All posts by Kate Gunner

Listed Heritage Magazine – Westminster Abbey

We are delighted that Listed Heritage Magazine has featured a two page article on our works to Westminster Abbey.

Under the instruction from Ptolemy Dean Architects Ltd (Westminster Abbey’s Surveyor of the Fabric) we are carrying out restoration and repair works to the roof of the medieval South Triforium and the Great Cloister within Westminster Abbey.

The roof works will be completed in time for the opening of a new museum and gallery, located in the Abbey's medieval Triforium, due to open later this year. After being hidden from public over 700 years, the Triforium will become “The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries”.

 

Newsletter (Winter 2017)

We have had another very busy and exciting year across all of our companies, with works to some of our country’s most iconic landmarks including Westminster Abbey, St Pauls Cathedral and St Albans Cathedral to name just a few.

At the beginning of this year we had the honour of being invited to meet the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at the formal opening of The Charterhouse. The “Revealing the Charterhouse” project was a £4 million project for which Bakers were Principle Contactors. It involved the remodelling of a Grade I Listed building to house a new museum and learning centre as well as other conservation and restoration works.

2018 will mark the 140th anniversary for Bakers of Danbury, established in 1878 by William Baker with £50 and a horse and cart. The company initially carried out works to local mills but with the demise of the mills in the late 1890s, William Baker concentrated on works to churches and house building. Most houses William Baker built were with bricks from his own local brickfields.

140 years later, Bakers of Danbury continue to engage in a very similar portfolio of works ranging from conserving our regions listed buildings and monuments to new build projects including houses and schools.

We continue to work hard to maintain the company’s excellent reputation as we look forward to another 140 years. On behalf of all of our Directors I wish you and your family a peaceful but merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

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

St Mary’s Church, Stotfold

Summary = A major renovation to where large areas of external stonework had failed at St Mary's Church Stotfold.

Value = approximately £160,000

Location = Stotfold, Bedfordshire

Architect =Barker Associates

Challenge = This failure was mainly due to the fact that it was constructed using ‘Clunch’ stone which in its day was sourced locally, but being a very soft and pervious stone has not stood the tests of time.

Solution = The replacement stone was produced by our sister company Collins & Curtis Masonry. Clipsham Stone was used in place of Clunch for an all weathering stone which will stand up the elements better overtime.

All other stonework to ornate tracery sections to windows and door surrounds was replaced with Chicksgrove as good quality Clunch is now becoming difficult to source.

The results to the church has been a fantastic success and we have since secured additional works internally which start in January 2018.

 

Westminster Abbey

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

The roof works will be completed in time for the opening of a new museum and gallery, located in the Abbey's medieval Triforium, next year. After being hidden from public over 700 years, the Triforium will become “The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries”.

70ft above the Abbey floor, the new gallery will provide visitors with magnificent views down over the Abbey buildings and the Palace of Westminster. Roof works carried out by Bakers involve 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 is also being carried out, with a combination of new and refurbished lead downpipes, hoppers and chutes being fitted. A new hopper, corbel stone and 22 metre downpipe has been introduced, formed to mirror the Christopher Wren era hoppers that are already in use.

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

Other works include careful rehoming of monuments and statues from other parts of the Abbey onto the Triforium floor.

With the improvements to the rainwater goods, Bakers will undertake the renewal of the below ground drainage within the Great Cloister, which will also include the exciting addition of a fountain to be positioned in the centre of the Cloister, formed on York Stone paving with a lead cistern fountain. These works will continue into Spring 2018.

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."

Highly Commended – National RICS Awards 2017

After winning the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) East of England Awards 2017, Building Conservation Category earlier this year, our project was entered into the National RICS Awards Grand Final.

We are pleased to announce that our project achieved “Highly Commended” within the Building Conservation category of the National RICS Awards, which took place earlier this month. The Regional and National RICS awards were for the specialist restoration and new contemporary design extension and mezzanine floor to Quay Place, Ipswich (formerly St Mary-at-the-Quay). To find out more about the project Click here .

RICS described Quay Place as:

An exemplar conservation project, combining traditional approaches with cutting-edge innovation. The CCT have a proven track record of exemplary conservation and imaginative re-use of Churches that have fallen out of use.

St Mary at the Quay posed significant structural questions that had to be overcome in order to provide the building with a sustainable future.

An impressive structural engineering solution was enacted to remove hugely unsightly and rudimentary previous stabilisation works and which was cleverly integrated to provide the structure for additional office space.

Conservation repairs have been neatly undertaken and a new extension almost seamlessly added in matching materials. The new use provides a haven of calm within this busy area and it is felt this project will act as a catalyst for the completion of the areas redevelopment.

 

BAKERS SAY FAREWELL

Bakers have reluctantly said farewell to one of its long standing members of the team. Peter Delderfield, who joined Bakers 26 years ago, worked for us as a very skilled Stone Mason and Site Foreman, experience which is hard to come by nowadays.

Peter will be sorely missed, both by his colleagues and clients. He has been a credit to Bakers due to his enthusiasm, hard work and dedication.

