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.
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’.
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.
The Edgar Wood Society were at the Victoria Baths Heritage Fair today. The stall took up a central position in the male 2nd class pool, but there was nothing 2nd class about their display. Thank you to the members who gave up a day to promote EW and the work of the society.
The Edgar Wood Society assists the conservation of Edgar Wood buildings wherever it can and, over the years, has met many owners. This is the wonderful First Church, Manchester, which is to have a new use for events and weddings. The photo shows the owner, Mr. Danny Samuels (centre), Bill Wingrove and P.R. expert Becky Roberts with the famous organ screen in the background.
The first evening tour in the dark (only outside) took place this evening. Our visitors were the Middleton Rotary and their President, Janice Powell is on the left of tour guide Christine. A general overview was given in the Church, followed by a virtual tour of EW’s buildings in Middleton by the way of a Power Point presentation. Several members had previous ties with the building, one brought his daughter to the Brownies in the early 1980s and another met his wife here in ___ ? a long time ago.
If you would like more information about the Rotary, their web site is www.middletonrotary.org.uk
There was a good turnout of the membership at the 2017 Edgar Wood Society Annual General Meeting, 2pm today. As well as the normal proceedings, society chair, David Morris, updated everyone on the recent THI grant offer for restoring Long Street Methodist Sunday School and the various events, research and other activities of the society over 2017. Continue reading “Edgar Wood Society AGM & Lecture 2017”
Edgar Wood’s restored Jubilee Park staircase with its unique curved exedra was officially opened at 12 noon on 13th October, 2017 by the Mayor of Rochdale, Councillor Ian Duckworth. Also in attendance were MP liz McInnes, Mayoress Christine Duckworth, Chairman of the THI board Mr. Malcolm Alan and Councillor June West. The photograph was taken by surveyor, Lynda Jubb, who oversaw the conservation work. It was funded by the Edgar Wood & Middleton THI.
This was, in fact, the very first official opening. The original opening ceremony was cancelled because the benefactor, T. B. Wood, Edgar Wood’s father, was taken seriously ill and it was never rescheduled. At that time, the staircase had a unique art deco drinking fountain at the top and was known as the Jubilee Drinking Fountain.
Click Here for details of the history of the Jubilee Drinking Fountain and its restoration.
The allotted places were filled for Andy’s ‘How to Photograph Buildings’ workshop. Technical, practical and food were all covered, but not necessarily in that order. Within an hour of finishing I have had emails, “Hi Geoff, please thank Andy on my behalf, he is inspirational and I learned a great deal”. “It was brilliant and Terry and I enjoyed it very much indeed. The lunch was delicious too”. If you only considered coming on this event, you missed a real treat. Thank you Andy for giving us the benefit of your knowledge, talent and enthusiasm and Cliff for the featured image of Andy. Continue reading “Total Focus at Andy’s photographic Workshop”
The Heritage Open Days banner was taken down at 5.00pm after another successful three days at the Arts & Crafts Church with in excess of 150 visitors. At 2.00pm a group of 15 weathered the rain to do a walking tour of the Edgar Wood buildings and the Sam Bamford monument. It is good to know that Middleton and its heritage is being recognised in the wider area with visitors making a special journey down from Askham in Furness and many others from outside the Greater Manchester area. One written comment was “Middleton needs to be on the cultural tourist trail” we all agree with this.
A big than you to the volunteers that helped to make the three days so rewarding for the visitors, which is reflected in many comments on the visitors sheet. The next event is on Wed 13 Sept see the following link.
The Greater Manchester Building Preservation Trust’s THI grant scheme to restore the Long Street Wesleyan School has been racing along these last few months, headed by architect, Lisa Mcfarlane of Seven Architecture. The finance is almost all in place, the work has been tendered and a contractor chosen. Now the final details are being nailed down.
Continue reading “Restoration of the Wesleyan School – Update”