On August 12th thirty eight of us set off for Pownall and Bramhall Halls. It was a wonderful day with so many beautiful objects to admire. At Pownall the star of the show for many was the outstanding stained glass , probably by Carl Almquist of the Lancaster firm Shrigley and Hunt. Pownall also gives the opportunity to see the only known example of the Century Guild’s work in its original setting. Mackmurdo fireplaces, De Morgan tiles, Art Nouveau door hinges,- an absolute feast for the senses!
Then off to the recently restored Bramhall Hall, where in the 1880’s George Faulkner Armitage restored the ancient hall for the Neville family. The ethos of the Arts and Crafts movement, of which Armitage was an early exponent, fitted perfectly with the historic old hall, and Armitage did a magnificent job in seamlessly blending the two eras. Here again we saw some lovely craftwork in wood and metal.
At both places we had excellent, knowledgeable guides and we thank them for their welcome and enthusiasm.
After completing their eight weeks course, four of the ‘youngsters’ show off their certificates of attendance. A thank you to Karen of Pride Media Association for putting on the course in the lecture room of the EW centre. Karen would like to return in the future to put on similar courses. ‘Apps’ she will next year if not sooner.
It would be great to find a new sensitive use that can also conserve and restore this Edgar Wood masterpiece. For example, why not reinstate the lost Edgar Wood chimneys at the ends of the wings (see photo) and undertake historical paint analysis to restore Edgar Wood’s original internal colour scheme? Along with the Middleton and Hale designs, The First Church has the potential to put Manchester on the international art nouveau visitor trail.
The inspection for Middleton in Bloom takes place tomorrow, Thursday 20th July. The route takes the inspectors up Long Street and past Long St. Methodist Church and School. The EWS team have been out doing their bit to help and the garden is looking good with the lavender flowering at its peak. The Middleton in Bloom committee have provided plants and a planter for the front steps, for which we are grateful. A big than you to this group of volunteers for their work in improving the visual environment of the area.
Richard Fletcher delivered this afternoon’s Edgar Wood Society lecture on the subject of Lutyens in Lancashire.
It was a fascinating overview of Lutyens’ designs in the county, including his Grade I listed Rochdale Cenotaph and its cousin in Manchester. Rochdale also has the adjacent Post Office (but with an uncertain attribution) while Manchester has the impressive and definitely Lutyens Midland Bank, both white Portland stone buildings. Liverpool, on the other hand, has the huge crypt of Liverpool Cathedral which is just a fragment of the vast cathedral originally planned as Lutyens’ finest building. But it never came to be, apart for the large scale model now at Liverpool Museum(photo above by Mike Peelwww.mikepeel.net ). Richard’s talk brought to the fore many interesting connections and anecdotes about people and buildings and how each linked into the wider historical scene.
Perhaps the most striking of Lutyens’ designs is Abbey House, Furness Abbey, near Barrow, a large house/hotel designed to allow shipbuilders Vickers to entertain government ministers and sell them battleships! It’s very austere design almost has a battleship look about it.
The fascination with Frank Lloyd Wright continues and a new Long Read article in the Independentoutlines proposals for building one of his unbuilt designs in Somerset, a late work the O’Keefe House of 1947.
The Landmark Trust aims to raise £355,000 from the public in the next 12 months to save the Arts & Crafts Grade II* listed Winsford Cottage Hospital in Devon, which was designed by C. F. A. Voysey in his long low-lying architectural style.
A small group of Arts and Crafts enthusiasts from America, visited the Edgar Wood Centre to conclude their day in Manchester, under the guidance of Julian Holder (Salford University, formally of English Heritage). Earlier in the day their itinerary included the Rylands Library and the Beehive Mills in Ancoats.
Members of the Edgar Wood Society were up with the lark to open up at 6.30am for polling. The second time this week that the small lecture room has been in ‘commercial’ use. There is certainly a demand in the area for this size of room with easy access at the rear.
It could be a late supper for the Edgar Wood Society member who clears away the polling booth and locks up after an even longer day for the presiding officers!
The first of 8 sessions for getting the best out of your tablet (the computer type) for the young at heart, took place this morning in the small lecture room at the Edgar Wood Centre.
This is a free course run by Pride Media Association of Rochdale and was fully subscribed, the small numbers allowing for individual tutition. The location being chosen, because of the bright aspect of the room and the easy access.
We look forward to further courses at the centre, but book early.
It’s gratifying when owners of Edgar Wood buildings show a deep concern for the heritage under their care and this is especially true for Greystoke, a Grade II listed building in Hale, Cheshire, which the Edgar Wood Society is currently assisting with through its chair, David Morris.
Greystoke is one of Edgar Wood’s seven Hale houses. These wonderful house designs trace Edgar’s style as it developed from vernacular inspired Arts and Crafts to the very first art deco architecture. Greystoke was built in 1902 and with nearby The Homestead represents his more expressionist arts and crafts manner.
The owner has liaised with the Edgar Wood historian and architect, John Archer, for many years and this shows in the quality of the work that has been done previously. The new works will involve restoring a series of lost features using old photographs and the society’s knowledge of related buildings and features.
Japanese art had enormous influence on art nouveau and the British Museum’s Hokusai – beyond the Great Wave exhibition is literally making waves of enthusiasm this summer. But what if you can’t get down to London? Well did you know that Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery also has the Great Wave as well Hokusai’s ‘Red Fuji’?They are not isolated prints, either, but part of the country’s second largest Japanese print collection which also includes much of 60-Odd Provinces and 53 Stations of the Tokaido Road series by that other great Japanese master, Hiroshige.
Members of the EWS were busy in the heat of today getting the garden in ship shape for Middleton in Bloom, the judges pass the frontage of the garden. If you can spot the difference in the two lawn areas, before and after, then our efforts have not been wasted.
Our fifth group of the season, the College of the 3rd Age, Crumpsall , visited the Church and School Rooms this morning and were welcomed on the steps by the tour guide of the day, Christine. Previous group visits include a group of fourteen led by Manchester Tour Guide Sibby, who is also a committee member of the EWS. Two groups of over twenty from the Oldham U3A members, a photographic group organised by Pride Media Arts and the Rochdale Circle. If you would like to organise a tour around the Church or the Golden Cluster buildings or Edgar Wood properties, get in touch via the artsandcraftschurch.org web site or tel. 0161 6530512