Walking round the city centre, you can’t help think that the place might just not be ready in time for the start of City of Culture. There’s a few things that are almost done, with others that definitely could be finished by the time lockdown is hopefully fully released in June, even with converting Market Way and Smithford Way into a scene from Minecraft looking like it might actually be ready by the 21st of June.
But there are a few odd jobs that really need doing, not massive jobs, but they do need doing.
Whilst the fountains on Priory Street are currently working – well two thirds of the fountains on Priory Street are working – and the new/replacement ones in Dresden Place have a pretty cool sequence that can make the unsuspecting look like they have wet themselves, which is great entertainment for anyone sat at the new spire beer garden, no-one is expecting the ones in Volgograd Place to be fixed anytime soon.
Sorry, where you say? Volgograd Place! No, not that bit between Primark and Holy Trinity that has a plaque about Volograd, that bit under junction two of the ring road between the Swanswell and Lady Herberts Garden. Fountains? Yeah, really those cobbled circles you’ve always thought were a bit odd, they’re fountains. No, I can’t remember ever seeing them working either. This is probably why the Council dedicated a nicer bit of the City to our first Twin Town. Yes, Volgograd used to be Stalingrad.
Now I’m not suggesting they should be fixed any time soon as that would be a massive and expensive job, it’s the Volgograd Memorial itself that needs attention as there are things growing out of it from both sides, and they look more substantial than your average weed.
While it would be pretty awesome to think that a pigeon has at some point left a cherry seed there and in a few years there would be a fully grown blossoming tree growing out of the top of the memorial, I’m not sure it will take the weight. And that’s why this is a bit of an urgent odd job, because whatever is growing up there is pretty soon, if not already, going to get into the joints and pull the thing apart from the inside. I would have pulled it out myself if I could reach, but I reckon five minutes with a pressure washer would not only solve the problem, but also make the thing look a bit, well, cleaner?