The banner for this year’s Heritage Open Days was taken down at 4.00pm today after another successful year of opening to the public. The Church and School Rooms opened for five afternoon sessions during the designated period of HODs.
Thank you to the members of the Edgar Wood Society for organising and stewarding the open days, without whose help this event would not have take place.
The Headteacher of the Edgar Wood Academy, Mr. Marcin Kojder, visited the home of the Edgar Wood Society at the Long Street Methodist Church and Edgar Wood Rooms today. The Society and school wish to forge closer links, which was obvious from the informative and pleasant chat throughout the visit. The school at the moment is in temporary classrooms on the Hopwood College Campus with a year 7 intake. The school, which is under construction in Bowlee, is to be fully opened in September 2022 and we look forward to the pupils being inspired by the achievements of Edgar Wood, Middleton’s ‘remarkable architect’.
The Society wish Mr. Kojder, his staff and pupils, a successful year ahead.
The first event in the Arts and Crafts Church hall (Edgar Wood Rooms) since the easing of the lockdown, organised by the Edgar Wood Society was a cream tea this afternoon. The hall was set up and awaiting the first guests at 2.00pm.
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.
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.
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.
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 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”
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.
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”
The afternoon started with a talk by Dr. Julian Holder of the University of Oxford and EWS member. Title: Exotic Influences on the Arts and Crafts Movement. In an excellent lecture, Julian demonstrated how the English Free Style of architecture emerged from the historic styles of Gothic and vernacular buildings, which had inspired the early Arts and Crafts Movement. Our own Edgar Wood moved from designing buildings influenced by historic and vernacular styles, to a style of his own that is not easily categorised. Julian includes Wood with the English Free Style architects. We look forward to another lecture by Julian on this subject.
The Society AGM followed after a short refreshment break chaired in the absence of David Morris, by Rob Trueblood. There was a good turn out for the talk and business meeting with several members offering to join the committee.
Heywood and Middleton MP Liz McInnes paid a surprise visit today. Liz was unable to attend the opening on the 5th September, because of Parliamentary business, so she came along to the Heritage Open Day this morning. Liz is a member of the Edgar Wood Society and was delighted by the restoration work. We were please to point out the window that she had donated in tribute to her friend and predecessor Jim Dobbin MP.
The society appreciates the support we have had from Liz, in our restoration endeavours.
Last night’s event of the official opening of the restoration was excellent. There were approximately 150 guests in attendance, with many travelling several hours to attend. The evening started with welcome by the Chair of the Greater Manchester Building Preservation Trust, followed by presentations from the Chair of the THI Board Malcolm Allen, Lisa McFarlane (architect) and Warren Marshall (GMBPT Trustee). Mr. Billy Sheerin ( Depuy Mayor) thanked all the agencies involved on behalf of RMBC. Continue reading “Unveiling of the Opening Plaque”
In preparation for the restoration opening night tomorrow, by the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, the volunteers have been in getting the place ship shape for the event. I bet this is the first time that a lead architect (Lisa) has been seen showing off her a mopping skills.
As June closes, it has been one of the busiest months of the year on all fronts. Apart from the restoration work and contractors’ meetings there have been five Caring for Middleton’s Heritage events and three tour groups. Continue reading “June Was a Busy Month”
Forty plus members of the Chester Civic Trust visited the Arts and Crafts Church today and toured the EW buildings in the Conservation area. This was the follow up to David Morris’s talk to the group earlier in the year. Continue reading “Chester Civic Trust visit”
It was good to see Kirstie an Edgar Wood Society committee member on a flying visit from Berlin where she is now based. Although based abroad she still helps the society to produced leaflets, posters and information boards, by profession being a graphic artist and web site designer. On this occasion she was discussing work with the Greater Manchester Building Preservation Trust. It is a pity she can not stay for the committee meeting on Thursday. She did however have a ‘sneaky’ look at the building work and to her left is a newly rendered section with its final ‘sponged’ finish.