All posts by Kate Gunner

Union Chapel, London

Summary = Conservation works to the east window of the Union Chapel in London.

Value = Approximately £40,000

Location = London

Challenge = Secondary glazing has caused damage to the stained glass window.

Solution = Bakers of Danbury Ltd recently carried out conservation works to the east window of the Union Chapel in London. The beautiful stained glass window had opaque secondary glazing on the outside of the window, which not only prevented the sun shining through the window to show its decorative image, but had also caused damage to the stained glass.

Bakers removed the secondary glazing together with the debris which had gathered at the base of the window. The glass was cleaned and damaged stone was replaced with new indented carved sections of bath stone to match the existing stone.

By removing the secondary glazing and cleaning the glass, the beautiful, bright window has once again become a focal point for the Chapel.

Watch the video at the top of this page to hear about conservation works carried out to the east window of the Union Chapel.

Union Chapel remains on the Historic England At Risk Register, so if you would like to make a donation visit www.unionchapel.org.uk

Wall Repair and Strengthening

Summary = Wall repair and strengthening carried out at Holy Trinity Church in Halstead

Location = Halstead, Essex

Challenge = The challenge was digging the pockets in between the trees as the trees prevented the digger from being able to get to where it needed to excavate.

Solution = Bakers of Danbury carried out hand digging where the trees prevented access for the digger. Bakers also adjusted some of the placements to achieve equally spaced ties.

To repair and strengthen the wall Bakers of Danbury dug ten 1.2m3 pockets along the length, to the back of the 36m churchyard boundary wall. The pockets were poured with concrete which was cast around 1.6m long stainless steel rods. The rods had been inserted through the wall. On the wall face they were tied and bolted to steel pattress plates.

To provide additional reinforcement, two lengths of Helifix reinforcing ties, set in resin were inserted along the face of the wall, extending the whole 36m length.

Cllr Mick Radley, Mayor and Chairman of Halstead Town Council said;

“I’m really pleased that the council has taken action to conduct major repair work to the Holy Trinity Church boundary wall and to recognise the excellent work that has been done. The wall has been leaning for a number of years and the recent repair work has now strengthened the wall along its length to hold it in place.

This work was conducted as part of the Town Council’s obligations to maintain closed churchyards and was funded from financial reserves specifically allocated to the work. Design work was commissioned to The Morton Partnership and the repair work to Bakers of Danbury Heritage Ltd. I would like to thank all of those involved with the repair for the excellent work they have done and with minimum disruption to the community.”

To keep up to date on similar conservation projects carried out by Bakers of Danbury visit our Latest News page or the Bakers of Danbury Facebook page.

Refurbishment of Barbican Centre

Summary = A comprehensive refurbishment to the Barbican Centre and backstage dressing rooms, within a tight seven week programme.

Client = The Mayor and Commonalty and Citizens of the City of London (as owners, founder and principle funder of the Barbican Centre)

Challenge = All works were carried out within a functioning backstage of the Concert Hall.

Solution = The Barbican Centre is the largest multi-arts centre in Europe, and forms part of the Grade 2 listed Barbican Estate, reflecting its special architectural and historic interest. After a successful tender through the City of London procurement portal, Bakers of Danbury carried out backstage and stage flooring refurbishment works to the Barbican Centre, within a tight seven week programme. Specifically, this included comprehensive refurbishment works to all twenty one dressing rooms serving the Concert Hall, with the Conductor’s suite and five other dressing rooms refurbished to a 5 star hotel standard. The project also included repair and restoration works to the existing solid Canadian Maple stage floor and riser sections of the Hall's stage area. As it was condensed programme requiring close coordination of a number of complex works packages, we assigned both a Site Manager (Lee Kerrison) and Assistant Site Manager (Ken Marshall) to the project full-time to proactively manage the delivery and ensure it remained on-track and within budget.

As all works were carried out within a functioning backstage of the Concert Hall, temporary walkways were created to enable the Barbican Centre employees to carry on about their business, without coming into contact with the works underway. During the preconstruction stage the Contract Manager liaised with the Client to provide program updates, agree alternative access routes, times of working, periods during the day when noisy works were minimised, as well as providing briefings to building occupants who lived in residential flats above the Concert Hall. In addition to the Site Manager’s daily inspection of works, Bakers’ Contracts Manager held a weekly site meeting with the Site Manager to inspect works, checking quality, health and safety and the progress against the project programme.

