All posts by Kate Gunner

Hand Carved Village Signs

Bakers of Danbury have hand carved and restored village signs going back many years now. The earliest village sign on our records dates back to 1960, for the of village Pebmarsh in Essex.

Bakers of Danbury’s Joinery Workshop still regularly undertake village sign projects - from refurbishment and redecoration; to a full design service for brand new village signs.

Village Sign Refurbishment:

Village sign refurbishment works involve collecting the sign from its village location, cleaning, sanding and repairing any defects using hardwood timber. We will hand carve where necessary, then carry out a full re-decoration which will include hand painting the village sign. When the refurbished village sign is returned to its former glory, we will reinstate the refurbished village sign back at its village location.

Design of New Village Signs:

For brand new village signs, our full design service includes sitting down with the client to bring their thought’s to life. We will produce detailed drawings of the village sign. The design will be to scale (life sized) to give the client a real feel of what the final sign will look like.

Once the detailed drawings are approved, Bakers of Danbury’s specialist joinery department will hand carve the new design out of hardwood. Hand carving a village sign can take some time depending on its detail.

Once we have a completed hand carved village sign, it will be hand painted using special exterior paint to give the highest quality finish. Finally, the installation will take place at the village sign location.

Recent projects:

We have recently refurbished, repaired and decorated a National Beacon for the village of Purfleet. The beacon itself was refurbished and it's post repaired. We carried out a full decoration of the sign and installed a new concrete base.

We have recently refurbished signs for Halstead, Woodford Green, Roxwell and East Bergholt.

 

Shop Display Units

Summary: Shop display units handcrafted from MDF and Oak with a sprayed paint finish and stained oak edge

Location: Chelsea Harbour Design Centre, London

Architect: Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler Interior Design, Decoration and Antiques

Challenge: Short lead time

Solution: Bakers of Danburys’ Specialist Joinery Workshop handcrafted eight display units for Colefax & Fowler’s new Interior Design Shop which is located in Chelsea Harbour, London.

The display units were constructed from 30mm MDF with a lino top covering and an oak edging applied to the unit tops.

The units were finished in a factory spray with a stained oak edging. The project had a short lead time. To enable the project to meet its completion deadline the whole team had to work very closely and our joiners worked some overtime.

Colefax & Fowler are a repeat customer of Bakers of Danbury, we look forward to working with Colefax & Fowler again in the future.

 

English Oak Storage & WC

Summary: English Oak bespoke DDA and Dementia friendly toilet, storage cupboards, children's library and pew storage area

Location: St Mary’s Church, Saffron Walden

Architect: Kay Pilsbury Thomas Architects

Challenge: Attention to detail was important in this project as it was all made of English Oak and stained on site. There was no room for error!

Solution: One of the largest parish churches in Essex, the building dates mainly from the fifteenth century.

Bakers of Danbury’s Specialist Joinery department manufactured and installed a bespoke DDA and Dementia friendly toilet, storage cupboards, children's library and pew storage area. All were crafted by our Joiners from English Oak in our joinery shop, it was then taken apart and wrapped flat pack for transit, before being fitted by our onsite carpenters.

Great attention was paid to the highest spec soundproofing, with all panels either insulated with a solid block board or infilled with bricks to eliminate noise. The WC door alone weighed over 100kg.

Every post included a hand carved crocus detail to the top. The complete project was very detailed and complex with hand carved designs, modern sliding doors and bespoke detailed cornice which ran around the top of the complete project.

To watch a video of our skilled Joiner hand carving a crocus detail Click here.

 

American Oak Panelling

Summary: American Oak panelling measuring 220 m2 for a School of Science on Euston Road, London

Location: Grafton House, Euston Road, London

Client: Forrest Gate Construction

Challenge: The oak panelling was across four floors. Each with a different layout

Solution: Bakers of Danbury’s Specialist Joinery Department were asked to supply 220m2 of American White Oak for a refurbishment to Grafton House in London.

The project was a conversion of an existing building to a modern science school.

All of the panels and oak had to be class 0 fire rated. Baker’s Joiners painted and installed over 2000 meters of oak strips which were fixed to painted black 12mm MDF with spacing’s of 20mm to give a shadow gap appearance.

The project was split across four floors and each floor had a different layout, so a full site survey was necessary to ensure each floor was measured correctly.

 

National Trust, Rainham Hall

Summary: Conservation and restoration of National Trust Rainham Hall. Conservation and restoration works were carried out to three floors of Rainham Hall and its Coach House. Works included the redevelopment of the Coach House into a tea room.

