There is a film crew and a load of extras outside of County Hall. They are filming for the TV series George Gently which has been set in and around Durham over the last ten years. There are some old vehicles, an ambulance, a Bedford van and a black Transit with Tyneside Office Stationers written on the side in gold lettering. There are people wandering around with placards while a brazier is ready to be lit, suggesting that the scene is based around some sort of strike action.
I can see them from the fourth floor window. The crew has taken over the member’s car park as well as the one down the side of the building. I’m always amazed at how many people it takes to make a television programme.
Apparently this is going to be the last series. Everything must come to an end and this is probably for the best. We are working hard to move out of County Hall into some new accommodation and where would that leave the programme without the building to film? They would quickly run out of architectural references in the city. Most of the buildings of that period will soon be gone. The age of brutalism is over.
I know County Hall is not the best of sites in which to work. It has seen better days but then haven’t we all. It’s old, expensive to run, not suitable for a modern organisation and full of asbestos yet it has played a major role in my life over the last seven years. It will not be just the TV people that will miss the building. A little bit of me will always have a soft spot for what was, in its day, Durham’s flagship building.
Someone has shouted action. I looked out of the window and they were shaking the van form side to side. It’s all kicking off downstairs. I’d better call the police!