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Ripon soldiers help refurbish cathedral

Job well done: Soldiers of the 21 Engineer Regiment with former cathedral architect, Dr John Baily, and Ripon Cathedral Canon, Elizabeth Sewell.

Job well done: Soldiers of the 21 Engineer Regiment with former cathedral architect, Dr John Baily, and Ripon Cathedral Canon, Elizabeth Sewell.

Soliders from the 21 Engineer Regiment based at Claro Barracks in Ripon have spent three weeks renovating Ripon Cathedral.

Members of 5 Troop, 4 Armoured Engineer Squadron, have been working on several tasks in the building as part of ongoing improvements planned by the cathedral.

The men helped construct a new entrance hall, remove exisiting walls and doors, build a cloakroom area and lay paving in front of the new main entrance door.

The soldiers involved in the refurbishment are due to be deployed on exercise in Kenya in February where they will help the British Army Training Unit and the Kenya Wildlife Service.

A range of skills was required for the renovation which involved carpenters and joiners building stud partition walls and a new ceiling after which building and structural finishers produced a high quality plaster and paint finish.

External work was carried out by bricklayers and concreters supported by combat engineers, who carried out substantial groundworks by hand.

The work at the cathedral has helped the soldiers brush up on their construction and engineering skills after their tour in Afghanistan as part of Operation Herrick 17 .

Other soldiers involved in the work have also recently finished training at the Royal School of Military Engineering.

The troop’s commander, Lt Laurence Knoop, said: “This task has provided great training value at all levels.

“Throughout, the troop management and cathedral worked on the scope of works and design while junior non-commissioned officers and sappers have gained some valuable experience.”

Canon Elizabeth Sewell, of Ripon Cathedral, added: “The soldiers’ work has been amazing, everything has been done to a very high standard.

“We now have a bright, welcoming entrance area that makes the hall fully accessible.”

 

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