21 May 2008,

Pendleton ‘Topping Out’ Ceremony

Pendleton 'Topping Out' Ceremony - 22nd May 2008

A variation on the usual form of the 'Topping Out' ceremony took place on Friday 9th May 2008 at the new Pendleton Health Centre based on Broadwalk, Pendleton.

Ian Mills - Regional Operations Director for Laing O'Rourke welcomed all the guests to the event and outlined the history of the Topping Out ceremony and informed everyone that as the new Health Centre revolves around Children's services it was appropriate  local children were involved with the Ceremony.

As a result of this the children of St James Roman Catholic Primary School and St Paul's Primary School contributed as part of their syllabus by putting items into the capsule.  The capsule contains information relating to the local community, the building, those who built it and time sensitive items which will be reopened in 30 years time.  This replaced the traditional laying of a branch from the Yew Tree which is supposed to ward off evil spirits.

The Chair of Salford PCT Professor Eileen Fairhurst welcomed all guests who included local residents and the children from the two schools involved to the ceremony.  Professor Fairhurst stated that this Health Centre is vital to Pendleton due to Children's Outpatient facilities being transferred from Pendlebury Children's Hospital to the new Health Centre.  It will also provide specialist services for Children and young people.  In addition, the centre will accommodate Pendleton Library and facilities for a number of community services vital to the area.

Cllr. John Merry (Leader of Salford City Council) gave a few words of thanks to Laing O'Rourke, MaST LIFTCo, Salford PCT and others for giving Pendleton a Health Centre to be proud of.

Clive Pitt (CEO of MaST LIFTCo) said a few very interesting words about the traditions of 'Topping Out' ceremonies and life in Salford over the years and how they have changed.  He gave thanks to the various teams for their Partnership during the construction period.

Pendleton Health Centre is due for completion in November 2008.  It is a most impressive 3 storey building with distinctive window shading to help keep sunlight from entering the building.