Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Sunday, 24 June 2012
Which insensitive idiot let this happen?
Following on from this post, I was taking a walk through the fair streets and terraces of Bath today, when I came upon this recently laid pavement which runs around the most iconic building of the World Heritage City - the Royal Crescent.
The coarse, riven texture of the surface of the slabs and the incongruously bright colours of the A-typically shaped sandstone pieces can only mean one thing.
The stone was imported from China.
This Chinese stone is stupidly cheap to buy - about one 20th of the price that the original Welsh Pennant now costs, even second-hand. Which also makes me wonder what on earth has happened to the flags which have been lying in the same position for around 250 years? I know what happened to about half of the Welsh Pennant which used to form the pavement of another iconic street in Bath, Great Pulteney Street - it was sold under the counter to builders and dealers for about 1/16th of it's real value. I know this, because I know who bought it, back in the late 1980s. They were replaced with dirt-cheap, shiny concrete ones which cover dozens of square yards, have to be coated in fake dirt by film companies because they look so awful, and freeze into a skating-rink in the winter, sending many old people to hospital with broken arms and hips.
Why is this Chinese stone so cheap, apart from that everything in China is cheap? Because - in great part - it is quarried by women and children, dressed in shorts and sandals. They don't issue steel toe-capped boots to the children in Chinese quarries.
Let us say that I have got this all wrong, and the stone shown above comes from, say, Spain or Portugal (it is certainly not British, and it bears a striking resemblance to the Chinese variety), what the HELL is Bath City Council doing laying it in the Royal Crescent in favour of the expensive Welsh stuff, and WHAT HAPPENED TO THE ORIGINAL?!
The council is currently tarting up their own doorstep outside their chambers right in the heart of the city now (at a cost of £1,000,000 and taking 9 MONTHS using outside contractors). It will be interesting to see if any of the Chinese stuff finds it's way to their doorstep, or if they treat themselves to the real thing.
I wonder - if they use re-claimed pennant - if it will be recycled....