Market Place update
In line with latest Government Covid-19 guidance, the final elements of the Market Place refurbishment have recommenced.
The work was needed as the old paving was worn out and required replacing. We took the opportunity to improve the underground services to the Market Place, to allow a greater number of events and to meet the needs of modern market stall holders. We have retained and repositioned some of the historical aspects and increased the number of trees, cycle stands, bins and seating.
Councillor Eber Kington, Chair of the Strategy and Resources Committee, commented “As the retail sector recovers from the consequences of Covid-19, we want to do everything we can to ensure that the market place and environs are a welcoming and safe destination, where, in the future, events can take place, visitors and locals can relax and local businesses can thrive”.
Essential restoration work on Epsom’s historic clock tower will start earlier than originally planned, a consequence of this year’s Derby being postponed.
Built in 1847 and praised by Charles Dickens, the clock tower became the heart of the borough when, in 1937, the charter declaring Epsom and Ewell a Borough was presented at its base.
The refurbishment will include masonry restoration to the lower section, refurbishment of doors and windows and replacement of the lower level roof covering and dome windows.
Listed building consent has been granted and the six week project will be carried out by a specialist contractor.
Councillor Kington said “The clock tower is an icon of Epsom, part of the borough’s heritage and a listed building which the council has a legal duty to maintain.
“It’s exciting that we have reached this major milestone in the renewal of the market place of which the clock tower is the focal point.
The refurbishment was originally planned to start after the Derby, so the larger than normal amount of visitors to the town would not see the structure in scaffolding. However work has now started. It is being funded from the budget for essential maintenance work to council owned buildings.
For the Clap for Carers on 30 April local company STLS Events turned the clock tower a vivid blue complete with a thank you message (picture: Benjamin Wetherall Photography)
Evocation of Speed
The repositioning of the sculpture, Evocation of Speed, to Epsom Market Place took place before the Coviid-19 lockdown and work around the piece was then suspended.
The polishing of the base of the Evocation of Speed statue is now due to commence this week and will take several days. The completion of this work will allow the paving immediately around the statue to be finished.
The Evocation of Speed was paid for in part by subscription to celebrate the millennium. It was originally intended as a piece of public art in what is now Epsom Square, however new land owners decided they wanted to use the space differently and, following a temporary home, the statue has now been moved to its new permanent location.
The bronze sculpture, captures the changing face of the Derby since 1780. It depicts Diomed, the winner of the first ever Derby, on one side with Galileo, winner in 2001, on the other. The galloping racehorses show Diomed’s jockey dressed in buttoned breeches and riding with long stirrups, while Galileo and his jockey convey the professionalism of a modern winner. It was created by world-renowned equestrian artist, Judy Boyt, who advised us on the new position of her work.
Northern High Street Pavement
The renovation works with the county council to the Market Place also included replacing the paving on the opposite side of the road. This is the section of footway linking Waterloo Road to the Marquis of Granby pub.
This paving will match the new paving in South Street and the Market Place.
Work is being undertaken under the governments social distancing requirements.