Hold the back page! Judge hacked down in penalty area by midget builders in mystery car as council takes five years to fill a bath! Well, sort of …

It's all a bit of a trial

Reaching a verdict on the Wembley steelwork dispute was always going to be a difficult task for Mr Justice Jackson, but few expected him to hobble into court on crutches come the day of judgment. Predictably, rumours immediately began circulating that his Lordship may have cracked a metatarsal while attempting to establish the merits of the Wembley pitch.

His half-hearted explanation, however, was:

"I have injured my achilles tendon; I am not pretending to be a footballer." Disappointingly, this is probably a little closer to the truth.

A nice long bath

Flowery rhetoric is clearly the order of the day at Bath and North-East Somerset council. As the Bath Spa project is finally washed ashore, the council has grown more bullish about its opening this summer - despite being five years late and £37m over budget. "It's a busy time as we come to the end of a 35-year drought during which people have been unable to make use of our unique natural heritage," said council member Nicole O'Flaherty this week. "But that long drought ends this summer." Like the good people of Bath, I'm not holding my breath.

A Vauxhall Penguin?

A PR working for Atkins called recently to ask one of my colleagues about the public perception of the megaconsultant. His question is this: "If Atkins were a car, what make would it be?" This is a bit of a poser, and one to which I am yet to provide an answer, but it got me thinking about the rest of the industry. Foster and Partners would obviously be a Rolls-Royce, whereas Laing O'Rourke is probably more of a Humvee and Bill Dunster Architects is a hemp-powered traction engine. If you have any better ideas, please email hansom@cmpi.biz.

Little Britain
Little Britain

If you think those two well-known buildings you see above are impossibly close, its because you’re not looking at a picture of London at all, but rather Miniland London, which has been built by Skanska at Windsor’s Legoland. “Today’s model builders are tomorrow’s designers, architects and engineers,” says David Fison, chief exec of the same. The exhibit apparently took 24,000 hours to create. By the way, what do you think of Skanska’s answer to site skills shortages?

Our boys go in

This week's kick-off to the World Cup is in danger of being overshadowed today by Building's campaign to defend its Willmott Dixon five-a-side crown, and consultant AYH's charity tournament, both taking place at the old Highbury stadium. The firms will play against former Arsenal players and celebrities, including Phil Daniels, Royle Family star Ralph Little and Spandau Ballet singer Tony Hadley. Full reports next week.

Bowker's final word

"We are at a crucial and exciting time in the development of Building Schools for the Future: The first of our ‘wave one' local authorities have announced their preferred bidders, and we are very much getting to the business-delivery end of the programme." So reads the inspiring message on the Partnerships for Schools website, directly under the smiling visage of Richard Bowker, chief exec, who is himself excitedly getting to the crucial business of jumping ship for National Express in September.

Credit: Colin Wheeler

Credit: Colin Wheeler