Value: Approximately £2,000,000

Location: London Borough of Havering

Architect: Julian Harrap Architects LLP

Challenge: Provide wheelchair access to first floor of Coach House whilst retaining the aesthetic look of the building.

Solution: Prior to the conservation and restoration project, the building had been in disrepair and on the Historic England at Risk Register. It had been completely inaccessible to the public.

Constructed in the early eighteenth century, the Stable Block at Rainham Hall included a stable with a hayloft above with a brew house adjacent. When work started, it became clear that the roof had undergone various repairs and rebuilds in its history; leaving it with a poor structural integrity. Bakers of Danbury carried out structural roof repairs and re-tiling.

During the conservation and restoration of National Trust Rainham Hall a temporary staircase gave visitors the chance to see the works up close during a number of 'Hard Hat' tours.

Bakers of Danbury’s inhouse Specialist Joinery Shop built and installed a timber-clad vertical lift shaft with a spiral cantilevered staircase. The design of the new lift core, located in the within the Grade II Listed Brew House, echoes the large copper vats used in the 18th century brewing process.

To the Main Hall, Bakers of Danbury undertook a large renovation project including a full M&E overhaul. Bakers of Danbury also installed new w/c and carried out conservator decorating.

Externally Bakers of Danbury carried out re-pointing and brickwork repairs to all elevations.

In October 2015, the Stable Block at Rainham Hall opened to the public as a café and community space.

The conservation and restoration of National Trust Rainham Hall was shortlisted for the RICS Building Conservation Awards 2018.

 

Westminster Abbey

Summary = Roof works to the medieval South Triforium and the Great Cloister within Westminster Abbey.

Value = Approximately £1,450,000

Location = Westminster, London

Architect = Ptolemy Dean Architects Ltd

Challenge = Access issues and restrictions due to the main access route into site being through the Great Cloister - a busy area of the Abbey accessible to the public from 9.30am every day.

Solution = Under the instruction from Ptolemy Dean Architects Ltd (Westminster Abbeys Surveyor of the fabric) Bakers carried out roof works to the medieval South Triforium and the Great Cloister within Westminster Abbey.

70ft above the Abbey floor, the new gallery provides visitors with magnificent views down over the Abbey buildings and the Palace of Westminster. Roof works carried out by Bakers involved stripping the existing roof, recasting original lead and re-leading part of the South Triforium and part of the Main Cloister.

A full overhaul of the rainwater goods was also carried out, with a combination of new and refurbished lead downpipes, hoppers and chutes fitted. A new hopper, corbel stone and 22 metre downpipe was introduced, formed to mirror the Christopher Wren era hoppers that were already in use.

Bakers increased the gradient of the Triforium roof by increasing the fall of the lead bays (compliant with lead sheet association guidelines). Other structural repairs included reinforcing 300-year-old oak primary rafters using a flitch plate repair and other associated structural repairs to the oak roof.

Other works include the provision of a new access hatch and fall arrest system, stone repairs and indents to internal and external elevations and the careful re-homing of monuments and statues from other parts of the Abbey onto the Triforium floor.

The new freestanding external access ladder with a handrail was crafted from European Oak. It was a good project for our recently qualified joiner Jack Darvill to work on.

With the improvements to the rainwater goods, Bakers also undertook the renewal of the below ground drainage within the Great Cloister, which will also included the exciting addition of a fountain positioned in the centre of the Cloister, formed on York Stone paving with a lead cistern fountain.

Works were completed Spring 2018, in time for the opening of a new museum and gallery, located in the Abbey's medieval Triforium. After being hidden from public over 700 years, the Triforium became “The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries”.

Jim Vincent, Clerk of the Works at Westminster Abbey said:

Bakers of Danbury have successfully managed access issues and restrictions whilst carrying out the works at the Abbey. The main access route into site is through the Great Cloister, which is a busy area of the Abbey accessible to the public from 9.30am every day.

We have found Bakers of Danbury to be considerate of the public and employees of the Abbey and have undertaken the works to the Abbey with the utmost care and attention at all times and look forward to continuing our working relationship with them in the future. The high standard of work is commensurate with the status of the building and is what is expected of contractors working at Westminster Abbey."

St Swithun’s Church, Great Chishill

Summary = Conservation and alteration works to St Swithun’s Church, Great Chishill

Value = approximately £238,000

Location = Great Chishill, South Cambridgeshire

Architect =Barker Associates

Solution = Bakers of Danbury recently carried out conservation and alteration works to St Swithun’s Church in Great Chishill, which involved extensive conservation of the church tower including repointing and replacement of external flint, refurbishment of the clock dials, replacement of the oak belfry louvres and new lightning protection.

