May 15 – Our set up day at Wells Cathedral

Coincided with a film crew filming a mini series at the cathedral

Hello from 1066 – A Medieval Mosaic

We were up and ready early for our big day. We allowed for some extra time in case we could not find our way but as it turned out we got to the Cathedral straight away. The marketplace was full of big vehicles which belonged to the film crew who were in and around the cathedral for the day. They were filming mini-series about the marriage of Catherine of Aragon to Henry VIII. The whole cathedral green was full of people in costume as well as the crew and the place was buzzing.

We were a bit anxious as we were going to be making a noise in the South Cloister while hammering the metal frames together but a guy came to talk to us and assured us that we should carry on and that he would come to tell us if we needed to be quiet for a while. In the end, we were fine. The south cloister is a reasonable distance from the nave so the noise was not a problem.

Mike and I were able to drive right up to the side door of the cloister and we had already unloaded all the framing when Rachael arrived to help us with the mosaic itself. We were soon putting up all the blue metal framing and positioning it along the cloister. At this point, we realised that the plastic feet and tops were missing and so were the magnets which we use for fastening the long black curtains which we drape over the blue frames. We must have left a box in the garage in Hacheston. Luckily we could manage without both but we will have to get Charlotte to post them on to us so that we will have them at St Albans Cathedral. Next, we put up the mosaic panels which went without a hitch. More heavy lifting for Rachael and I and crawling inside the framing for Mike. Once we had all the mosaic in place we went out to a local cafe for a late lunch. We were hungry with a capital H and in need of a sit down.

After lunch, Mike tightened all the bolts holding the mosaic while Rachael and I threaded all the curtains behind the mosaic panels. Mike put up the lights and finally finished setting up after 8 hours at 6 pm just as the verger came to lock up and chuck us out. We were thrilled with the result. The Medieval Mosaic looked very professional and impressive as we were seeing it in a straight line for the first time. The fan vaulting of the cloister roof really adds to the effect. It was a very exciting moment for the three of us.

We all drove back to East Harptree tired and aching. After a well deserved cup of tea, we went to a nearby pub for dinner. Rachael then drove her van out to Chew Lake where she found a lovely place, to camp in her van for the night, complete with a toilet. We were in bed by about 9 and I slept for 7 hours straight for the first time in years.