Cobbling it all together

The cobbling workers hard at it in Allendale Market Square

Cllr Dave Crellin, Chair of Allendale Parish Council, shared this notice with ‘Allendale area notices‘ facebook group:

“It’s nearly 20 years ago that work to relay the cobbles in Allendale Market Place was started. Funds were then not sufficient to complete the cobbling work, so the job was not finished. This might explain why the cobbles outside the Golden Lion are set in concrete and the ones from there to The Bunkhouse are higgledy-piggledy. And therefore the cobbles currently being re-laid are the ones missed out in 2000/2001. The work will include laying sandstone flag walkways across the cobbles to make it easier & safer for people with pushchairs, wheelchairs, walking aids, even high heels to access the pubs. This is one phase of works to improve the Allendale Market Square as detailed in the Allendale Market Square Regeneration Programme: Delivery Plan – 15th May 2012.”

I well remember (but it’s hard to believe it’s getting on for two decades!) when the work started, and some of the early complaints about the quality of the workmanship. Especially memorable were the low spots in front of the then-closed Dale Bunkhouse, which always filled up with water after any rain, making the most inconvenient puddles. On one May Fair occasion, I managed, though I don’t recall exactly how, to facilitate the transfer of a dumpy bag of pea shingle that was surplus to requirements at Allendale Village Hall, to those low spots, removing the puddles for some future years. Of course, they eventually returned.

So it will have to be a universal blessing to get the job done right, this time. But even so, I’m quite confident that there will be numerous complaints; that’s just the way it is, and always will be! Until the work beds into folks’ consciousness, and everyone gets used to the new floor, it’ll be a talking point. By next year any fuss will have long been forgotten, I’m sure.

Still, it must be a salient week of 2019 for the infrastructure of Allendale Town, isn’t it? And if the job’s a good ‘un, then all credit will be due to the Parish Council for perseverance, for finding the funds eventually, and for finishing the job. The whole village will be watching!

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