We met Jane Fitzgerald White and David Bailey from PortusWhitton in Cirencester market square. They gave us a potted history of the place from the Roman days, through the Dark Ages to the time of the medieval abbey, then its dissolution by Henry VIII, the wealth derived from the wool trade, the creation of the market at the intersection of three important axes crossing southern England and finally to the post Second World War problems of traffic congestion. Now enter Martin Portus, local resident (and landscape architect) who envisaged how the place might be better planned. Twenty five years later (or was it longer?) the square finally was redesigned as a shared space complete with references to the past and quirky little humorous touches. The bells. The bells. Check out http://cirencester.gov.uk/new-blog/2017/3/21/cirencester-market-place-creating-a-sense-of-place
This was a wonderful introduction to the town before we went on to visit the PortusWhitton and Pegasus offices, both conveniently located near each other. But quite a contrast in office age, size, layout, staff numbers, kind of projects undertaken and interior ‘ambience’ and working facilities. Jane and David guided us round PortusWhitton and Kathryn Ball and Radek Chanas organised the Pegasus visit. Time was just about enough to get a reasonable taster of the places and we all came away with good impressions. Thanks to both companies for allowing us access and most thanks to the named guides and other staff who made contributions. And to Allan Mitchell, the minibus driver!