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To celebrate the 9th centenary of the commencement of construction of the present cathedral, a conference on ‘Engineering a cathedral’ was held in Durham in September. The formal papers, ranging from accounts of the history to analyses of structural behaviour and discussions of design and maintenance, were preprinted with a foreword by the Bishop’. There were also less formal opening and closing remarks by Dr Rowland Mainstone and the Bishop. Published here is a summary of Dr Mainstone’s remarks:
I have been asked to look at the wider engineering background. The papers most concerned with structural behaviour analyse it - or envisage its analysis - in terms of our current theoretic understanding. This understanding, so necessary to most current design, is very largely the product of the past 300 years. If nothing like it
existed 900 years ago, what, if anything, was there in its place? Gravity acted then as now and was no more forgiving. The artist could imagine and paint a new Jerusalem almost as he pleased. But the builder could not if his work was to stand.
Castle Mall, an urban shopping centre of 110 000 m2 retail, services and carpark space, opened in September. It has been constructed on a site immediately south of the Norman Motte and Bailey Castle - a site that, 4 years ago, was a surface carpark and criss-crossed by roads. Now on the surface it is a city centre park with a 100 m glazed pavilion, boundary roads and some new shopping buildings on a scale with the surrounding two- and three-storey structures. Below the surface is a four-level retail centre extending across the entire 2.5 ha site. It has been constructed up to 20 m into the ground on a site of significant archaeological interest.
A.D.W. Broomhead and W.J. Grose
Part 3: introduction
The 1993 examination has proved to be the most successful in terms of the overall passrate (45.1 % ) since 1981. The number of candidates was 942, a decrease of 123 compared to last year and, the first time in 4 years, fewer than 1000 sat the examination. The number of UK candidates was 574 (a decrease of 100 compared to 1992), of whom 269 passed, giving a pass-rate of 46.9 %, an increase of 3.4 %. The most encouraging statistic this year was the 12.8 % increase in the overseas pass-rate. The
number of overseas candidates was 373, of whom 157 passed, producing a pass-rate of 42.1 %. Furthermore, 121 candidates passed the examination out of a total of 271 at the Hong Kong centre, a pass-rate of 44.6 %. The increase in this figure may be due in part to a liaison between the North Thames Branch and the Hong Kong Representatives with respect to an examination preparation course held earlier in the year.