On 7th December 2020 we signed the completion certificate for Gloucestershire Heritage Hub. This signified the end of the snagging period following the handover of the completed building and site in August 2019. It therefore seemed appropriate to bring to an end this series of Blogging a Building, started by Jill Shonk back in February 2017. You can read the whole series here by searching for Blogging a Building, and see a pictorial record of how the building project developed from January 2017 to December 2020. We accidently missed out number 18, ambitiously jumping from 17 to 19!
We are delighted with our new and refurbished building, and pleased we managed to keep the archives service going throughout all the inevitable disruption. It is therefore slightly ironic to find we’ve had to close our completed building for prolonged periods due to the coronavirus pandemic, during 2020 and 2021.
I’d like to pay tribute to the two main site managers, Paul Lander (Lakehouse) and Howard Read (Beard Construction). I really enjoyed working with both of them and learnt a lot too.
Thank you also to all our funders and supporters – none of this would have been possible without you. And to our researchers, volunteers, visitors, partners and neighbours, for your patience during our prolonged building work.
A personal highlight was the royal opening where we celebrated the great community collaboration this project represented. However, I don’t recommend organising an official opening until you have the completion certificate in your hand as you never know what can happen. As a result I’m building unexpected or ‘disorderly’ exits into all future planning, particularly for our e-preservation strategy.
One of our three new passive strongrooms, and the light and airy new home for our partners from Gloucestershire Family History Society.
We are now looking forward to the next 10 years with a focus on our collections, particularly collecting materials from under-represented communities. And with that cheery thought I shall sign off the last in our Blogging a Building series, and look forward to welcoming you back into our lovely new building as soon as restrictions are lifted.
Heather Forbes, County Archivist.