There was a good turnout of the membership at the 2017 Edgar Wood Society Annual General Meeting, 2pm today. As well as the normal proceedings, society chair, David Morris, updated everyone on the recent THI grant offer for restoring Long Street Methodist Sunday School and the various events, research and other activities of the society over 2017. Continue reading “Edgar Wood Society AGM & Lecture 2017”
This evening, Edgar Wood Society chair, David Morris, gave an illustrated lecture to Chester Civic Trust entitled “Edgar Wood – that Remarkable Manchester Architect”. The event was held in the Grosvenor Museum, Chester and, afterwards, David joined a group who retired to a nearby pub for an enjoyable chat about Edgar Wood and his buildings. The Trust is now planning a visit to Middleton next year.
Edgar Wood’s restored Jubilee Park staircase with its unique curved 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. The photograph was taken by surveyor, Lynda Jubb, who oversaw the conservation work. It was funded by the Edgar Wood & Middleton THI.
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 and was known as the Jubilee Drinking Fountain.
Click Here for details of the history of the Jubilee Drinking Fountain and its restoration.
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. Continue reading “Total Focus at Andy’s photographic Workshop”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Whether you are you a budding architectural photographer or someone who just loves taking photographs of buildings, don’t miss this day course with one of the country’s top architectural cameramen.
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/
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.
Two articles on pots – Austrian art nouveau pottery and the paintings of Klimt concerns the first while English Arts & Crafts modernism concerns the second… Fin-de-Siècle Austrian Pottery Paired with Prints by Klimt and A potted history of studio ceramics …It’s interesting to compare the pots in each!
Glasgow School of Art restoration – Here are two interesting reports about the ongoing restoration of the school following the fire… US cotton mill helps Glasgow School of Art rise from ashes and Glasgow School of Art on target to be restored in just two years …(Nb. you have to click a survey box to see the article)
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”
Gustav Stickley III visits his famous grandfather’s Syracuse home – If you like American Arts & Crafts, this should interest you. The grandson of Gustav Stickley, now an old man, visits his grandfather’s house which he knew as a boy just before it is restored. Click here for the story and 27 photos.
Unaltered art deco semi for sale – there has been a flurry of stories about an unaltered modest 1930s house and its asking price. Here are two of them… The home that’s frozen in time and Art Deco house that’s been left untouched since the 1930s is now on sale
George Skipper’s Royal Arcade – This Norwich shopping arcade looks like it should be in Paris! It is one of a small number of English buildings which have something like a continental art nouveau expression.
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.
Gaudí and his Modernisme contemporaries – Here is an attractive overview of Barcelona’s art nouveau or Modernisme buildings. There are some colourful photos!