The Rev. Caroline Wickens departs Long Street Methodist Church to continue her 45 mile sponsored ride around the Churches in the Circuit. Donations are in aid of the Faith Network for Manchester and donations can be made via the Ride for Faiths Together page on gofundme.com
Saint Martin’s Church was established in 1867 by Mrs Hudson of Brabyns Hall. It was designed by John Dando Sedding and subsequently extended by Henry Wilson. The church contains art works by William Morris, Dante Gabrielle Rosetti, Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Ford Maddox Brown and Christopher Whall.
Edgar Wood painted a picture of the art nouveau Lady Chapel which was designed by Henry Wilson. It shares some of the stylisms used by Wood.
Following the long lock down, Theo (martial arts leader) held his first session on Monday last. Although having to have his classes outside to conform to guide lines, it was good to see the premises in use once again. After this Monday’s outside session, he should be able to move back inside during the last week of the month.
While doing our weekly check of the building this morning, I opened the main church door to check the rain hopper and was surprised to be greeted by a delivery man. On balance he was more surprised than me to see the church door open. The delivery was a copy of a new book, by Julian Treuherz and Peter De Figueiredo, in which they “pull back the curtain to reveal 111 fascinating and eccentric destinations” in and around Manchester. “Edgar Wood in Middleton”, together with a photo of the garden and church feature at number 32 (alphabetic order). I suggest the church and school rooms fall in the fascinating category rather than the eccentric!
In line with the Methodist Church policy I did the weekly buildings check, as the Church is not being used during lock down. Shortly before 11.35, I noticed the sun shining on the font and took a photograph, while watching the shadow I was surprised to see how fast the shadow was moving across the stone and bronze sculpture and took a second image. Note the time between the two images and the distance the shadow travels.
The Middleton Archaeological Society held their monthly meeting in the lecture room at the Edgar Wood Rooms on Thursday. Leon gave an illustrated talk to a full house about the industrial History of Thornham (Middleton). This area is now more associated with green open spaces and recreation (Tangle Hill Park) rather than the previous deep mined coal pits, calico printing and a main centre for the manufacture of fustian.
The Italian evening was a well attended, convivial and informative, thanks to Anthony Dolan who gave a presentation showing examples of Edgar Woods paintings in the ownership of collectors in Italy. Thank you also to members of the Society, who provided refreshments, Italian of course. We had no idea of the range and quantity of the work that EW embarked upon in his retirement to Porto Maurizio , on the Italian Riviera in 1926.
MANCENT: The Manchester Continuing Education Network, started a ten week course in the EW Rooms this week, led by course tutor Dr. Robert Callow. The title of the course ‘The Fly Room ! early history of genetics’.
MANCENT, ‘is a loose network of independent lecturers and students with a firm belief that Continuing Education at a high level should be available to all who want it’. Text taken from the web site mancent.org.uk.
If you are intrigued by the course title, then for more information and details look on the web site about the Spring (now started) and Autumn courses.
In 2015 the Society in co-operation with the neighbouring property owner had several large trees felled, see image left before felling. The trees were removed to prevent the persistent damp ingress owing to the branches and leaves clogging up the boxed valley gutters and hoppers.
Five years on, numerous multi-stemmed saplings had regenerated, with growths up to 75mm in diameter. Without the action of the volunteers, who stated they had ‘enjoyed’ the morning, we would very soon be back to the 2015 situation with blocked gutters. Thank you to the four plus the photographer.
Having received a grant from English Heritage (Listed Places of Worship Scheme, Taylor Pilot Review) work has commenced to remove the vegetation from the masonry at the top of the buttresses on both the north and south elevations. The work will prevent further damp ingress which has been clearly visible on the inside of the nave for several years. Although dry for the last few days it is rather exposed 40 feet up on the scaffold platform. Continue reading “High Level Maintenance”