I hope you’ve noticed how fabulously weed-free the front of Rothesay Pavilion is now! The building still isn’t exactly looking pretty – it’s a building site after all – but at least it’s tidy. A couple of weeks ago, the Rothesay Pavilion charity team put out a call to arms and more than 20 volunteers showed up to help us clear the buddleia and brambles that were threatening to overwhelm the building and making it an eyesore.
Special thanks to the Mount Stuart gardening team for use of their equipment and their coordination skills as well as labour. Thanks also to the Community Services team and the numerous individual volunteers who braved the elements on the day – the rain was so heavy, we were literally wringing out our clothes as I recall!
It was immensely satisfying to have the Pavilion looking tidy in time for the ButeFest weekend and the influx of visitors to Rothesay. There were some brilliant bands playing this year – the festival team excelled themselves and have set a high bar for 2018.
It was also very satisfying to see the Pavilion’s young volunteers out on the ButeFest site, wearing their 45RPM t-shirts, interviewing and filming the bands, artists and public during the festival. A number of short films have been made and we are adding them to our website and Facebook pages, and might even get a chance to show them at the cinema too at some point we hope.
Rothesay Pavilion has its project office in the site of Bute Fabrics and it was lovely to be invited to take part in the Bute Fabrics Open Day last weekend. The weather was glorious and there were great stalls, food, tours of the mill and a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the Pavilion in the afternoon. We have held several tours in the past few weeks which have been very popular, and there are more scheduled during September and October, but from November, the tours are likely to become less frequent because that is when we anticipate the next phase of building works starting. We will still hold tours whenever we can and will also continue filming and photographing as works progress, to keep a record of the project.
In the meantime, a lovely short film has been released on the Rothesay Pavilion YouTube channel documenting the first phase of enabling works at Rothesay Pavilion last year. The film was made by Paul Duffy at Brandanii, who mounted cameras in strategic places around the building while the work was taking place. It uses time lapse photography and is only five minutes long, but captures around five months of intensive work. If only we could get the rest of the project completed as fast!
Julia Twomlow is artistic director and chief executive for the Rothesay Pavilion charity.