Everywhere you go in the town, there is noise, dust and havoc. No sooner does one public building project end than another begins. Whether it’s the public baths on the river or the new forum in the centre of the town, people walking along the streets have to avoid men at work.
With the new forum and basilica underway, our local reporter went to see what Londoners think of it all:
Rufus Callisunus, a prosperous trader supports business as usual…
My business is based in the forum – I have an office there. It makes good sense to keep the old forum going - they can’t shut it down! The plan is for it to stay in business while the new one is built around it. I can put up with a little inconvenience until the new one is built.
They’re being a bit ambitious though, the new one seems overly large and they don’t seem to be able to say how long it will take to finish. Someone said it might take as long as 30 years - I sincerely hope not! Mind you, with all these construction workers in the town, I’ve been able to build up my stock and my business is now a nice little earner.
Tretia Maria, a local housewife complains about the upheaval…
How are we meant to put up with all this noise? All the hammering and that chinking noise as they chip away at the stone they’re using – and the workmen! You can’t walk past the site along the Via Decumana without them shouting rude things – I’m a married woman and can’t believe their language!
But it’s the mess they make, you have to clamber over the heaps of stones, stacks of clay tiles and avoid the pits where they mix the mortar. I’m not sure how it’s going to look – a bit like the present one, I suppose, but it will certainly be visible from all parts of the town. Not sure I like the thought of that – towering above us, it might make people think that they’re being watched by the authorities all the time.