Category Archives: Wisbech Castle
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.
Inspiration Can Be Stored
Book free Tickets here
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.
The Garden of Curious A’MUSE’ments
Join us on a voyage of discovery and innovation. East Anglia is a hotbed of trapped inspiration. The United Nations Board of Significant Inspiration are here to unleash it.
Come on a journey with the United Nations team of groundbreaking specialists, be guided through what it takes to find inspiration, have inspiration, harness inspiration and permanently hold inspiration.
The Garden is a interactive journey of inspiration, allowing audiences to harness the MUSE around them, our experienced scientific team with their Mad Hat machines and intriguing scientific procedures will pass the knowledge forward and share inspiration.
Alongside the main events, we will spread out across the town with drop in Marble Run workshops in local spaces, inspiration trails in heritage buildings and activities the shopping centres / market places.
TICKETS CAN BE USED AT ANY TIME THROUGHOUT THE FESTIVAL
Where: Wisbech Castle, Wisbech
When: 9th-12th August, 12pm-5pm
You’ll be taken on a journey through the MUSE’s using our specialist contraptions and muse infusing machines, inspired research activities will also be taking place. Be guided on your journey by our team of UNBOSI scientists, researchers and ambassadors, following your journey as a Muse Catcher you’ll have the ability to hold inspiration in your hand and remember don’t lose your marbles!
For more information about marbles click here
Victoria Tea Party (Aftermath)
I’m sorry I didn’t write up the Tea Party last night, but (like all the other volunteers) I was shattered. The long, busy day and hot Sun took its toll.
Pretty much everything went off without hitch, we sold completely out of cake, hundreds of people enjoyed the gardens, the house and the vaults in the glorious sunshine.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the team of volunteers who helped deliver such a successful “first event” for the Castle under new management.
The amazing work that has been undertaken in such a short space of time and so far under budget was plain to all and the complete turnaround of the site was appreciated and much-commented on.
Wisbech Castle is reclaiming its position as the much-loved heart of the town. The brilliant volunteers are the reason why this has been made possible. Thank you so much, keep up the good work!
*Photos as published on Facebook by Tony Bennett and others.
Wisbech Castle Project – 9th June
Another full day of volunteering at the Castle as a bunch of fine folks worked hard on various different jobs.
Starting at 7.45AM the work continued until 6PM and included painting lots of the white woodwork inside, jet-washing the basement courtard and steps, cleaning and jetwashing the wooden shed, moving lots of accumulated rubbish to the skip, general cleaning and maintenance.
Out in the gardens the lawn was fed, bushes and branches trimmed, paths cleared.
A dozen people beavered away at different times as the project continues to move on.
We had a visit from a team of archaeologists from Peterborough who were keen to look at the vault. They stayed for a tour of the house and expressed admiration for the place and the work being done.
Throughout the day tourists came to the gate and peered in (and we showed them around). It was great to see that all the tourists were gushing about how nice Wisbech is to visit and how excited they were to be able to have a peek at the Castle Project.
I’d like to express my thanks to the amazing volunteers who continue to work so hard so often. I would, however, like Dave Topgood to stop painting everything I am about to touch.
Wisbech Castle Working Party 6th June
Changes and improvements are coming thick and fast now.
The contractors upstairs have all but finished. All that remains is to get some new carpet in and do a little work on the kitchen and the top floor is all ready.
Volunteers have been hard at work elsewhere. The wooden floors in several areas have been cleaned and waxed and look amazing. The Fendick Room has been cleaned, organised and looks brilliant.
A lucky find in the Ground Floor bathroom has meant that we should be able to get that ready at much lower cost than we ever thought. The area has been cleaned and prepared.
In the Basement floor, a volunteer has repaired and painted the walls in the storage room and is well on the way to completing the boiler room / kitchen as well.
We now have our new external tap fitted for the garden, and have been donated a work sink which will be installed shortly.
In the gardens a huge amount of work continues to be done. Volunteers have been pressure washing the old benches ready for rubbing down and varnishing. They look so much better already!
The contractor in the Pump House has completed the work required. It has all been repainted inside and out, the rotten wood replaced and the structure brought back to a point where it looks great inside and is usable for at least a few seasons.
The Castle has also announced its first open-to-the-public event, which will be during Rose Fair on the Saturday – a Victorian Tea Party in the gardens.
Work Continues At The Castle
Work continues apace yesterday and today.
The Gardening team have planted all sorts and the gardens are now generally looking lovely.
Some volunteers have been working on getting the fountain back in order. Looks like it will need a new pump installed, but otherwise still seems to function well.
The Pump House is being painted and repaired. This is broadly just a job to make it functional again, as it will need a larger and more extensive refurb in two or three seasons time, but It’s coming on great and looking much better. The crumbling rotten wood panels are being replaced and made safe.
In the house the tradesmen working on the top floor are close to finishing the refurb. All it should then need is some new carpet and it will be ready to use.
Other volunteers have been beginning to catalogue and sort the many things in the Medworth Room.
On the Ground Floor, a brilliant volunteer has been hard at work painting one of the small rooms which is destined to become the freezer room for wedding catering.
A volunteer who is a professional plumber is securing and installing a new industrial sink for our workshop area and an external tap for help the gardening team connect their houses. A volunteer who is a professional electrician has already installed external electric points for attaching tools and is working on emergency lighting in key areas and lighting for the front of the house.
We expect to have some portions of Wisbech Castle open for Rose Fair. There’s still a long way to go, but we should be proud of the fantastic amount of work our many volunteers have already achieved.
(The reason I don’t name any volunteers is because so many people are now helping and I don’t want to accidentally forget anybody. We will, however, be cheering and thanking our volunteers in an official way later in the year – more news on that later.)
– Steve Tierney