Tag Archives: Chelmsford

Work Experience Placement

Alex Bishop, a year 12 student from a high school in Chelmsford has joined our Church Department this week to gain some work experience. Alex contacted Bakers to ask for a work experience placement, hoping to gain an insight into building and restoration. Alex is studying A Levels in Product Design, Business Studies and Media.

Alex is shadowing our Contract Managers Monday to Friday this week. During his first two days of work experience, Alex has already visited our restoration project at St John the Baptist Church in Royston which was devastated by a fire back in 2018, a re-ordering project at Christ Church in North Finchley, learnt about the lath and plaster repair works taking place at St Peter and St Paul’s church in Shorne, Kent and attended a prestart meeting at Bruce Castle in London.

Alex said; “I'm keen on gaining some practical work experience in building and restoration, because I am interested in it and do product design in school which is similar, and I enjoy it a lot. My work experience with Bakers this week has shown me just how many people and companies are involved in one building project. I also didn’t realise how much planning goes into what they have to do!”

Alex has been helping the church department by making a list of materials needed for a forthcoming project. This list will be used by the Contract Manager and Site staff as a quick guide reference when looking at what materials are needed. From the list Alex is creating, the Contract Manager can quickly identify what is needed on the project and then refer to the drawings to calculate the quantities before placing orders. To extract the information he needs to compile the list, Alex is reading through the schedule of works for that project.

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.

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.

New Build Detached House

Summary = New build detached house consisting of three bedrooms.

Challenge = A forever home built to adapt to the family's changing needs over the years.

Solution = Bakers of Danbury recently completed the new build detached house, consisting of a 3 bedrooms. The chalet style house was of a timber frame construction with a hand cut roof with a slate finish with rendered external walls.

The new build detached house was designed specifically for the use of the family as a forever home. The clever design will enable the house to adapt to the family's changing needs. For example low thresholds will allow disable access if it should be needed in the future.

Downstairs the house boasts an open plan living area comprising of a kitchen, dining room and lounge area. Bakers manufactured a bespoke sliding screen which gives the flexibility to separate the lounge area from the dining and kitchen area. When the screen is closed it looks like a wall, but when it is open it is cleverly hidden to provide the family with open plan living. As the house is chalet style, the two downstairs bedrooms are services by a modern wet room.

Upstairs the large landing space leads to the master bedroom, bathroom and study. The large landing area and study benefit from natural light through the feature windows at the front of the house.

The external grounds were landscaped to include a large drive laid with stone chippings, paving laid to both sides and exterior of the house with a decked entertainment area to the rear.

Church Fire Damage Repair

Summary = St John the Baptist Church in Royston was devastated by a fire. Bakers of Danbury have carried out phase one of works which included securing the structure and stripping the fire damaged materials which were beyond repair. Bakers are currently working on the second phase.

Location = Royston, Hertfordshire

Challenge = National lock down due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Solution = Bakers of Danbury were initially tasked with phase one of works which began May 2019 and involved six weeks stripping all fire damaged material and making the structure safe after it had suffered a devastating fire in the early hours of the 9th December 2018.

The fire which started in the tower devastated the tower and bell ringing chamber and caused significant damage to the medieval nave roof, in particular the west end of the roof. The church also suffered from subsequent water damage as a result of extinguishing the fire, which cause the floor to collapse.

After completing phase one of works, Bakers were awarded phase two of works which began at the fire damaged church in February 2020. Later the following month, due to the nature of the works and the confined working space, the project had to be put on hold during the national lock down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In May the works resumed with the introduction of social distancing measures, sensible planning and safe working procedures which were implemented by Bakers' SHEQ Manager, Contract Manager and Site Manager for the project.

During phase two, a new tower roof with steel supporting girders was installed and covered in lead. New window reveals (in Clunch) were installed within the tower and repairs were made to the tower internal walls, particularly at the belfry level where it had been seriously damaged by the instense heat. Within the tower a quatrefoil window was replaced with one handcrafted by Bakers' sister company Collins and Curtis Masonry.

