Many of you will have seen the view down into the deepest section of Level 4 from the viewing points of Level 3, whilst some of you may have been lucky enough to go down into Level 4 in the early days.
Well Paddington has just seen the biggest update since we finished our excavation 2 years ago. As we dug down deeper into Level 4 we had to install a temporary wooden staircase as the chamber deepened.
The staircase has over time became unsafe so couldn’t be used, therefore it has been our wish to install a more permanent metal staircase. We explored the possibility of having a galvanised staircase made, but due to the complexity and size of the staircase needed we would be looking at a great deal of money.
We then explored further options, which would be just as effective, but at a more reasonable cost. Our good friends at Cheshire Scaffolds: www.cheshirescaffoldsltd.co.uk stepped in and said they’d help us with the supply and fitting of the staircase. We have now ordered it from Cheshire Scaffolds, who very kindly are supplying it at Cost Price and unbelievably they have agreed to fit the staircase free of charge too.
Our close colleagues at Subterranea Britannica: www.subbrit.org.uk who follow our progress, said that they may be able to help us in the form a grant. We have now applied to SubBrit for the grant which will be put towards the purchase of our new staircase.
Before we can fit a new staircase, the old wooden one had to be removed. This took a lot of planning, to come up with a method where the structure could be removed safely. Then over an incredibly short three days, a small team of volunteers set about removing the old stairs. This went very well, and the old structure was soon gone, revealing the most amazing view within,
A view that no one would have seen of this chamber being completely empty. Probably the last people to see this unobstructed view would have been the quarry men themselves followed by the people that would have filled the chamber with the many tons of infill that we would later remove 150 or so years later.
This magnificent view will not be permanent, as soon the new metal staircase will be installed. Once this staircase is in place, we will once again be able to take visitors down into this amazing cathedral like chamber. So, if you have never been into Level 4 and looked up at the arch roof 12 metres above you, watch this space, you soon will be able to.