I’m sure all who know or have worked with Peter Delderfield over the past 26 years, will join me in wishing him a wonderful retirement.

Thank you for all of your hard work over the years and congratulations Peter, we’ll miss you!!

 

St Michael’s School, Braintree

Value = £250,000

Location = Braintree, Essex

Architect =Purcell

Summary = New build extension to a primary school consisting of a new staff room and medical room.

Challenge = Works had to take place without disrupting the school and its pupils.

Solution = Delivery times were restricted so that deliveries did not take place during school pick up or drop off times. Works stopped whilst the pupils sat their SAT exams.

Works involved the demolition of the existing staff room, breaking out the existing foundations and the construction of new pad and beam foundations with a Milbank floor. The construction of the new staff room consisted of a steel portal frame, with cavity brickwork to match the existing, and a pitched Kingspan roof and Trespa Cladding.

Works also included adaptations to the existing photocopy room and the provision of new toilet facilities. New kitchen facilities were fitted within the new staff and medical room. Comprehensive M&E works to new extension.

Before the school opened again in September landscaping and drainage works took place, as well as the provision of a new footpath and railings.

Newsletter (Summer 2017)

2017 has certainly been a year to remember for Bakers of Danbury!

In February we met the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh when they formerly opened the Charterhouse, London. We had been principal contractors for the works at the Charterhouse which involved remodelling the Grade I listed building to house a new museum and learning centre, amongst other conservation and restoration works.

We are also delighted with the recognition we have received for some of our recent projects, having been awarded a RICS East of England 2017 award for Building Conservation, two RIBA East 2017 awards and a Diocese of Chelmsford 2017, Design award!

The Summer Newsletter provides a short description of some of our latest projects including the restoration and remodelling works to the Grade I Listed Charterhouse in London, conservation works to The Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban, the restoration of the King Harold Memorial at the Waltham Abbey Church and a recently completed double storey extension to a Grade II listed home. The newsletter also features updates from our sister companies Collins and Curtis and Pickford Builders.

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

If you haven't already done so, please watch the short film of one of our Joiners hand carving a crocus detail for works taking place at St Marys Church, Saffron Walden, Essex. The skill involved really is something to be admired.

Click here to open our latest Newsletter

Listed Heritage Magazine

We are delighted that Listed Heritage Magazine has featured a four page article on our works to The Charterhouse.

Having been hidden from view and closed to public for over 650 years - the Charterhouse, a historic London landmark was recently opened to public by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh (28 February 2017). The Queen also unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion.

In recent months Charterhouse underwent a large conservation, restoration and alteration project “Revealing the Charterhouse”, which included remodelling of the Grade I listed building to house a new museum and learning centre; which explores the history of the Charterhouse from the Black Death to present day.

The recently completed £4 million project, “Revealing the Charterhouse” was funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund and other generous supporters. The project aimed to share the Charterhouse heritage with public, as well as conserve and restore the Charterhouse itself, including the Chapel and the Charterhouse Square, to which the Charterhouse buildings surround part of.

To ensure that the whole project was carried out to the highest standard, Bakers of Danbury were appointed Principal Contractors. With over 135 years of traditional craftsmanship handed down through generations, Bakers of Danbury have long been associated with the regions fine historic monuments and buildings. Bakers of Danbury’s previous experience of working on the Charterhouse include mechanical and engineering with associated sensitive builders works and conservation works.

 

St Catherine’s Church, East Tilbury

Summary =A sympathetic extension and redecoration to St Catherine's Church, East Tilbury to provide a new kitchen area and toilet facilities. Works also included a new heating installation to both the extension and church, along with a full renovation of flooring, walls and roof to the main church.

Value = £330,000

Location = East Tilbury, Essex

Architect =Inkpen Downie Architecture and Design Ltd

Solution = St Catherine's Church, East Tilbury is an important survival from the 12th century. The site is associated with the first church established by St Cedd.

Works involved an extension and redecoration to St Catherine's Church, East Tilbury. The parishioners were consulted to set out requirements for the building which was to provide some basic amenities such as a kitchen and toilet facilities.

Designed to allow focus to remain on the existing Church building; the extension is a simple free-standing structure with no interference on the existing structure. The external walls are clad in weathered horizontal oak boarding, reminiscent of timber porches commonly found in Essex where stone is a scarce material. The roof is configured to allow the use of pan-tiles without encroaching on existing openings. The foundations are a shallow raft supported on piles, to minimise interference with burials and underlying archaeology.

When the opening to the west door was unblocked to provide access to the new extension, it revealed decayed and missing stonework. This was reinstated and repaired with great attention to detail.

Internally, a new heating system was installed within the extension and church and the floors, walls and roof to main church were all renovated.

The new kitchen and toilet facility, together with a new heating system makes the church more usable as a place of worship.

Works were completed January 2016. The new facilities have enabled the Church to open for teas and homemade cakes from Easter to October on the afternoons of the last Sunday in the month and on Bank holiday Mondays.

This project was recently Highly Commended at the Diocese of Chelmsford, Design Awards 2017 for Development and Restoration.

Photos credited to Inkpen Downie Architecture and Design Ltd