The refurbishment works to the dressing rooms and Conductor’s suite included new kitchenette areas, acoustic absorption panels and new timber veneer panels to walls within hardwood frames, redecoration of ceiling panels and carpeting. Fixtures and fittings; multipurpose room units, vanity units, built-in wardrobes, daybeds and tv units hand built out of Cedar of Lebanon, by Bakers of Danbury’s in-house joinery workshop. Bakers’ joinery workshop was used to ensure a tight control of the supply chain in terms of quality and programming. This also enabled a close liaison between Ken Marshall onsite and the Joinery Manager in the workshop in Danbury. Assistant Site Manager Ken Marshall has many years’ experience of onsite carpentry, so was given the responsibility of managing the complex joinery from Bakers’ joinery workshop to installation on site.

Access traps were removed from the stage floor and a new lift car (and framework behind) was installed with Canadian Maple to match the existing. The stage was given an anti-slip finish and fire rated varnish. The wall panels were also given a fire rated finish. New integrated lighting solutions, data works, electrical services and fire alarm systems were also installed. This required close coordination between Bakers’ joiners and mechanical and electrical contractors.

A new air-conditioning system was required to the existing projector room which posed a considerable challenge to the distant location of the plant room. Bakers noted at an early stage that the original design of the system could not be implemented due to existing and immovable plant and structure. Bakers engaged their specialist S.V.Bullen at an early stage, held meetings with the design team and ensured that a designed solution was produced and implemented which enabled the installation of the required system within the confines of the existing structure.

A list of bespoke fittings and other items for interior fit out such as televisions, lamps, bins, tables and chairs were procured cost effectively by Bakers’ Quantity Surveyor, who worked with the Client to review the specification and provide three options per item across a range of budgets.

Refurbishment of Barbican Centre

Summary = A comprehensive refurbishment to the Barbican Centre and backstage dressing rooms, within a tight seven week programme.

Client = The Mayor and Commonalty and Citizens of the City of London (as owners, founder and principle funder of the Barbican Centre)

Challenge = All works were carried out within a functioning backstage of the Concert Hall.

Solution = The Barbican Centre is the largest multi-arts centre in Europe, and forms part of the Grade 2 listed Barbican Estate, reflecting its special architectural and historic interest. After a successful tender through the City of London procurement portal, Bakers of Danbury carried out backstage and stage flooring refurbishment works to the Barbican Centre, within a tight seven week programme. Specifically, this included comprehensive refurbishment works to all twenty one dressing rooms serving the Concert Hall, with the Conductor’s suite and five other dressing rooms refurbished to a 5 star hotel standard. The project also included repair and restoration works to the existing solid Canadian Maple stage floor and riser sections of the Hall's stage area. As it was condensed programme requiring close coordination of a number of complex works packages, we assigned both a Site Manager (Lee Kerrison) and Assistant Site Manager (Ken Marshall) to the project full-time to proactively manage the delivery and ensure it remained on-track and within budget.

As all works were carried out within a functioning backstage of the Concert Hall, temporary walkways were created to enable the Barbican Centre employees to carry on about their business, without coming into contact with the works underway. During the preconstruction stage the Contract Manager liaised with the Client to provide program updates, agree alternative access routes, times of working, periods during the day when noisy works were minimised, as well as providing briefings to building occupants who lived in residential flats above the Concert Hall. In addition to the Site Manager’s daily inspection of works, Bakers’ Contracts Manager held a weekly site meeting with the Site Manager to inspect works, checking quality, health and safety and the progress against the project programme.

The refurbishment works to the dressing rooms and Conductor’s suite included new kitchenette areas, acoustic absorption panels and new timber veneer panels to walls within hardwood frames, redecoration of ceiling panels and carpeting. Fixtures and fittings; multipurpose room units, vanity units, built-in wardrobes, daybeds and tv units hand built out of Cedar of Lebanon, by Bakers of Danbury’s in-house joinery workshop. Bakers’ joinery workshop was used to ensure a tight control of the supply chain in terms of quality and programming. This also enabled a close liaison between Ken Marshall onsite and the Joinery Manager in the workshop in Danbury. Assistant Site Manager Ken Marshall has many years’ experience of onsite carpentry, so was given the responsibility of managing the complex joinery from Bakers’ joinery workshop to installation on site.

Access traps were removed from the stage floor and a new lift car (and framework behind) was installed with Canadian Maple to match the existing. The stage was given an anti-slip finish and fire rated varnish. The wall panels were also given a fire rated finish. New integrated lighting solutions, data works, electrical services and fire alarm systems were also installed. This required close coordination between Bakers’ joiners and mechanical and electrical contractors.

A new air-conditioning system was required to the existing projector room which posed a considerable challenge to the distant location of the plant room. Bakers noted at an early stage that the original design of the system could not be implemented due to existing and immovable plant and structure. Bakers engaged their specialist S.V.Bullen at an early stage, held meetings with the design team and ensured that a designed solution was produced and implemented which enabled the installation of the required system within the confines of the existing structure.

