Meeting - February 2016

Friday, 26 February 2016 - 7:30pm
On a Wing and a Prayer - the cathedral builders
Keith Cattell



“ON A WING AND A PRAYER” was the title of an interesting presentation, given to Wythall History Society by Mr Keith Cattell, which studied in depth the building of the  Cathedrals of Britain, many of which we take very much for granted nowadays. Mr Cattell’s illustrated talk has, I suspect, changed the outlook of many of those present and I am sure we will all look forward to revisiting many of the Cathedrals which we thought we knew well and have taken for granted for many years but which we will appreciate very much more after enjoying  this presentation. One of the most thought provoking things which struck me was just how long it took to actually construct many of the early Cathedrals and the fact that many of the master masons who originally worked on them had died long before the building was completed. Also, the fact that they were in many cases, constructed with second-hand stonework. We also learned that a cathedral tower was often not the last part of the building to be completed. There was so much of interest in Mr Cattell’s presentation it is difficult to condense it into this short report but I would have no hesitation in recommending him and this subject to anyone who enjoys historical buildings.
Due to the recent closure of Wythall Baptist Chapel, our meetings are now held in the Wythall Institute main hall which is a very much larger venue and is, as a result, “Very” dark during “Slide Show” presentations; so much so that it proved an almost impossible task to make notes during the presentation and even the Speaker had some difficulty in reading his notes and he was close to the screen!

Brian Sadler