RECONSTRUCTION OF THE BUILDING While planning permission was being sought for the reconstruction of the long walls, the council agreed the dismantling of the west wall to prevent its possible collapse, on the basis that it would be reassembled later. The church site then waited uncannily quiet for most of a year with only the facade and turrets remaining, until permission was granted for the plans for reconstructing the walls. Eventually in late 2002 work resumed on the project, the crane arrived, and constructing the floor slab began.
A NEW STEEL AND CONCRETE FRAME Starting afresh including reconstruction of the side walls allowed faster progress once building resumed. Reinforced concrete floors were built by May, then in no time a steel frame grew, upper floors being constructed as soon as the steels were assembled, even before the whole frame was in.
NEW SKELETON AND NEW SPIRES By September the shell of the church was taking shape (below), and with astonishing speed now, by November the walls were growing back, and the skeletons of new spires were in place to replace the twin spires removed in 1949 due to instability following the war.
GRADUAL UNVEILING OF THE EXTERIOR As if to build the suspense the exterior was covered in a veil of scaffolding and green netting for a while while stone cleaning, pointing, and other work continued, and the TERN coated steel was added to the mansards and the spires. The bright surface of this material has excited a lot of comment, but in time it will weather to a less dramatic lead-like appearance. Meanwhile its sudden uncovering as the scaffolding was progressively disassembled, revealing gleaming spires which flash as the sun moves round, has certainly been a dramatic local event and talking point. The west wall is assembled largely of stone from the old wall, but a few stones and most of the window stonework was too broken to re-use, so the wall is a pleasant pastiche of old and renewed stonework. The spires give the clear message that there is still a church present in this building, and the fresh looking exterior hints at the quality of the work that has been going on inside. Back to top.