As a welcome break from Coronavirus news, follow this TV series where today’s crafts people try to emulate the lives and work of the Victorian pioneers. Click here. Fascinating.
Latest update from the Methodist Church… Click here
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 road outside the Church was awash on Sunday before the start of the service at 11am. Inside did not escape water ingress, staining can be seen on the wall in the photograph below.
In readiness for the new Edgar Wood Society website going live in the next few weeks, the first training session took place in the Edgar Wood Rooms last night for potential bloggers.
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.
Image taken on 9th Dec. at 4.30pm.
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.
On Wednesday 13th Nov. the Crompton and Royton Rotary hosted a lunch and invited recipients of their annual disbursements of money to different charities including the GMBPT. Christine (second right) EW committee member, attended in her capacity as a Trustee of the GMBPT and gave a brief resume of the restoration and the development of The Long Street Methodist Church and Rooms ( now known as the Edgar Wood Rooms). Other charities receiving donations were Springhill Hospice, Oldham Community Radio, the Christie at Oldham and several other worthy causes.
Thank you to the Crompton and Royton Rotary for your work throughout the year and supporting local charities in this way.
The Society concluded a business like meeting on Saturday 26th Oct. in the lecture hall of the Edgar Wood Rooms. This was followed by an enthusiastic and informative talk by the society chairman, David Morris.
David showed how the unique design of the First Church of Christ Scientist was developed over a series of phases and set-backs so that the final building looked nothing like the original sketches. The research and the putting together of the presentation will have taken dedication and many hours of work.
A big thank you to David.
ThatsTV (Manchester’s local TV on freeview channel 7 or 8) broadcast the news item that the Edgar Wood Rooms, formally the Long St. Methodist Church School rooms, have been removed from the Historic England ‘Heritage at Risk Register’. This is great news!
The Arts & Crafts Church on the opposite side of the garden is still at risk, however. So the work continues!
Pictured is Peter Barlow from English Heritage being interviewed.
HODs finished on Sunday and on Monday morning and Tuesday it was the turn of two year 2 class groups from Elmwood Junior school to visit. They were being street detectives (looking at building styles) and learning about one of Middleton’s important people, Edgar Wood.
This was followed on Thursday when we hosted Middleton Archaeological Society and their guest speaker, Professor Robert Poole, speaking on Peterloo 1819-2019. An enlightening and informative lecture not to be missed.
Now the dark nights are drawing in it is necessary to get outside illumination installed and thanks go to Justin for giving up his day off work to fit a corner light, a ‘busman’s holiday’ for Justin, who worked through the continual rain on Friday.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.