Not to sound too pompous, but we get quite a lot of work from local councils and other organisations here at Inches Furnishings. We’ve been contracted as consultants, makers and installers by these institutions for several years. They know who we are. They know where to find us. They trust us to do a good job. We’ve never missed a deadline. And we’ve never let them down. So when Kirklees Council asked us to visit Batley Town Hall to measure up a “small job”, we were there the next day.

The project turned out to be the creation of a pair of ceremonial curtains for a row of framed and wall mounted documents. These documents are reproductions of the Charter of Incorporation of the Borough of Batley by Queen Victoria in 1868 and the unveiling ceremony by Kirklees Mayor, Councillor Gwen Lowe marks the 150th anniversary of this historic event. The original documents are in the Kirklees archive in Huddersfield, and you’re all welcome to go and see those too if it takes your fancy.

Following Inches policy, we planned the project to ensure that there was plenty of time between the final hanging of the curtains and the actual ceremony, just in case there were any snags. It’s very rare that there are, but it always pays to stay on the safe side.

The biggest problem we had with time turned out to be down to the actual hanging process. I kept getting sidetracked into reading the old documents. The content itself is quite fascinating and the old-fashioned copper-plate script is also really aesthetically pleasing. This wasn’t the biggest reason though. Due to old age, the documents have incurred quite a lot wear and tear. So much so that some of the copy is missing. Irritatingly, I found myself trying to figure out what the missing words were.

Eventually, the curtains were up and ready to go. Soon afterwards, a steady dribble of people seemed to be “just passing” and stopped to “try them out”. There’s something engagingly tactile about ceremonial curtains. I suppose it’s a little like the champagne bottle and ship scenario – just a lot less violent – and less messy. Perhaps the revealer imagines her/himself as the king or queen unveiling a pivotally important memorial. Whatever goes on in the mind of the would-be master of ceremonies, it never fails to raise a smile. Maybe we ought to offer the installation of a ceremonial curtain as part of our domestic services. What do you think?

The actual ceremony with the visiting dignitary went without a hitch, which is great news for everyone involved. And even though this was a “small job”, the results formed a central role in an occasion of some moment, as well as giving pleasure to umpteen passing daydreamers several days prior. We also took great satisfaction (as we always do) with a job well done.

To sum up, even though this was a “small job”, I dare-say this all goes to prove the old adage; it’s not the size that counts – it’s what you do with it that matters.