A list of bespoke fittings and other items for interior fit out such as televisions, lamps, bins, tables and chairs were procured cost effectively by Bakers’ Quantity Surveyor, who worked with the Client to review the specification and provide three options per item across a range of budgets.

Bespoke joinery and furniture

Summary = The renovation and internal refurbishment together with a new build pool house extension. To ensure the finished home was of the highest quality; the owners also stipulated high quality bespoke joinery and furniture to be installed throughout.

Challenge = This Grade ll Listed seven-bedroom house was in need of a substantial renovation and sympathetic internal refurbishment throughout.

Solution = The owners were aware of Bakers of Danbury's reputation for providing high quality craftsmanship and were pleased to find out, not only could Bakers of Danbury design the architectural timber work and bespoke joinery and furniture, but also can manufacture everything for the project by using their in-house joinery workshop.

In total the team designed, manufactured and installed the following bespoke joinery and furniture:

  • Internal bespoke fitted wardrobes
  • Internal doors, similar style to the original doors to comply with new fire regulations
  • Two new bespoke staircases with balustrades
  • Sash windows to match those existing and refurbishment of those windows that could be restored
  • Wall panelling to match the existing in the playroom and lounge area
  • Ornate radiator covers
  • In addition to the extensive joinery work, Bakers of Danbury also demolished and re-built the pool house. With new underground drainage, the new pool house now boasts tiled changing rooms throughout, themed lighting and handmade double glazed windows and French doors with fanlights to match the rest of the property.

    Inside the house a beautiful oak floor was salvaged from other rooms within the farm house and re-laid to make an impressive entrance lobby. Elsewhere, the original oak and parquet flooring was brought back to life after being taken up, re-laid, then expertly sanded and finished.

    As a result of the project, the home has truly been brought back to its former glory, with the attention to detail and high quality workmanship shining through. The owners described Bakers of Danbury as being “very professional, skilled and polite”.

    The owners were so impressed with the work carried out, that they asked Bakers of Danbury to return and restore their stable block.

    St Nicholas Church, Harwich

    Summary = Restoration to St Nicholas Church in Harwich, Essex included repair to water damaged walls, brick and stone repair and replacement, re-pointing and window surround replacement.

    Value = £60,000

    Location = Harwich, Essex

    Solution = Completed in December 2020, Bakers managed a four month project carrying out restoration to St Nicholas Church in Harwich, Essex. The existing cement render to the parapet walls was cracking and blown in places, and the damaged render was trapping moisture behind it, which was in turn decaying the walls. After the render was removed, deep re-pointing was carried out to the brickwork joints. The fractured and defective yellow stock bricks were replaced with reclaimed yellow stocks. A breathable three coat lime render was applied over the top of the brickwork down to stainless steel bell drips.

    Bakers repaired the brick parapet walls and octagonal chimneys. Bakers' sister company Collins and Curtis supplied window surrounds to two cast iron tracery windows in Stoke Ground stone. The cast iron windows were redecorated and re-pointing was carried out to that section of the South Aisle.

    Internally, Bakers stripped areas of water damaged plastered walls, caused by defective lead downpipes. Three coat lime lime plaster was applied and the walls were redecorated to match the existing decoration. Those defective downpipes were replaced.

    The timber access door to the spire parapet was replaced with a new oak door manufactured by Bakers' in-house joinery workshop. Minor electrical works were also carried out.

    Past Restoration Projects at St Nicholas Church

    In 2010 Bakers carried out a full redecoration of the whole church and installed three stone windows to the east end. Earlier in 2003 Bakers carried out substantial stone replacement to the tower and spire.

    All Saints Church, Terling

    Summary = Conservation and restoration work to All Saints Church in Terling included replacing the oak shingling to the church spire, associated roof timber repairs and masonry repairs to tower. Restoration and re-gilding of clock face and re-gilding to the weathervane.

    Value = approximately £105,000

    Location = Terling, Essex

    Challenge = Temporary guttering had to be installed to the base of the spire for a year, to let rainwater wash the tannin out of the new oak shakes without discolouring the church tower.

    Solution = To erect the scaffolding pockets were created to take the Haki-beams and corresponding loads upon them. Creating pockets helped to avoid destroying the vestry below to transfer the scaffold load to the ground.

    Temporary guttering was installed to the base of the spire and remained in place for a year to catch the brown water that runs off the roof initially. This is caused by the oak ‘tannin’ that comes of the oak shakes and will decrease over time once washed out by the rain. Rodells Steeplejacks later removed guttering and downpipe.

