The Provincial Grand Master highlighted the need for the building to be more user-friendly to our senior members and those in wheelchairs. He identified the main problems of access and arranged for Bro Tom Atkinson to produce a scheme for solving this problem.
Access to the building is through the side entrance where there were steps down from the road entrance. At the side door, there were another three steps down to the floor level. The kitchen, Provincial Room and coat storage area were all accessible, but there were a further three steps down to the dining room.
An ingenious plan was conceived where a slope would be constructed from the road to the side door, and the side door would be lowered to the ground floor level, whilst the dining room floor would be raised. Hence everything would be on the level (Sorry!).
In the dining room, a new ceiling has been installed with recessed lighting, and the room completely redecorated. A very distinct improvement. Matching tiles have been laid in the entrance area, and there is now a very attractive path externally, featuring the Masonic logo.
At the same time, attention has been paid to the ancient heating system. A new boiler has been installed with new radiators on the ground floor. Whilst working in the Temple, it was found that there were air vents which effectively nullified any effect of the heating system. With these now rectified, there is every confidence that the room will have a more consistent temperature, both Winter and Summer.
In the Upper Temple, not only were there air vents behind the radiators, but these were permanently open, so explaining why the upper room never reached comfortable temperatures.
During the work in the Temple, cleverly, stands have been built into the dais to take the Royal Arch banners for Chapter meetings.
There are more ambitious plans to supplement the steps into the Temple with a platform which converts into steps. A plan is shown for this. It is hoped to install this in the very forseeable future, but as this needs additional finance, it has been temprarily postponed pending assistance from a kind donor.