The Temple Martial Arts Classes Resume

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.

111 Places In Manchester that You Shouldn’t Miss

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!

ISBN 978-3-7408-0753-5 £12.99



Although the Church is in lock down, members of the congregation made images and decorated the Church gates (keeping a social distance) in recognition of this important Sunday in the Church calendar.

Weeds Don’t Do Social Distancing

The weekly check of the building was carried out this morning and everything was sound. The only change was the length of the grass and the number of weeds between the pavings.

The sky is blue and the grass is green.

Both got the chop !


The Weekly Building Check

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.

Image taken at 11.35
Image timed at 11.49

Industrial Thornham

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 Sunday Deluge

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.

Una Serala Italiana – Un Evento di Successo

Having tasted and drunk examples of Italian cuisine, Mr. Geoff Wellens (fore ground) is in serious conversation prior to the presentation.

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 Come to the Edgar Wood Rooms

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

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.

Bob locks up at the end of the session.

The Green Team Move In

             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.

High Level Maintenance

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”

GMBPT Receive a Donation from the Crompton and Royton Rotary

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.

Edgar Wood Society – AGM on 26th October 2019

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.


Edgar Wood Rooms are off the At Risk Register

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.

A Busy Week

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.