Tag Archives: Reg

Work continues on our Georgian Hearse House under Reg’s careful eye

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Reg was busy on site earlier today inspecting Paul’s pointing on back of the Hearse House . He seems to have approved!

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The box pews arrive at St Helen’s Church

Reg testing out the pews

Reg testing out the pews

We know from an 1824 faculty layout of St Helen’s that the church once had box pews, which would have been the norm in churches of the period. Box pews were enclose, panelled pews that were fixed to the floor of the church. Over the decades churches (including St Helen’s) often ripped out their box pews to allow for more flexible bench pews to be put in, and as such original box pews have become very rare. Last year we began a appeal to find replacement box pews for St Helen’s and luckily the Rev. David Widdows of St Andrew’s Church in Wiveliscombe, Sommerset responded. His very grand church was built between 1827 and 1829 and was installed with beautifully carved box pews at the time. However, because the pews were fixed to the floor and filled entirety of the nave it meant that the church couldn’t easily host community events or groups. While congregation greatly appreciated the pews and their history, they felt that for the sake of the long-term usability of the church, they needed to part with a few of them. They wanted the pews to go to a good home rather than be scrapped and so Rev. Widdows offered to donate them to Beamish, a plan which also gained the approval of Historic England. A couple of weeks ago we removed ten rows of the box pews from St Andrew’s, leaving the rest in place at the church for posterity. Our contractors Sid and Daniel are now working hard to install the removed pews into St Helen’s.

Box pews existed in churches at a time when the class divides were still very keenly felt. Each pew could be rented by a member of the local congregation, with the pews nearest the pulpit being the most expensive. Remarkably we have a list of the names of the people who rented the pews at St Helen, dated from 1824. We will be painting their names onto the side panels of our pews, as means of permanently recording the Georgian congregation of St Helen’s.

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Reg tests out the new mounting block at St Helen’s Church

Now all Reg needs is a horse!

Now all Reg needs is a horse!

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Work St Helen’s steps up (again)

Reg and Clara on the steps of St Helen's.

Reg and Clara on the steps of St Helen’s.

Paul and Cos have been working hard to complete the grand entrance way to the churchyard of St Helen’s. The huge stone gate posts and their flanking walls are now in place. Soon the reclaimed Georgian gate will be hung and a specially made wrought iron handrail installed.

Sketch for the design of the wrought iron handrails that will be made by heritage blacksmith Andy Basnett.

Sketch for the design of the wrought iron handrails that will be made by heritage blacksmith Andy Basnett.

The reclaimed Georgian gates.

The reclaimed Georgian gates.

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Today’s building’s team meeting

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Progress continues on W. Smith’s

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Shaun standing with the pilasters that he has made for the shop front of W.Smith’s

The exact replica of the original shop front of the building that we are copying from Elvet Bridge in Durham is under way. As you can see they have so far completed the fluted pilasters which will support the nearly completed corbels. The shop front windows have also been finished and they are currently working on making the moulded rails and stiles, as well as the frames, for the front doors.

The moulded rails for the front doors of W.Smith's.

The moulded rails for the front doors of W.Smith’s.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Progress is also continuing on site.

Progress is also continuing on site.

At the site Paul and Cos are nearly at the level of the first floor and are about to install the steel lintels that will support the opening for the glass house at rear of the building, as well as the openings along the shop front.

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A dog’s life

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Reg holding this morning’s site meeting.

Reg our Buildings Team dog has a very busy time making sure that Paul and Cos run to schedule down at the site for W. Smith’s Chemist. We have just reached the level of the first floor and expect to be ready to install the reinforced concrete floor – which will support the weight of the upstairs store rooms –  in a few week’s time.

 

Reg carrying out today’s scaffold inspection.

 

 

 

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