Old Bedfordian and Chairman of the OB Club, Craig Mitchell (64-74) and his wife Krystyna, hosted an event on Saturday, 9th June 2018.
We met at the Abbot’s Kitchen Café by St. Albans Cathedral and, in two groups, went on an entertaining and informative tour with expert guides. The Cathedral is the oldest site of continuous Christian worship in Britain and stands over the place where Alban, the first martyr, was buried over 1,700 years ago. The present Cathedral was begun in 1077, using Roman bricks and flint from the ruined city of Verulamium. The building’s amazing mixture of architectural styles bears witness to the many centuries of its life, first as a monastic Abbey and now as a Cathedral. Its massive 11th century bell tower is the only remaining example of its type. It has the longest nave in England where we saw outstanding 13th and 14th century wall paintings. We also saw the shrine of Saint Alban, which was rebuilt in the early 14th century.
The ‘1066 Medieval Mosaic’ was on temporary display at the Cathedral during our visit so we took the opportunity to see this. It is the work of artist Michael Linton who, over the course of 33 years, has designed and assembled the work using three million tiny pieces of steel left over from industrial textile manufacturing. The result of this labour of love is a 64-metre installation weighing approximately 350 kilograms. This impressive display of skill and craftsmanship has earned itself a place in the Guinness World Record book as the longest steel mosaic.
We then went on to visit the brand new Museum in the Town Hall where we saw the results of an ambitious project to transform St. Albans’ landmark Georgian Grade II Listed Town Hall and Courthouse into a glorious state-of-the-art new museum and art gallery to celebrate local heritage and culture.
To end a wonderful day, we enjoyed an Alfresco Lunch at the Chairman’s home. Beer was supplied by the Blackpit Brewery, run by a trio of entrepreneurial OBs. The event was enjoyed by all who attended, from the youngest OB George Mitchell (99-04) through to the oldest Jon Raxworthy (43-54).