It was a busy weekend at the Arts and Craft Church just gone. Spring is here and the beds want planting, but the soil was badly compacted by the scaffolding. While some sunned in the sunshine the shade was welcome while doing the hard work!
The Methodist Church area synod was hosted in the hall with 140 delegates from across the region attending. This included workshop session in various rooms and the garden, but not horticultural!
On Sunday afternoon eighteen members of the Clarice Cliff Society visited, starting with a tour of the EW properties, followed by an introductory talk about EW, the Church and School Rooms followed by a viewing of the DVD ‘A Painted Veil’. A lot was packed into the afternoon and the sun was shining.
The morning started started early, the first to arrive was the electrician to repair an emergency exit sign, to be shortly followed by the EW Society gardeners. The Spring tidy had to be complete by the arrival time of a group of thirty from the Lighthouse Project, Walkers group. Thank you to the two ‘head gardeners’.
The leader of the group sent the following email:
Thank you so much for our tour today. We all thoroughly enjoyed hearing about Edgar Wood and learning about the church and school rooms.
Please let me know about any forthcoming events or fund-raising activities and I will pass the details on to the walkers.
Meanwhile keep up the good work!
Friends and former students of Jeffrey Lawton gave a concert in the recently restored hall of the Edgar Wood Rooms in his memory. Middleton Rotary organised the concert as Jeffrey was an active Rotarian and former president. The proceeds from the concert will be donated to Springhill Hospice and Rochdale Mind charities, organisations which were close to his heart. It was a fitting tribute that the hall was used, as Jeffrey in his early years as an amateur singer performed many roles on the stage with the Gilbert and Sulivan Society. In his professional life, he was the Principle Tenor with the Welsh National Opera followed by an international career specialising in Verdi and Wagner. On retiring from the stage he became a vocal tutor at the RNCM. Born in Oldham and resident of Middleton (living in an Edgar Wood house) he was a local celebrity and used his talents to support local charities.
Mr. Les Coop the Chairman of the Greater Manchester Preservation Trust thanked the sponsors of the window restoration for their donations towards this work. Individual and group sponsors were represented. Continue reading “A Thank You to the Window Sponsors”
Not quite a ‘host’ but this clump of daffs in the garden is always early to bloom, but this year it is especially early.
Since being built in 1900, Long Street Methodist Church and School Rooms has been know as that. However following the building being transferred to the GMBPT in 2010 the site was given the addition name of The Edgar Wood Centre, which was appropriate and mainly applied to the hall and school rooms.
This has led to some confusion as this name was given to the First Church of Christ Scientists, Daisy Bank Rd, (also by Edgar Wood) when it was taken over by Manchester University over twenty years ago.
The EWS committee and GMBPT trustees had a brain storming session on Thursday to come up with name suggestions that may give reference to its past and planned use for weddings, conference and community, Edgar Wood, its location and something that trips off the tongue.
You would think this would be an easy task! Difficult.
Long time friend of Long Street Methodist Church and the Edgar Wood Centre, Andy Marshall, a nationally renowned architectural photographer came to do some shots for the proposed restoration commemoration book.
Sorry Andy, my image doesn’t match your quality.
Nick Berry from Viridor Credits arrived on schedule to look around the school rooms following the restoration (we think it was an inspection of the work) although he didn’t say so. Viridor Credits assisted in supporting the project with a grant and we found them helpful throughout the process and the GMBPT are grateful for their input.
As Nick left the building thirty, year two pupils arrived from Elmwood Junior School, also designed by Edgar Wood. They were being ‘building detectives’ and had previously visited the Parish Church and the Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, both of which have connections to EW. The children looked around the Church and answered ‘searching’ questions before looking around the school rooms. They were especially surprised by how small the classrooms around the hall were compared with their school classrooms.
It was good to have the children for a visit and we hope they enjoyed there time with us and that we may see them on another visit in the future.
Edgar Wood Society’s David Morris met up with (left to right) Bill, Danny (and his dog) and Pete to see how Edgar Wood’s First Church was faring in its restoration and to assist with some conservation issues.
The Edgar Wood Society is visiting this Saturday and Danny wanted the building to look its best (as far as you can while restoring it). The external redecoration is well under-way and the new garden planting is looking good. All future lighting will be fixed in the garden not on the buiding. The latest set of works included the removal of vast amounts of cabling, trunking and electrical fittings, from when the Centre was used as offices. Two modern radiators have also been removed, exposing more of the original marble panelling and now the historic skirting boards are also being restored. The interior is starting to look very good.
Yesterday on Tuesday 18th September two classes of seven year old children from Boarshaw Primary School visited Long Street Methodist Church. On route they looked at Edgar Wood’s house on Rochdale Road, before visiting the Parish Church and then via the park to Long Street. In the previous week Mr. Wood and his associate had visited the school to tell the children what Middleton was like in his day as a boy and how things had changed.
The boys and girls were attentive and well behaved during their visit, but by lunch time they were ready for their packed sandwiches, before their long walk back to school.
Although the weather kept many visitor away we did have a special day and time to talk to the visitors who had close connections with the Church and School Rooms. A cub and scout from the 1970’s had fond memories of the activities and leaders of the group and remembered overnight sleep overs on the balcony. Two sisters Sheila and Glynis were both married at Long Street, Sheila in Sept. 1963 and Glynis in March 1967. Sheila’s children were also Christened at the Church. Joan arrived with three programs from Gilbert and Sullivan productions, Mikado 1959, Pinafore 1960 and The Gondoliers 1961. Joan is clearly named in the School Girls Chorus of the operatic and it was good to have time to talk about other members of the cast, which we knew.
After nine months the scaffolding has been removed from the building to reveal the restored frontage of the lecture room with its leaded lights again after plain glass was installed many years ago. All the other windows have been restored (excluding the church) together with the rain water goods and render and doesn’t it look splendid?
In the restoration of the 1970’s an error was made to the render on the Ladies Parlour, they forgot to do it. Compare the photograph from the early 1900’s with that of 2017. The mistake of the 70’s has been corrected this time around.
As part of the THI complimentary initiatives, the Greater Manchester Building Preservation Trust arranged for the restoration Architect Lisa McFarlane of Seven Architects to put on a session to explain and show the ongoing work that is being carried out in the school rooms. Little did we know that another of Lisa’s talents is baking. Along with her presentation she arrived with cake stands and chocolate and raspberry muffins and lemon cup cakes freshly baked. Continue reading “Meet the Architect Day (incl. cakes)”
Door frames are having new sections of timber spliced into position, but the original hinges can and have been restored. These are not your ordinary common butt hinges, They are sprung hinges that allow for either a push or a pull opening. One hinge is being fitted into the new section of wood before being joined into the door frame. The hinge was made in Eccles by the Rotector Company (Protector Co Eccles – is there a faint P) in Edgar’s day. Does anyone know anything about this company?
It’s going to be a tight schedule, but in eight weeks the school rooms should be fully restored, some members of Stone Edge were even working on site this morning (Saturday) in order to keep within the time frame for completion. Continue reading “Restoration – 8 Weeks to Completion”
The main works completed are the asbestos removal, render removal, elevation scaffold, stage dismantle and various strip out Continue reading “Restoration Update 17 April”
Approximately 220 attended the film “A Painted Veil” by Anthony Dolan and script by David Morris. Continue reading “A Painted Veil – A Full House”