President Beryl Fletcher welcomed members and guests to the March meeting. The Walking Group will be visiting Whixall on 28th March, and outings planned so far are the tour of Combermere Abbey on 20th April, a visit to Haughton Hall gardens on 18th May, and a trip to Llandudno on 17th August. Members were reminded that we will be celebrating Marbury WI’s 90th Birthday at the April meeting.
Our speaker was Philip Harrison, who gave an illustrated talk about the construction of Liverpool’s Roman Catholic Cathedral (often referred to as “Paddy’s Wigwam”). Philip briefly described the three previous attempts to build a mother church for the Liverpool Diocese. The first was started in 1853 but never completed. Lutyens’ 1933 design suffered a dramatic escalation in costs during the war, which led to construction being abandoned. However, the crypt was completed and is incorporated within the cathedral. In 1953 another design was produced which was heavily criticised and went no further. An international competition in 1960 was won by Frederick Gibberd’s striking design which can accommodate 2,000 people – work was started in 1962 and completed five years later. Philip was seconded from Gibberd’s London office to oversee construction, and was involved from the beginning through to its consecration in May 1967, so his talk gave a fascinating insight into the problems and successes associated with this iconic building including some amusing anecdotes about the people he encountered along the way!
The next meeting will be on Tuesday 11th April – for information please contact Beryl Fletcher (01948 664889).