By CleanSteve

Delighting in the elements

Stroud Preservation Trust organised an Open Day at the Chapels of Rest in the cemetery today. We had received notification two weeks ago that Stroud District Council, who own the buildings, have approved an asset transfer of the buildings for a token sum on the basis that we can raise the funds to develop the site which will include some significant community use.

There was a bit of an uproar about 18 months ago when the property was put on the open property market without public consultation and with no directive about community use. Several of our trustees including me became involved to see if we could do things differently.

We think about 250 people came to see inside the Chapels today, the first time most people could view them. There was a lot of interest and we took note of peoples’ opinions about what the building could be used for, although there will have to be a measure of commercial development involved.

I spent much of the time taking pictures, which is a regular role for me in the trust, amongst several other things. At one point there was a torrential downpour from very dark clouds scudding in front of bright sunshine. I stood inside the entrance to one of the two chapels and suddenly saw this woman and her daughter appear near the entrance having climbed up the steep grassy slopes of the cemetery. The backlight and the slanting rain highlighted the look of delight on her face at being in such an elemental moment. It had to be my blip, rather heavily cropped.

You can see some of my earlier images of the interior and exterior on the Trust website here.

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