Crowning Glories

Crown Square Litter Bin; 1988

This was one of MCA’s first projects – the donation of a cast metal litter bin to DDDC in 1988.

Lewis Rose was the long-serving leader of DDDC.  Brian Howitt (at left) was MCA Chairman.  David Barker on the right was Mayor.  Tottie Holden (a founder MCA member – now a Life Member) is on the left.

The bin was removed a few years later as a consequence of the IRA Warrington bomb which was placed in a cast metal litter bin and resulted in more casualties.

MCA Project 2004; Painting the County Hall Crown

The Queen’s Golden Jubilee was 2002.  In 2001 MCA approached DCC with a suggestion that the crown on the central tower at County Hall could be repainted gold as part of the commemorations.  At the time it was rusting, neglected and ‘battleship grey’.  The initial DCC response was that “.. it’s all too difficult as scaffolding will be required and it will be very expensive which DCC couldn’t afford”.   Nor could MCA! 

Ken Parker of MCA approached a friend, Pete Scott, from Derwent Mountaineering Club to see if there was a solution not involving scaffolding.  Pete agreed to organise the technical aspects of painting (safety harness etc) and find extra volunteers if DCC would agree.  Ken then approached the Chief Executive (Nick Hodgson) who agreed and gave the instructions to his Estates Service to facilitate arrangements.  Nick also agreed to cover the cost of paint and make a donation to Mountaineering Club funds.  Unfortunately this negotiation took two years so the painting was actually done in 2004 – two years late!

Preparation for painting; Kate Gibson, David Smith, Pete Twyford
County Hall Crown; Half Gold

Pete Scott painting the County Hall Crown

David Smith organised the MCA volunteers and the photos show the transformation to a golden crown by a combination of Mountaineering Club and MCA volunteers.  When it was sunny it was a striking feature (photo from 2010 is six years after painting).  DCC have repainted it themselves recently but unfortunately it is now black and cream, not gold.  But it is at least a cherished feature now.  DCC also now regularly fly a flag from the flagpole on the crown.

Pete Scott dangling from the Matlock Crown
County Hall in the Evening Sun; 2010