” and so stewards are walking all around the park all day, which was in blistering heat this year.
At all times stewards must be upbeat, friendly and happy – because grumpy, hot, tired angry stewards do not add to a successful party atmosphere. Often, as the day wears on and feet start to ache and sunburn gets sore and you’ve just taken your twenty-ninth binbag of rubbish to the skip, remaining positive and smiley can be a little challenging, but our stewards manage it because it really is fun to know you are delivering fun for others.
When the day ends for everybody else, stewards still have three more hours “clearing up” to do. Putting back all those metal barriers and gazebos and weights, clearing all the rest of the litter, loading it all into vans and getting it back into storage. Everybody is shattered by the end.
I think most people know this but I do think its worth stressing that every single one of our stewards, whether they are Councillors or friends, are all volunteers. Nobody gets paid a penny. It is not part of anybody’s “job.” They turn up and give their time and energy for free, to deliver this event to people who love it.
In my opinion, this year was probably the best ever Rock Festival. It’s true that there was a fight at the Dance Stage, brought about by some inter-family drama and (I suspect) the use of alcohol and substances some of them brought with them. But it was handled smoothly by stewards and the Police and did not detract from the overall event – in fact most people didn’t know it had happened at all. It is not possible for any event to have zero incidents, the mark of good organisation is the correct handling of the situation. David Oliver’s team and the stewards went precisely by the book and the scuffle was contained and diffused.
Councillors David and Jess Oliver handle safety for the whole event and were brilliant.
Cllr Garry Tibbs, who compered the whole event, has pretty much secured the role forever. He just has a Rock n’ Roll voice :) But despite his new celebrity, he was still litter picking and loading with the rest of us lowly steward minions. :) :)
Gary Read and his sound team are always awesome and this was particularly true this year – I don’t think I’ve ever heard Rock Festival sound so good.
All the many Councillors and volunteers worked their socks off. I wont name them all because I will forget some but I would like to mention Trevor Ketteringham (always tireless and hard-working) and Cllr. Andrew Lynn and most particularly David Gutteridge (The Viking) whose new First Aid qualification was put to good use and who worked so hard at the Dance Stage for most of the day.
Obviously – huge thanks to all the acts on all three stages who entertained so many people for so long.
The stalls and fair were great.
The Mayor, Cllr Peter Human, and his family were absolute troopers. Despite having to make a long, hot Mayoral appearance, he was still there in the dark at the end loading things into vans.
My Mum and Stepdad and my Son Joe were just great.
Our Town Clerk Terry, and Susanah Farmer, were also there for the entire event working above and beyond the call of duty.
But most of all my hat goes off to Cllr. Sam Hoy who is the lead person and main organiser of the event and who, once again, with the help of all the people I have named and probably quite a few I forgot to name (sorry!) delivered an incredible success.
Inspiration Can Be Stored
Book free Tickets here
Joe At The Rock Festival
I told my Son on Friday that now he is thirteen it is time to give something back to the community and that he should come help with Rock Festival for the day.
I expected him to find reasons not to do it, but was very pleased that he immediately agreed.
So it was that he rose at the crack of dawn on a Sunday during school Summer Holidays and came out for fifteen hours of hard work.
He was helping set up at the outset, spent the day picking litter and stewarding and pitching in 100% and was still there in the darkness, when the crowds had all gone home, alongside the other volunteers packing down gazebos and lifting metal railings into stacks.
He didn’t complain once, just worked alongside everybody until the very end.
When you add in my Mum and Stepdad, there were three generations of our family working at the event. I am extremely proud of my Son for joining the crazy family tradition of volunteering. Well done, Joe.
Wisbech Castle Update, 3rd August 12018
It’s been an incredible couple of months for Wisbech Castle. So much has happened!
We’ve had all sorts of groups and events making use of the building and grounds as more and more of it is brought back into a usable standard.
We’ve had our first fully commercial booking.
Volunteers have been beavering away inside and out with so many people giving their time and energy to the building and grounds.
Tradesmen have been busy too, restoring areas and doing work that was beyond what volunteers could reasonably get done.
Most of the inside of the building is all but finished. The gardens look incredible. The Pump House is almost ready to roll. The Enchanted Walk has had its initial work done.
Walls and ceilings and floors and carpets and repointing of bricks and painting and railings and repairs to structure and contents all continues apace.
We have a team about to start work on a new booklet guide to the Castle and its history.
Next week we have the United Nations UNBOSI team doing something weird and wonderful, open to the public, for several days. None of us know much about this except that it sounds exciting and you should definitely come along and see!
The front of the building looks great with its new stone lions and wonderful flower displays and repainted metalwork and heritage lighting.
The rear of the building has seen a shedload of work to take that tired old paint facade and spruce it right up.
The work on the vaults begins soon too, and that’s a big project.
We hope that the Castle and grounds will be fully open to the public in September, with the vaults opening to some extent in time for Halloween at the end of October.
More volunteers are always needed and welcome. Come and join the team that is putting the Castle back where it belongs, at the heart of Wisbech.
JOB VACANCY, Wisbech Town Council
Assets Supervisor – vacancy posted 3 August 2018 – closing date 17 August 2018
Closing date for applications 5pm 17 August 2018.
- Friendly? Customer-focussed?
- Interested in your local community?
- Outdoorsy? Practical?
- Able to use a computer and social media?
If so, we may have just the job for you –
Assets Supervisor at Wisbech Town Council
MAIN PURPOSE OF JOB:
- Responsible for the day-to-day operational delivery of Wisbech Town Council market and allotment facilities by managing and delivering cost-effective, customer-focused provision.
- Ensuring that effective mechanisms are in place so that these services are delivered in a safe and efficient manner.
- Oversee the fabric of council assets.
- Develop high-quality relationships with traders, allotment tenants and service users and act as ambassador for Wisbech Town Council.
20 hours/week (job share considered) £17,681-£18,672 (pro-rata)
For a full job description and person specification please see the Wisbech Town Council website or contact the council office.
Closing date for applications 5pm 17 August 2018.
Please see below for full job description, person specification and application form.
Completed application forms can be submitted by post or email –
Wisbech Town Council, 1 North Brink, Wisbech PE13 1JR