Hello from Gillian and Michael
One of the things that worried me a lot as you hear so many horror stories was about opening a UK bank account. I rang Lloyds late one night to find that they were available 24 hours a day. The gentleman I talked to was very helpful and told me that there would be no problem opening an account and transferring money into it from our NZ account. He said that once we knew when we would be in the UK to ring again about a week before and organise an appointment to see the bank manager. This I did and we received a confirmation letter for the appointment at David’s address which was sufficient to verify our address.
Our appointment was with Nina at the Hasting branch of Llyods bank today. She was very welcoming and asked all about our exhibition and future plans. We were able to open a debit card account immediately but not a credit card. That was fine with us as a debit card can be used as a credit card for purchases online etc as long as you have money in your account, which I definitely prefer. We set everything up but it would be a week or so until the card arrived so we will use cash or credit until then. She explained all about the internet banking system which is excellent. Most things can be done without going to a teller including banking cash and cheques in the teller machines. She also told me about IBAN numbers for transferring money between banks and the terminology of sort codes and long card number.
After we had finished we went to visit the exhibition space and to meet Sean and Charlie and to sign the contract. The crypt is quite amazing. Each wall is long enough to take one panel of the mosaic only but there was enough space for 36 panels which is exactly the right amount. It will be quite a strange way to exhibit as there are four alcoves to walk around so a visitor would never e able to stand back to see the whole thing at once as they can in Geraldine. Above the crypt is the church, well ex-church. It is a fantastic space with a stage and a circular auditorium but you do have to enter this space through the beginning of our exhibition. Sean said that they hold various functions in the church as well as weddings but that if they do they will have security to protect the mosaic and the exhibition space. This they did and we became quite friendly with the security crew.