Dursley News - February 2009

February saw dramatic changes in Dursley town centre as the old Council School was torn down in the space of a few days. This school, first opened in 1898 as the Victoria Memorial Day School, has been at the centre of town for generations of children and will be missed by many. Much of the demolition work was carried out early on in the month when the whole county was covered in deep snow which laid for several days and disrupted travel over wide areas. This was certainly the case in Dursley when several large lorries got stuck in the snow and ice near the Market House because they weren't able to get down Long Street and this spectacle blocked the centre for many hours.

  Picture Gallery (Click on picture for larger view)
    Down it comes
Opened to the elements for the first time in 100 years, the decorative woodwork is clearly visible in this view of the old Council School as modern demolition machinery makes short work of the old structure.
(February 5th 2009 - copyright Andrew Barton)
    The Victoria Day School - snow covered isolation
A very brief reprieve was offered by the thick snow which covered the town at the beginning of the month. The workers stayed at home on the 6th February and what's left of the old school silently awaits its fate.
(February 6th 2009 - copyright Andrew Barton)
    Defiant to the end
Looking at the site from Castle Street, it's clear that one whole section, that facing the Knapp, has already been torn down.
(February 6th 2009 - copyright Andrew Barton)
    The tower has fallen
The school is now no more than a pile of rubble and this view, looking towards the swimming pool, shows what's left of the small bell tower in the centre of the picture.
(February 13th 2009 - copyright Andrew Barton)
    Site clearance
Very soon after the demolition work was over, the site was rapidly cleared and the rubble crushed for reuse elsewhere on site. The wall on the right of this picture is all that remains of the building.
(February 21st 2009 - copyright Andrew Barton)
    Articulated mayhem
The snow brought chaos to Dursley town centre as several large lorries found themselves stuck when they couldn't travel down Long Street due to the slippery conditions. They spent the next several hours awaiting rescue next to the Market House.
(February 5th 2009 - copyright Andrew Barton)
    Snow at the Priory
At the bottom of Long Street, a lonely snowman stands sentry over the Priory and the road to Lister's.
(February 6th 2009 - copyright Andrew Barton)
    The drill is ready
A huge boring machine is in position close to the tennis courts at the corner of the recreation ground as work gets underway on the site of what will be a retaining wall and disabled access ramp from The Knapp to the Sainsbury's site.
(February 21st 2009 - copyright Andrew Barton)
    Path around the recreation ground
Due to the work going on near the tennis courts the current access between The Knapp and the swimming pool has been closed and this temporary path built around the edge of the recreation ground to allow access.
(February 21st 2009 - copyright Andrew Barton)
    The new build begins
The first signs of new building work on the old school site have started and this picture shows the shuttering for the base of the new electricity substation which is having to be moved from its current poistion further down The Knapp. One thing obvious from this picture is that the Methodist Church is now clearly visible.
(February 27th 2009 - copyright Sally Pinch)
    Woodmancote houses
On the site of what was once the garage in Woodmancote, the new houses are now all but complete.
(February 8th 2009 - copyright Andrew Barton)
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