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.
Edgar Wood Society’s David Morris met up with (left to right) Bill, Danny (and his dog) and Pete to see how Edgar Wood’s First Church was faring in its restoration and to assist with some conservation issues.
The Edgar Wood Society is visiting this Saturday and Danny wanted the building to look its best (as far as you can while restoring it). The external redecoration is well under-way and the new garden planting is looking good. All future lighting will be fixed in the garden not on the buiding. The latest set of works included the removal of vast amounts of cabling, trunking and electrical fittings, from when the Centre was used as offices. Two modern radiators have also been removed, exposing more of the original marble panelling and now the historic skirting boards are also being restored. The interior is starting to look very good.
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)”
July saw a flurry of paint brushes as the restoration moved onto the redecoration of the interior. Colour sampling by David Morris brought to light the original Edgar Wood colours for all but two of the rooms. The image above shows the original scheme for the Ladies Parlour which was painted in a William Morris style grey-green. The School Hall was found to have eleven coats of paint… at one time the walls were painted bright red/orange! Edgar Wood’s colour was pale blue making for a fresh and relaxed interior. See the coloured up photos below… the old colour scheme is on the left and the new one is on the right. Continue reading “Redecoration well under-way – original Edgar Wood colours discovered”
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”
David Morris treated 15 Edgar Wood enthusiasts to a day of visits and talks about the art and craft of the great Manchester architect.
They first visited Jubilee Library, built in 1887 and one of the earliest arts & crafts libraries in the country, blending rustic oak timber framing with state-of-the-art reinforced concrete.
At St. Leonard’s Church people saw stunning arts and crafts windows by a host of famous designers, including Christopher Whall and A. K. Nicholson. Edgar Wood designed the beautifully traditional roof and oversaw the conservation of the building in 1907. His crafted drawing of the medieval rood screen showed how it was before conservation.
Everyone then went to view Edgar Wood’s 1906 redesign of Jubilee Park which had the old Middleton church crowning the landscape. The art deco fountain awaits restoration but the ceremonial staircase is now looking good. David later showed slides on how the fountain and park could be restored to their original art deco design.
The fourth visit was to 36 Mellalieu Street. It was designed the same time in 1906 and shoes a perfect blend of advanced modern styling and old vernacular features.
Edgar Wood’s creation of early art deco styling was much in evidence in the afternoon slideshows as was his pioneering of art nouveau and thr arts anf crafts.
These buildings illustrated the early and mature phases of Edgar Wood’s architecture. His stylish middle period was also much in evidence in the venue of the day, the Arts & Crafts church, Long Street Methodist.
The event was relaxed and informal with an exhibition of Edgar Wood relatef artefacts, books and paintings provided by the Edgar Wood Society.
David thanks Geoff Grime, Dave Brennand, Tim Hill and the staff of Jubilee Library for making their buildings accessible and Mark Watson for providing the paintings.