    Conservation and Restoration Work to the Spire

    Conservation and restoration work to the spire at All Saints Church involved stripping the cedar shingles for the full height of the spire and carrying out timber roof repairs. A handful of re-connections of timber joints were installed, where structural heave had caused an oak dowel to fail in the joint, resulting in partial separation of the timbers. These were tied back together with a piece of stainless-steel strapping. All battens were placed with treated softwood and new oak shakes were installed.

    The new shakes installed were split, not sawn. Shingles are sawn, whereas shakes can be split, split and sawn or simply sawn, depending on the type of grade required.

    Stone Repairs and Replacement

    Stone repairs were carried out, and the eroded existing stone quoins were cut out and replaced with new Hartham-Park stone quoins. Open joints in the brickwork were repointed. Tom Poysner who was at the time taking part in block release training at Stratford Crafts college to become a Banker Mason, predominantly fitted the replacement stone quoins along with another experienced Mason. A Banker Mason carries out the final preparation work on stone-masonry blocks by hand.

    Conservation and Restoration Work to the Weathervane, Clock Face and Sundial.

    The weathervane was removed, repaired, decorated and re-gilded. The existing lightning conductor tape was replaced with new.

    A Specialist gilder/decorator bought the stone clock and sundial back to life by restoring and re-gilding them. The name “Rocky the Rocket” was given to the weathervane due to his strange appearance, as he looks like he has rockets strapped to his sides!

    Student Site Visit

    On 25th July a small group of 16-19 year olds who were studying a City & Guilds course with Essex Youth Build visited site at 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.

    Grays Convent School, Thurrock

    Summary = The creation of a single classroom extension adjacent to a previous extension, connected to the existing building.

    Value = £200,000

    Location = Thurrock, Essex

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

    Solution = As principal contractor Bakers of Danbury recently completed a new build extension to provide a new classroom extension to Grays Convent School. The single classroom extension was constructed from a block and brick, with a warm deck flat roof. External Comar aluminum windows and doors were installed to the new build and fire rated doors were installed internally.

    The existing classroom eternal door provided a doorway access from the new build classroom to the existing building. The M&E package included electrical lighting, small power and new radiators. Externally, the tarmac was made good around the edge of the building.

    As works took place in a live school, deliveries were limited to designated times out of school pick-up, drop-off and breaks. All deliveries had to ring ahead to the Site Manager before arriving. Upon arrival, all deliveries were escorted by a trained banksman, gaining access to site via a side entrance to the school. The whole site including the site compound was securely fenced off from the live school and the general public.

    Progress meetings took place once a week and were attended by representatives from Thurrock Council, Munday and Cramer, Bakers of Danbury and occasionally Grays Convent School. In addition to progress review meetings, the Site Manager regularly liaised with the school, in particular the school's caretaker with regards to access and planning works around school activities.

    The site was monitored at all times by Bakers of Danbury's Site Manager and inspections were carried out by Bakers' external health and safety consultant Eastern Builders Safety Group to ensure the site complied with health and safety legislation.

    The new build classroom extension was completed ahead of the deadline (January 2020) and to budget.

    ISO 9001 Quality Standard

    Bakers of Danbury are delighted to announce that we have achieved and are now accredited to ISO 9001:2015, after undergoing a successful three day audit late last year, of our Quality Managements Systems for both onsite and our head office. Meeting the ISO 9001 Quality standard demonstrates our ability to consistently provide goods and services that meet our customer and regulatory requirements.

    About ISO 9001 Quality standard:

    First published in 1987 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the ISO 9001 Quality Management System (QMS) is the world’s most popular QMS. It is an international agency composed of the national standards bodies of more than 160 countries. A complete ISO 9001 Quality Management System must address all the requirements of ISO 9001, including the ISO 9001 documentation requirements. An ISO 9001 Quality Management System integrates the various internal processes within the organisation and provides a process approach for project execution. A process based QMS enables the organizations to identify, measure, control and improve the various core business processes that will ultimately lead to improved business performance.

    Altius Assured Vendor Status

    Bakers of Danbury are delighted to announce that we recently achieved Altius Assured Vendor status, by passing a rigorous independent assessment and accreditation process. Achieving the Altius Assured Vendor status is part of our drive to provide excellent business performance and a superior level of service to new and existing customers.

    About Altrius:

    Altius VA Ltd was founded in 2007 to provide significant benefits to both clients and suppliers working with, or within a supply chain. Used by thousands of suppliers nationwide, the Altius Accreditation scheme has been designed to give suppliers the platform needed to demonstrate assurance to new, existing and prospective clients. This is achieved through their rigorous supplier certification process and criteria, audits and awards supply chain excellence. Altius help Clients with three key areas: pre-contract, contract delivery, and continuous improvement.