Heritage Open Days

Heritage  Open days got off to a slow start on Friday morning, but picked up in the afternoon and today.  Visitors from Australia were welcome  (only travelled from Manchester) where they are working for a few years, to see how we  Poms do things before returning home. If architecture isn’t your thing then the garden was alive, here are two insects to identify (not their generic names).  If you have not visited , you have still time to do so, tomorrow  1.00 – 4.00pm and next Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Also note a date in your diary, on Thursday 26 September at 7.30pm a talk by Robert Poole on Peterloo, will take place in the hall of the EdgarWood Rooms. This is a Middleton Archaeological  Society event and cost £3 for none members.

Heritage Open Days at Long Street Methodist Church, Middleton M24 5UE

Visit the Arts & Craft’s Church free of charge at  Heritage Open Days!Open on the following days in September…

  • Friday 13th – 10am to 4pm
  • Saturday 14th  – 10am to 4pm, 2pm Guided tour of nearby Edgar Wood buildings
  • Sunday 15th  – 1pm to 4pm, 2pm Guided tour of nearby Edgar Wood buildings
  • Friday 20th – 10am to 4pm
  • Saturday 21st – 10am to 4pm, 2pm Guided tour of the Peterloo Sam Bamford Trail
  • Sunday 15th – 1pm to 4pm, 2pm Guided tour of the Peterloo Sam Bamford Trail

Long Street Methodist Church & School is an Arts & Crafts masterpiece by Manchester architect, Edgar Wood. An indescribable blend of rustic expressionism and Art Nouveau abstraction,  it announced a radical new architecture when built in 1900.

The Peterloo Sam Bamford Trail celebrates this year’s theme ‘People Power‘ to mark the 200th anniversary of the  Peterloo  Massacre.  Led by Sam Bamford expert Dave Lees.

How to get there…

Car – SATNAV – Long Street Methodist Church, Lever Street, Middleton, Manchester. M24 5UE

Access by car from outside the area is via the M60 and M62 which provide main routes from the north, south, east and west. Car parking is at the rear on Lever Street.

Bus – The No. 17 bus between Manchester and Rochdale passes adjacent along Long Street (alight at Jubilee Park/Middleton Library) and Middleton Bus Station is also within walking distance.

Train – The nearest railway station is Mills Hill, a mile and a half east of Middleton centre. It lies on the Caldervale Line between Manchester and Leeds.

Wheelchair Access – Due to substantial changes in levels across the site, wheelchair access is presently limited to around 50% of the interior and not the garden. Disabled toilets are available.

The Society Visit the Former First Church of Christ Scientist

Many thanks to David Morris for leading a great visit to the former First Church of Christ Scientist last Friday evening.  Also many thanks to the building’s owner Danny for allowing us to look round and for the hospitality provided.  Edgar Wood’s First Church of Christ Scientist is looking splendid following recent restorations to allow it to be used for weddings and other events. As always David gave a most interesting account of how the building we see today came into being, with interesting plans and drawings taken from the archives.  Pevsner said of this building that it is ‘a work unmatched for originality in the country’.

Ramsbottom History Society Visit

Members of the Ramsbottom History Society visited the church and school rooms this morning and after lunch in the Old Boar’s Head, were conducted on a tour of the Conservation Area and the Edgar Wood properties.                                                                                                                        If you would like details of a visit or tour, please get in touch via the web site.

 

The Clearing Team Move In

In preparation for Andy taking images of the nave of the Arts and Crafts Church, which we wanted to look in its ‘pristine’ state, the nave was emptied of cupboards and the bits and pieces that accumulate over the months.  On completion of the new Edgar Wood web site, some of the images will be featured.

A Tour Group and a Wedding

It was a busy afternoon on Sunday, Sibby (Manchester tour guide and EWS committee member) arrived shortly before the wedding of Emma and Mathew to let her group have a ‘sneaky’ look at the Church and school rooms shortly before the wedding guests started to  arrive. Peggy the dog showed an interest in the garden, but wasn’t for signing up to EWS membership. The garden and encompassing buildings provided a good back drop for the photographs. The weather was kind and the grooms men were in fine form.

A Day out at Lindley

Members of the Edgar Wood Society (Middleton) crossed the border on Saturday for the day and were met by representatives of the EWS, Huddersfield group, who guided us through the back alleys of Lindley via the Methodist Church, Clock Tower, Briacourt and other buildings by EW and those associated with the Sykes family. Thank you to John Rumsby, David Verguson and David Griffiths for their in depth knowledge and giving up their Saturday in making the trip such a success. After coffee in the old Methodist Church we moved through to  EW’s Chancel extension to the ‘new’ Methodist Church. All the crafts you would expect to see are represented, wood, stone and metalwork. Continue reading “A Day out at Lindley”

Not Seen From This Angle Before

Andy Marshall, EWS committee member and “…one of the country’s leading architectural photographers”. (Manchester Evening News) was in the Church the other day taking preliminary shots for the new Edgar Wood webb site, which is in development. To see more of Andy’s work go to www.andymarshall.co/index

A New EWS Member of the Future!

