Letter from Barry Cobbett questions installation of brass inlaid stone paving in Hereford's High Town

Hereford Times: Missing and damaged letters on the paving stones in Hereford’s High Town. Missing and damaged letters on the paving stones in Hereford’s High Town.

IT was with some degree of sadness when I read that Hereford City Council intends replacing the areas of brass inlaid stone paving with some uninteresting plain slabs, thus removing for good an important reference to the history of our city. The original idea was a brilliant concept and a simple but exciting addition to the hard landscaping of High Town. Unfortunately, the work was badly designed and installed without proper consideration being given to the task.

Why was this allowed to happen? Why was no action taken earlier to investigate the problem and find a remedy before it was too late? Why, within the seven-year timescale was there no action taken to invoke the latent defects clause within the contract (if indeed there was one) and place the onus back upon the contractor rather than allow the council-tax payer to foot the bill?

Another example of profligacy with our money?

The article says that “the City Council believes the process of adding the brass letters weakened the stone”. So, our councillors appear now to be setting themselves up as specialists in this area of masonry.

Laying stone paving of this type, together with the inlays, should be no problem provided a sound substrate was correctly installed to take the designed load, and the slabs were bedded soundly using the right medium. There is no doubt in my mind that investigations will show that proper procedures were not adhered to in the first place; that, and that alone will surely be the reason found for failure of the paving.

BARRY COBBETT Past president - Stone Federation Great Britain Wellington, Hereford

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