The Restored Jubilee Park Staircase and Exedra is Officially Opened

Edgar Wood’s restored Jubilee Park staircase and exedra was officially opened at 12 noon on 13th October, 2017 by the Mayor of Rochdale, Councillor Ian Duckworth. Also in attendance were MP liz McInnes, Mayoress Christine Duckworth, Chairman of the THI board Mr. Malcolm Alan and Councillor June West.

This was, in fact, the very first official opening. The original opening ceremony was cancelled because the benefactor, T. B. Wood, Edgar Wood’s father, was taken seriously ill and it was never rescheduled. At that time, the staircase had a unique art deco drinking fountain at the top.

Click Here for details of the history of the exedra and restoration use the link given below.

Total Focus at Andy’s photographic Workshop

The allotted places were filled for Andy’s ‘How to Photograph Buildings’ workshop. Technical, practical and food were all covered, but not necessarily in that order. Within an hour of finishing I have had emails,  “Hi Geoff, please thank Andy on my behalf, he is inspirational and I learned a great deal”. “It was brilliant and Terry and I enjoyed it very much indeed. The lunch was delicious too”.  If you only considered coming on this event, you missed a real treat. Thank you Andy for giving us the benefit of your knowledge, talent and enthusiasm and Cliff for the featured image of Andy.

Edgar Wood houses listed as (possibly) the first art nouveau houses in the world

Hillcrest and Briarhill, 37-39 Rochdale Road, Middleton were built by Edgar Wood in 1892 as ‘new art’ town houses, next door to Redcroft and Fencegate, 33-35 Rochdale Road, which were a matching pair of ‘country houses’.

After detailed research by the research group of the Edgar Wood Society for Heritage Trust for the North West, Hillcrest and Briarhill have now been listed grade II, despite their poor condition. They have enormous historical importance as possibly the worlds first art nouveau houses. Edgar Wood’s design was published in the UK, USA and Europe in 1893 and it pre-dates by a year what are generally considered to be the ‘world’s first’ art nouveau designs by Belgium’s Victor Horta and Paul Hankar.

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What is Destroying the Lawn in the Church Garden?

Extensive damage is occurring to the lawn as can be seen in the images. It has been suggested that it may be foxes, cats, badgers or birds. Whatever animal it is and what it is looking for is not the 20p piece, this just for scale. Any suggestion and cure would be welcomed.

Banner Comes Down on Heritage Open Days

The Heritage Open Days banner was taken down at 5.00pm after another successful three days at the Arts & Crafts Church with in excess of 150 visitors. At 2.00pm a group of 15 weathered the rain to do a walking tour of the Edgar Wood buildings and the Sam Bamford monument. It is good to know that Middleton and its heritage is being recognised in the wider area with visitors making a special journey down from Askham in Furness and many others from outside the Greater Manchester area. One written comment was “Middleton needs to be on the cultural tourist trail” we all agree with this.

A big than you to the volunteers that helped to make the three days so rewarding for the visitors, which is reflected in many comments on the visitors sheet. The next event is on Wed 13 Sept see the following link.

http://middletonheritage.co.uk/events/the-making-of-modern-middleton-part-1

Heritage Open Days Gets Off To A Busy Start

A busy and worthwhile opening to the first day of the heritage weekend at the Arts & Crafts Church with over 50 visitors travelling from around the region, despite the heavy down pours. When the sun did shine various architectural features lit up to reveal their full splendour.

It was good to hear the visitors say how impressed they were by this beautiful building.

Heritage Open Days Only 5 Days Away

The Arts and Crafts Church – Long Street Methodist Church and School Rooms will be open for visitors on Friday, Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday 1-4pm, September 8-10th.

For details of other places to visit in the area, click on the links below or copy into your browser:

www.heritageopendays.org.uk

www.middletonheritage.co.uk

Mumbai art deco

Mumbai art deco – Increasingly, towns and cities with art deco buildings are beginning to value them.  Mumbai is India’s largest city with over two hundred art deco buildings and, in this regard, is second only to Miami, USA. Here are two recent articles with photos about Mumbai’s art deco…  Mumbai’s Art Deco buildings survive against the odds  and  Take a virtual tour of Mumbai’s Art Deco treasures  …There’s also a website dedicated to the city’s art deco… http://www.artdecomumbai.com/

Restoration of the Wesleyan School – Update

The Greater Manchester Building Preservation Trust’s THI grant scheme to restore the Long Street Wesleyan School has been racing along these last few months, headed by architect, Lisa Mcfarlane of Seven Architecture. The finance is almost all in place, the work has been tendered and a contractor chosen. Now the final details are being nailed down.

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Grand Day Out – Pownall and Bramall Halls

On August 12th thirty eight people set off on the Edgar Wood Society’s visit to 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 gave us 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! Have a look through the gallery below. Continue reading “Grand Day Out – Pownall and Bramall Halls”

Willow Tea Rooms update

Willow Tea Rooms update – The last time I saw Mackintosh’s Willow Tea Rooms, they were looking a little seedy. Now the exterior is fully restored with the interior to follow (via an eye-watering restoration budget). Here are two articles with photos bringing you up to date…  Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s restored Willow Tea Rooms revealed  and  Willow Tea Rooms will complete stunning transformation with £4m lottery boost.

Tablet Course (computers) for the Over 50s Comes to an End

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.