by emma last modified Apr 07, 2015 12:29 PM

History of renovation

by emma last modified Apr 07, 2015 12:29 PM
History of renovation

In 1987, major development plans resulted in the installation of a concrete partition floor, deviding the space into two floors

When Trinity reopened in 1978 as a community venue it was, physically, still a church.

The font, organ pews and balcony were in place, the headstones were still in evidence. The first attempt to realise the space as a community venue began under the Bristol Caribbean Community Enterprise (BCCE) group. Pews were removed, a new floor was laid, and the balcony area was converted into workshop spaces. Indeed, visitors to the Centre recall that it was often resembled a building site.

But the cost of repair, maintenance and conversion was beyond the resources of BCCE. This may go some way to explaining the financial crises which beset Trinity before its closure and repossession by Midlands Bank in 1984.

On purchasing the building in 1984 for £40,000, Bristol City Council identified over £174,000 repairs to leaking roofs, general repairs, an for an intermediate new floor. Local workers on a national employment scheme were employed on the construction. The workers sand blasted the exterior blackened by smoke to restore the bath stone to its former gleam. They also built a low stone wall dividing the courtyard into a parking and gardening space. In 1987 the organ was removed. A new floor was laid and repairs carried out to the turrets.

In 1989 building contractor Bison installed a new concrete second floor crossing the nave. Most controversially, the graves in the Trinity church yard were exhumed and taken to Arnos Vale Cemetery. The disinterment caused uproar in the local community. Protests were as much to do with the style of the disinterment as to its occurrence. Rumours persisted that the remains were dumped. The disinterment caused deep unease among the religious and not so religious.

Building work continued when Trinity reopened in 1991. The New Trinity Community Association was shocked to discover that the one of the two exterior towers was not in fact attached to the body of the church but was held up by gravity alone. The Association also installed a new sprung wooden floor downstairs.

A young Ken Clarke visiting Trinity in 1987 to see the redevelopment

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