Further works to the base of the tower included the addition of a disabled w/c facility and the provision of new mains water and drainage to the church.

 

Essex Youth Build site visit

Essex Youth Build visited All Saints Church in Terling on Wednesday 25th July to learn about the conservation works underway.

The small group of 16-19 year olds who are currently studying City & Guilds course with Essex Youth Build attended All Saints Church for a site tour and Q&A whilst Bakers of Danbury Ltd were carrying out conservation and restoration works to the church.

Conservation and Restoration works to All Saints Church include the following:

  • Stripping cedar shingles for full height of spire
  • Carrying out timber repairs as found and putting back new oak shakes
  • Remove weathervane, repair, decorate and re-guild
  • Repair stone clock and sundial and prepare redecorate and guild as existing
  • Stone replacement to quoins
  • Replace existing lightning conductor tape with new.
  • Heather Cutler who is part of the All Saints’ Terling Spire Project Team said

    “Thank you for your time and terrific input to making yesterday’s visit, to the work currently being undertaken at All Saints’ Terling, both interesting and safe. I do hope the lads got some ideas for future careers in heritage construction and I wish them well for their futures."

    If you would like to arrange for a small group of students to visit a working site to learn more about conservation and buildings works please do not hesitate to contact Kate Gunner by emailing kate.gunner@bakersofdanbury.co.uk

     

    Newsletter (Summer 2018)

    This newsletter looks at projects recently undertaken by Bakers of Danbury and it's sister companies Collins and Curtis Masonry and Pickford Builders.

    As many of you will know, or will have seen from our website, local press or national trade magazines; Bakers of Danbury celebrates it's 140th anniversary this year, so it seems somewhat appropriate to remind ourselves about the history of the business in our Summer Newsletter.

    William Baker founded the business at the current Eves Corner site on 11th June 1878, with £50.00 and the loan of a horse and cart as a millwright, wheelwright and carpenter, working mainly on the local mills. As the mills fell into decline however, the business adapted to work more on local houses and churches whilst training and employing skilled local craftsmen.

    William became very successful as the company worked on most of the local churches and also built many of the historic houses around Danbury, usually using red bricks from his own local brickyard. In time, William’s sons Frank and Charles took over the business and continued with works to churches and housing, with the business being further handed down in the family and then into private ownership, becoming Bakers of Danbury in 1971.

    The current company continues to train and employ local people and continues to benefit from a highly skilled, loyal and motivated workforce enabling us to have the pleasure of working on many prestigious buildings producing the quality work for which it is very well known.

    You can also keep up-to-date with Baker’s latest news by visiting our latest news page and our Facebook page!

    Click here to open our latest Newsletter

    Bakers win Civic Trust awards

    Two projects for which Bakers of Danbury were the principal contractor have won Civic Trust Awards - The Civic Trust 2018 AABC Conservation award and a Civic Trust 2018 Commendation.

    The Civic Trust 2018 AABC Conservation award was awarded for the restoration of Quay Place in Ipswich. The Civic Trust Awards described the restoration project as being

    "A project which demonstrates the highest standards of historic building conservation, and makes an outstanding contribution to the quality and appearance of the built environment"

    Formerly the church of St Mary-at-the-Quay but now called Quay Place, was until its recent regeneration a redundant medieval Church. The Grade II listed church which was believed to have been built around 1450 and 1550, is located next to Ipswich’s quayside. It suffered from war damage, damp, a decayed roof and leaning walls until the 17 month restoration programme gave Quay Place a new future as a centre for both heritage and well being activities, café and an event space alongside therapy provision.

    The specialist restoration works include the structural stabilisation and incorporation of a large contemporary mezzanine floor for office space. A new contemporary design extension provides further offices and consulting rooms. Bakers of Danbury's sister company Collins and Curtis Masonry supplied all new stone for the restoration and new build. Measurements were taken onsite to produce templates, which were then used to manufacture the replacement features to arches, jambs, tracery, cills and copings in their workshops. Traditional methods of masonry were used to manufacture the stone details.

    The Civic Trust 2018 Commendation was awarded for conservation and alteration works to the Charterhouse in London.

    The large conservation and alteration project “Revealing the Charterhouse” included remodelling of the Grade I listed building to house a new museum, learning centre, cafe, reception area and public toilets, as well as conservation and restoration works to the external fabric of Charterhouse Chapel and the re-design of Charterhouse Square.

    Click here to find out more about the regeneration of Quay Place in Ipswich and Revealing the Charterhouse