Many of you will have read in an earlier blog post that the ageing heating system at Upton Hall has finally succumbed to old Father Time, and has broken down to a state of disrepair. Its final act was to spray hot water around the cellar before going to sleep for good. Well and truly kaput!
If there was ever an opportunity for worse timing, it was this winter. A few of us remain at the hall and it’s pretty darned cold outside the main office, with only small electric heaters to keep the chill away. There is, however, no choice this winter. We don’t know when things are going to get better and although we could perhaps raise enough funds to replace the system, at the aforementioned cost of £50,000 upwards, it really is too big a gamble right at this time. Our Institute, as many know, is not a commercial animal. All funds are returned into our horological training and the Hall itself. No government funding, other than the emergency loans on offer for all businesses at the moment.
The heating issue, along with all that goes with COVID-19 and its associated lockdowns is our problem and beyond our control. Like everyone else in similar situations, we have to find ways of dealing with the consequences as best we can.
Our members support us by staying with us, and we continue to provide the Horological Journal, Distance Learning courses and whatever else we can with a skeleton staff.
So we are very thankful to one of our members who has generously tried to help. I refer to Per Vinding, a DLC student from Norway who has set up a crowdfunding page for a new boiler. If you would like to help, we will be very grateful. Your money will not go to waste, but we understand it is a difficult time for many right now, and we do appreciate your support in other ways.
Brian Noble, Operations Manager