Monday, 2 September 2013

Clearing the cobbles from Beverley's Market

Work on lifting cobble setts in Beverley underway
Contractors remove stone setts from Beverley s Saturday MarketContractors remove stone setts from Beverley s Saturday Market

A controversial project to lift the cobble setts in Beverley’s Saturday Market and relay them to provide a more level surface got underway this week. 

The project is a key phase of the multi-million pound scheme to revamp of the area, which started in January this year.  The Saturday Market maintenance scheme has already seen sections of York stone pavement improved and new block paving installed near the town’s Market Cross. 

Mayor of Beverley, councillor Martin Cox, is anxious that this particular phase of the scheme goes according to plan.
He said: “I must admit it was with some anxiety that I stood alongside shoppers yesterday [Tuesday] to see the setts in Saturday Market being lifted by a mechanical digger and dropped to one side.
“Generally the scheme to improve the Market Place is meeting with approval as I talk to those out and about, but clearly it is this phase that East Riding of Yorkshire Council needs to get right as it seeks to blend in these traditional materials with newer choices of stonework.”
He added: “Comments were made at this year’s Town Meeting about the quality of the work and the materials. People were still mindful of this as I spoke to them this week.  There can be no doubt that the market traders are looking forward to the completion of the work, having a consistent electricity supply and an even puddle-free surface to work on.  In the meantime we are watching as this phase develops and the setts that are such a feature of the town are carefully relaid.'

At the beginning of this year, the Beverley Civic Society held crunch talks with East Riding of Yorkshire Council over the stone setts, which followed protests by local residents and an organised petition to save the cobbles.  The council initially planned to remove all the setts and re-use just 30%, but it was agreed at the meeting that almost all of the setts should be taken up and re-laid, by hand.

Nigel Leighton, director of environment and neighbourhood services at the local authority, said: 'Maintenance works in Saturday Market are progressing as planned and the council and its contractor are now moving onto the first phase of works that incorporate the setts.  A raised table will be installed near to Old Waste, opposite the Market Cross, and will require some of the setts to be taken up, as agreed with both English Heritage and the Beverley Civic Society in January.  These setts will be taken up by hand and kept in storage to be utilised later in the project to replace any setts that are severely worn or damaged.'

The current printed issue of NORTHERN VOICES No.14, is now available for sale - see below. This issue N.V.14 contains a feature on Rochdale town centre by Debbie Firth and the local novelist Trevor Hoyle. It can still be obtained by writing or contacting the people whose details are below:
Postal subscription: £5 for the next two issues (post included). Cheques made payable to 'Northern Voices' should be sent c/o 52, Todmorden Road, Burnley, Lancashire BB10 4AH.
Tel.: 0161 793 5122.

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