Nick (committee member and researcher for the society) was back in the UK with Rita for the Christening of their daughter Maya, a member of the next generation perhaps? There is not an Arts and Crafts property in the country that Nick as not heard of or knows about and now living in Finland his horizons have widened. Not only as committee representatives, but also as friends, Chairman David Morris, researcher Richard Fletcher and Christine and Geoff Grime were present at this pleasurable occasion. We extent the Society’s best wishes to Rita, Nick and Maya.

Churches Conservation Trust

The Churches Conservation Trust hosted a full day workshop in the hall at the Edgar Wood Rooms today, the title being, “A Stitch in Time”. The central theme being the importance of planned maintenance and the necessity of keeping the water and damp out of  buildings.

On this themed workshop, it was ironic that on entering the hall, Christine looked up through one of the Diocletian windows and noticed damaged roof tiles. Unfortunately no amount of routine maintenance will prevent slates breaking at upper levels and damaging lower roofs!

 

The Big Four

The lecture room was used this afternoon for the first time for its original purpose, following the restoration of the Edgar Wood Hall and Rooms completed in late 2018. The talk by Christine titled “Arts and Crafts Church – The Big Four” was given to a well informed group and was motivated by a talk given by Alec Hamilton the other year. Alec had been doing research into Arts and Crafts Churches and suggested that the four at the top of his list were ……….. Continue reading “The Big Four”

A Busy Few Days

It was a busy weekend at the Arts and Craft Church just gone. Spring is here and the beds want planting, but the soil was badly  compacted by the scaffolding. While some sunned in the sunshine the shade was welcome while doing the hard work!

The Methodist Church area synod was hosted in the hall with 140 delegates from across the region attending. This included  workshop session in various rooms and the garden, but not horticultural!

On Sunday afternoon eighteen members of the Clarice Cliff Society visited, starting with a tour of the EW properties, followed by an introductory talk about EW, the Church and School Rooms followed by a viewing of the DVD ‘A Painted Veil’.  A lot was packed into the afternoon and the sun was shining.

A Busy Morning at the Church and Edgar Wood School Rooms

The morning started  started early, the first to arrive was the electrician to repair an emergency exit sign, to be shortly followed by the EW Society gardeners. The Spring tidy had to be complete by the arrival time of a group of thirty from the Lighthouse Project, Walkers group. Thank you to the two ‘head gardeners’.

The leader of the group sent the following email:

Dear Christine,
Thank you so much for our tour today. We all thoroughly enjoyed hearing about Edgar Wood and learning about the church and school rooms.
Please let me know about any forthcoming events or fund-raising activities and I will pass the details on to the walkers.
Meanwhile keep up the good work!
Regards,
Margaret

The Jeffrey Lawton Festival of Music 2019

Friends and former students of Jeffrey Lawton gave a concert in the recently restored hall of the Edgar Wood Rooms in his memory.  Middleton Rotary organised the concert as Jeffrey was an active Rotarian and former president. The proceeds from the concert will be donated to Springhill Hospice and Rochdale Mind charities, organisations which were close to his heart. It was a fitting tribute that the hall was used, as Jeffrey in his early years as an amateur singer performed many roles on the stage with the Gilbert and Sulivan Society. In his professional life, he was the Principle Tenor with the Welsh National Opera followed by an international career specialising in Verdi and Wagner. On retiring from the stage he became a vocal tutor at the RNCM. Born in Oldham and  resident of Middleton (living in an Edgar Wood house) he was a local celebrity and used his talents to support local charities.

New Person on the Block

Maureen and Christine of the EWS invited the new RMBC Conservation Officer, Jessica Smith to Long Street Methodist Church and the Edgar Wood School Rooms for a tour. Having ‘brain washed’ Jessica on the importance of EW they went on a walk around the Conservation Area.

What’s in a Name?

Since being built in 1900, Long Street Methodist Church and School Rooms has been know as that. However following the building being transferred to the GMBPT in 2010 the site was given the addition name of The Edgar Wood Centre, which was appropriate and mainly applied to the hall and school rooms.

This has led to some confusion as this name was given to the First Church of Christ Scientists, Daisy Bank Rd, (also by Edgar Wood) when it was taken over by Manchester University over twenty years ago.

The EWS committee and GMBPT trustees had a brain storming session on Thursday to come up with name suggestions that may give reference to its past and planned use for weddings, conference and community, Edgar Wood, its location and something that trips off the tongue.

You would think this would be an easy task! Difficult.

First Post of 2019

Long time friend of Long Street Methodist Church and the Edgar Wood Centre, Andy Marshall, a nationally renowned architectural photographer came to do some shots for the proposed restoration commemoration book.

 Sorry Andy, my image doesn’t match your quality.

27 November was a Busy Day

Nick Berry from Viridor Credits arrived on schedule to look around the school rooms following the restoration (we think it was an inspection of the work) although he didn’t say so. Viridor Credits assisted in supporting the project with a grant and we found them helpful throughout the process and the GMBPT are grateful for their input.

As Nick left the building thirty, year two pupils arrived from Elmwood Junior School, also designed by Edgar Wood. They were being ‘building detectives’ and had previously visited the Parish Church and the Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, both of which have connections to EW. The children looked around the Church and answered ‘searching’ questions before looking around the school rooms. They were especially surprised by how small the classrooms around the hall were compared with their school classrooms.

It was good to have the children for a visit and we hope they enjoyed there time with us and that we may see them on another visit in the future.