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.