IHBC – AGM

The Norh West branch of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) held their AGM in the restored former school rooms of Long Street Methodist Church on Thursday 15th November.  Their program began at 2.15pm with a talk by EWS chairman David Morris, followed by a tour of Edgar Wood buildings in the local area. The AGM started after their return and was followed by food served at 5.30 in the hall, by Jubilee Catering. To conclude the evening the group returned to the lecture room to watch the film ‘A Painted Veil’ telling the story of Edgar Wood. DVDs are available for purchase for £5 plus postage a real bargain. If you are interested in making a purchase, get in contact at : edgarwoodsociety@gmail.com

An Afternoon With the Edgar Wood Society

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.

Preparations for Visit to the Edgar Wood Centre, Manchester

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. 

It’s Never to Young to Learn About Edgar

 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. 

MP Makes a Surprise Visit

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.

An interesting time at today’s Heritage Open Day

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.

Heritage Open days

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

 

Unveiling of the Opening Plaque

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”

The Clean Team Move In

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. 

External Restoration is Almost Done

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!

 

The Scaffolding has Gone

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.

 

 

 

Arts and Crafts Tour in Manchester Central

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.

 

Meet the Architect Day (incl. cakes)

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)”

Redecoration well under-way – original Edgar Wood colours discovered

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”

Restoration Update – June 11 – 15

This week work began on the rear vestibule, the picture shows the extent of the dry rot in the door frame and roof timbers, it is an extensive job. The scaffold on Long Street has started to be removed and the rest should follow shortly. In the garden roses continue to bloom and behind the scaffold the render is complete, most of the windows are now repaired and glazed. When the window frames and gutters  have been painted at the high level the scaffold will to be taken down in stages. 

Successful Edgar Wood Arts & Crafts day

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.

Restoration – It All Hinges on the Door

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?