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.

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.

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. 

A Visitor From Berlin

It was good to see Kirstie an Edgar Wood Society committee member on a flying visit from Berlin where she is now based. Although based abroad she still helps the society to produced leaflets, posters and information boards, by profession being a graphic artist and web site designer. On this occasion she was discussing work with the Greater Manchester Building Preservation Trust. It is a pity she can not stay for the committee meeting on Thursday. She did however have a ‘sneaky’ look at the building work and to her left is a newly rendered section with its final ‘sponged’ finish.

 

Steam Traction Engines & Heritage Fair

The Edgar Wood Society were at the Victoria Baths Heritage Fair today. The stall took up a central position in the male 2nd class pool, but there was nothing 2nd class about their display. Thank you to the  members who gave up a day to promote EW and the work of the society.

First Church of Christ Scientist

The Edgar Wood Society assists the conservation of Edgar Wood buildings wherever it can and, over the years, has met many owners. This is the wonderful First Church, Manchester, which is to have a new use for events and weddings. The photo shows the owner, Mr. Danny Samuels (centre), Bill Wingrove and P.R. expert Becky Roberts with the famous organ screen in the background.

An Evening Visit by the Middleton Rotarians

The first evening tour in the dark (only outside) took place this evening. Our visitors were the Middleton Rotary and their President, Janice Powell is on the left of tour guide Christine. A general overview was given in the Church, followed by a virtual tour of EW’s buildings in Middleton by the way of a Power Point presentation. Several members had previous ties with the building, one brought his daughter to the Brownies in the early 1980s and another met his wife here in ___ ? a long time ago.

If you would like more information about the Rotary, their web site is www.middletonrotary.org.uk

Restored Jubilee Park Staircase is Officially Opened

 

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.

 

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. Continue reading “Total Focus at Andy’s photographic Workshop”

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

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.

Continue reading “Restoration of the Wesleyan School – Update”

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”

Middleton in Bloom

The inspection for Middleton in Bloom takes place tomorrow, Thursday 20th July. The route takes the inspectors up Long Street and past Long Street Methodist Church and School. The Edgar Wood Society 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 thank you  to this group of volunteers for their work in improving the visual environment of the area.

‘Lutyens in Lancashire’ lecture by Richard Fletcher

Richard showing an early photo of Lutyens’ Abbey House

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 Peel www.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.

Continue reading “‘Lutyens in Lancashire’ lecture by Richard Fletcher”