Nick Berry from Viridor Credits arrived on schedule to look around the school rooms following the restoration (we think it was an inspection of the work) although he didn’t say so. Viridor Credits assisted in supporting the project with a grant and we found them helpful throughout the process and the GMBPT are grateful for their input.
As Nick left the building thirty, year two pupils arrived from Elmwood Junior School, also designed by Edgar Wood. They were being ‘building detectives’ and had previously visited the Parish Church and the Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, both of which have connections to EW. The children looked around the Church and answered ‘searching’ questions before looking around the school rooms. They were especially surprised by how small the classrooms around the hall were compared with their school classrooms.
It was good to have the children for a visit and we hope they enjoyed there time with us and that we may see them on another visit in the future.
The afternoon started with a talk by Dr. Julian Holder of the University of Oxford and EWS member. Title: Exotic Influences on the Arts and Crafts Movement. In an excellent lecture, Julian demonstrated how the English Free Style of architecture emerged from the historic styles of Gothic and vernacular buildings, which had inspired the early Arts and Crafts Movement. Our own Edgar Wood moved from designing buildings influenced by historic and vernacular styles, to a style of his own that is not easily categorised. Julian includes Wood with the English Free Style architects. We look forward to another lecture by Julian on this subject.
The Society AGM followed after a short refreshment break chaired in the absence of David Morris, by Rob Trueblood. There was a good turn out for the talk and business meeting with several members offering to join the committee.
Yesterday on Tuesday 18th September two classes of seven year old children from Boarshaw Primary School visited Long Street Methodist Church. On route they looked at Edgar Wood’s house on Rochdale Road, before visiting the Parish Church and then via the park to Long Street. In the previous week Mr. Wood and his associate had visited the school to tell the children what Middleton was like in his day as a boy and how things had changed.
The boys and girls were attentive and well behaved during their visit, but by lunch time they were ready for their packed sandwiches, before their long walk back to school.
Heywood and Middleton MP Liz McInnes paid a surprise visit today. Liz was unable to attend the opening on the 5th September, because of Parliamentary business, so she came along to the Heritage Open Day this morning. Liz is a member of the Edgar Wood Society and was delighted by the restoration work. We were please to point out the window that she had donated in tribute to her friend and predecessor Jim Dobbin MP.
The society appreciates the support we have had from Liz, in our restoration endeavours.
Although the weather kept many visitor away we did have a special day and time to talk to the visitors who had close connections with the Church and School Rooms. A cub and scout from the 1970’s had fond memories of the activities and leaders of the group and remembered overnight sleep overs on the balcony. Two sisters Sheila and Glynis were both married at Long Street, Sheila in Sept. 1963 and Glynis in March 1967. Sheila’s children were also Christened at the Church. Joan arrived with three programs from Gilbert and Sullivan productions, Mikado 1959, Pinafore 1960 and The Gondoliers 1961. Joan is clearly named in the School Girls Chorus of the operatic and it was good to have time to talk about other members of the cast, which we knew.
Come and see the restored schools on Heritage Open Days 2018.
Friday and Saturday 7th and 8th Sept. open 10.30am to 4pm and Sunday 9th. 1-4pm.
Friday and Saturday 14th and 15th Sept. open 10.30am-4pm and Sunday 16th 1-4pm
Last night’s event of the official opening of the restoration was excellent. There were approximately 150 guests in attendance, with many travelling several hours to attend. The evening started with welcome by the Chair of the Greater Manchester Building Preservation Trust, followed by presentations from the Chair of the THI Board Malcolm Allen, Lisa McFarlane (architect) and Warren Marshall (GMBPT Trustee). Mr. Billy Sheerin ( Depuy Mayor) thanked all the agencies involved on behalf of RMBC. Continue reading “Unveiling of the Opening Plaque”
In preparation for the restoration opening night tomorrow, by the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, the volunteers have been in getting the place ship shape for the event. I bet this is the first time that a lead architect (Lisa) has been seen showing off her a mopping skills.
Not quite the same angles but compare the photograph from Saturday 1st September 2018 above with the early 1900s below. The door canopies have been partly fitted and require their brackets so temporary props are in position. The door plates to match the ones on the left image will then be fitted. Watch this space!
After nine months the scaffolding has been removed from the building to reveal the restored frontage of the lecture room with its leaded lights again after plain glass was installed many years ago. All the other windows have been restored (excluding the church) together with the rain water goods and render and doesn’t it look splendid?
In the restoration of the 1970’s an error was made to the render on the Ladies Parlour, they forgot to do it. Compare the photograph from the early 1900’s with that of 2017. The mistake of the 70’s has been corrected this time around.
Sibby an Edgar Wood Society committee member led a guided tour of 25 on a city centre Arts and Crafts tour. A sell out with the funds being donated to the EWS.
The start was at the war memorial in the Victoria Station, sculpture by George Wragg then on to the Eric Gill bas relief on the Cathedral 1930’s extension. Moving on to the Boar War memorial in St. Ann’s Square followed by Lutyen’s bank on King St. We also found Edgar Wood’s office on King St. (picture above) and the site of his previous office on Cross St. On route we visited the John Ryland’s Library then on to Albert Square to find a fine example of the work of John Cassidy, who designed and made many sculptures for the city.
The staff at the Midland Hotel kindly allowed us to view a beautiful window by George Wragg, before we crossed the road to Lutyen’s war memorial. The tour concluded at this point although several of the group went on to the Art Gallery to see the Annie Swynnerton exhibition, which is highly recommended.
As part of the THI complimentary initiatives, the Greater Manchester Building Preservation Trust arranged for the restoration Architect Lisa McFarlane of Seven Architects to put on a session to explain and show the ongoing work that is being carried out in the school rooms. Little did we know that another of Lisa’s talents is baking. Along with her presentation she arrived with cake stands and chocolate and raspberry muffins and lemon cup cakes freshly baked. Continue reading “Meet the Architect Day (incl. cakes)”
Remember this from February, spot the difference 5 months on! Continue reading “Restoration – What a Difference”
As June closes, it has been one of the busiest months of the year on all fronts. Apart from the restoration work and contractors’ meetings there have been five Caring for Middleton’s Heritage events and three tour groups. Continue reading “June Was a Busy Month”
Forty plus members of the Chester Civic Trust visited the Arts and Crafts Church today and toured the EW buildings in the Conservation area. This was the follow up to David Morris’s talk to the group earlier in the year. Continue reading “Chester Civic Trust visit”
Door frames are having new sections of timber spliced into position, but the original hinges can and have been restored. These are not your ordinary common butt hinges, They are sprung hinges that allow for either a push or a pull opening. One hinge is being fitted into the new section of wood before being joined into the door frame. The hinge was made in Eccles by the Rotector Company (Protector Co Eccles – is there a faint P) in Edgar’s day. Does anyone know anything about this company?
It was good to see Kirstie an Edgar Wood Society committee member on a flying visit from Berlin where she is now based. Although based abroad she still helps the society to produced leaflets, posters and information boards, by profession being a graphic artist and web site designer. On this occasion she was discussing work with the Greater Manchester Building Preservation Trust. It is a pity she can not stay for the committee meeting on Thursday. She did however have a ‘sneaky’ look at the building work and to her left is a newly rendered section with its final ‘sponged’ finish.
It’s going to be a tight schedule, but in eight weeks the school rooms should be fully restored, some members of Stone Edge were even working on site this morning (Saturday) in order to keep within the time frame for completion. Continue reading “Restoration – 8 Weeks to Completion”