Sunday, 4 April 2010

Latest News

So now the total bill for years of neglect is going to be close to £3million. Councillor Lewis, in charge of the project, confirmed that the recently discovered problems on the cliff face will also put back the opening until the end of July. Well what's an other month in the 2 and a half years it has already taken?

No mention was made as to when Rock Wall it's self would be open. Rock Walk is the pathway along the top of the cliff face that has now become the name of the whole area.

Councillor Lewis also said the planned changes to the road at the bottom of the cliff face would also be delayed for the time being. The cliff side of the carriageway would open for parking while traffic would continue to travel along the seaward side as at present. This arrangement would mean, for the time being more space for parking. The intended scheme would reduce the number of parking places in the area is disliked by many. It would have included a taxi rank and coach parking bays outside the theatre and a stop for the land train as well as disabled parking. This would restrict the number of car parking places to about ten compared to the 70 or 80 parking places for cars that were available prior to the work starting in Jan 2008.

Lets hope the wait is worth it.


jabery said...

I have been researching events in Torquay in 1910 and came across this essay in the Torquay Times of April 2010. It may be more relevant today than it was exactly one hundred years ago!

Garden Rock-Work

"Torquay Times" Special, April 1910

Researched and typeset by Jonathan Abery, April 2010

The abundance of natural rock and the numberless and bare walls produce a hard and staring expression on the face of Torquay, and wherever possible the scenery should be softened by a generous growth of vegetation.
The excuse may be made that rocks are employed to keep up banks and confine the soil of borders, or because nothing will grow, but banks should be formed to support themselves, borders also, and as for plants - they are many of every situation. Poverty of resource is the real cause of ineffective and offensive rock-work. Wherever stones are justified they should show no signs of human handiwork.

jabery said...

Of all the features of a garden, rock-work and stones of any kind must show the most definite reason for their presence. They must appear part of the original material of the site, otherwise they are out of place and an eyesore.
A garden may be made around and amid stones, but stones may not be dotted over any space to create a garden.
Nor should rocks of any size or kind be ranged in regular order. There must be the illusion that the rocks are in their natural position. They may indicate the remains of a cliff or quarry, part of a ravine, the outcrop of a soil-capped ridge, boulders left by a stream, the fretted wall by cataract or sea shore or a tumbling of fragments caused by a fall of earth; always some accident or process of nature where the lines tell a story and bespeak some sort of beauty.
But instead of rockeries we see mockeries and worse, since the work is no ornament and avails nothing. First of all we should consider if the spot or garden calls for stone work, and if so what kind of rock is appropriate and in what form ? Let it be repeated we need not build any more masses of rock, for we have too many already. The rock-work we possess wants naturalizing and softening.
Harmony grows out of contrast and relief is from the same source. Monotony, stiffness, barrenness, the voiceless dead thing is confronting us everywhere, whilst we need the living, speaking and companionable things. Rocks are not companionable, nor sustaining. They give shape and opportunity to grow pleasing plants around them and within their crannies, and for these purposes are they to be tolerated.
In practice we should not build piles of dry rock, but model the desired form of soil and arrange rocks - much farther apart than they are generally seen in gardens - to accommodate the groups of plants favouring the position. Of all garden artistry rock building is the most difficult. The European eye and inward sense has not developed far on this subject. The Japanese are the master builders in rustic stone-work, and though most of their work is in miniature they display an insight and boldness in designing and a power of execution far beyond that of any other people. The Japanese idea is to transport stones directly from nature to the garden area. We need not do this since we employ our gardens differently, but we should understand that all forms of rock-work within our gardens are primarily receptacles for happy families of plants. Every good garden speaks to us out of the past, hence if we get a hint of rocks we are better pleased than by a staring and unchanging array of them. This means that rocks must be clothed more or less, and generally more.
Of all available stone none is so soft to the eye, kind to vegetation, and generally appropriate, as red sandstone. Out of its capacity to retain moisture and its manner of fretting, it yields the most subdued and pleasing effects, whilst hard and non-porous give the least satisfaction. A cottager may be pleased with lumps of quartz or other sparkling and garish stone, but these should never be employed in the garden space attached to a good house. All light and showy colours in stone soon become vulgar and unless a stone is known to change rapidly under the influence of the weather and become coated with moss or other softening mantle it should not be employed in garden work.
to be continued...

Notes about the blog. Updated 08 March 2008

Not much is happening at Rock Work now. All the work clearing the trees has been done. A barrier has been erected to prevent rock falls from reaching the road. Now we wait for the geological survey in May to see what can be done to fix the rocks in place.
After that when work starts again later in the year I will post more photos.
Any news items I come across I will post as they appear in the local paper.

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Each day has the label "Day", click on it and you will miss out the other posts.

Articles from the Herald Express are labelled Herald Express.

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