Lower down the tower, Bakers repaired the walls by stitching them with large pieces of Clunch. Re-pointing the stonework further restored and strengthened the tower. New copings in Barnack stone were installed to the tower parapet and new ashlar indents were also incorporated.

To the naive roof, which suffered significant damage, Bakers repaired the original inner wall plate and introduced a new outer wall plate to support the rafters. New rafters were installed where the fired had damaged the original ones beyond repair. Those original principal rafters which were salvaged have been repaired and supported by installing large stainless steel brackets (individual brackets weigh 175 kg each).

All timbers have been ice blasted to remove fire and smoke damage, taking particular attention to preserve historical graffiti which although had been damaged by the fire, was still legible. A new lead roof (code 7) will be installed and all rainwater goods will be replaced with cast aluminum.

Ice blast cleaning has been carried out in isolated areas of the church which suffered fire and smoke damage, for example around the windows and doors. Various cleaning trials have been carried out throughout the interior and exterior of the church. Phase 2 of works will be completed to deadline, January 2021. Bakers are working in close collaboration with the Project Quantity Surveyor to monitor overall contract values, variation costs and the final contract sum.

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.

Restoration of Oldest Church Remains

Summary = Restoration of apsidal remains, said to be the oldest church in Britain.

Location = Colchester, Essex

Challenge = The weather was causing erosion to the original core structure of the walls.

Solution = Restoration works have recently been carried out by Bakers of Danbury Ltd, to the remaining stonework belonging to what is said to be the oldest Christian Church in England.

The remains of the Church next to Colchester Police Station in Essex, are believed to date back to 320 A.D, toward the end of the Roman occupation in Britain. Originally excavated more than 40 years ago, the apsidal remains consist of septarian stone together with reclaimed roman tiles and pamments.

Commissioned by Colchester Borough Council and supported by Colchester Archaeological Trust, Bakers of Danbury’s stonemasons repointed the stone wall foundations with Lime Mortar and restored all visible stonework, using traditional methods which have been handed down generations of the 140-year-old company. Despite the starkness of the pointing against the older, dirtier masonry, Bakers' stonemasons matched the original core mortar as closely as possible.

The recent restoration works will protect the remains for many years to come, by preventing further erosion which can occur when the weather gets into the original core structure of the walls. All oak marker posts which mark the positions of the aisles and partition have been replaced with new.

Philip Wise, Colchester & Ipswich Museums said;

“These works will help to safeguard the future of these important Roman remains for the people of Colchester.”

Although Colchester Archaeological Trust agree the ruins are a “probable Romano-British Church”, the building was associated with two cemeteries one pagan and one Christian, which help support alternative theories around the buildings original use - perhaps later being converted to a Romano-British Church. These theories suggest it may have been originally been a pagan temple, a Roman mithraeum (Roman temple) or a hall for funerary feasts predating AD.320. The remains were awarded Scheduled Monument status by Historic England on 07 October 2020, ref 1470104. For more information visit historicengland.co.uk

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.

Westminster Deanery

Summary = A refurbishment and roofing project at Westminster Deanery, which sits within the grounds of Westminster Abbey.

Location = Westminster, London

Challenge = Nationwide Lock down due to the Covid-19 pandemic

Solution = Works continued safely on site during the Covid-19 lockdown, due to sensible planning and safe working procedures put in place on site. Bakers are currently midway through the £1.8 million refurbishment and roofing project at Westminster Deanery, which sits within the grounds of Westminster Abbey.

  • Westminster Deanery roof works
  • Roof works carried out by Bakers involved stripping the existing roof, recasting original lead and re-leading the roof adjacent to the West Towers of the abbey. The pitched tiled roof area was also stripped, with structural repairs undertaken and then retiled with a mix of reclaimed peg tiles and new handmade tiles . A full overhaul of the rainwater goods is also being undertaken, with refurbished cast iron and lead downpipes, hoppers and chutes. Bakers increased the gradient of the roof (compliant with lead sheet association guidelines).

  • Westminster Deanery refurbishment works
  • The entire deanery including a grand function room are being renovated which includes five bedrooms, a kitchen, utility, dining area and the Dean's study and offices, along with two bathrooms and the addition of one new bathroom. Upgraded electrical and mechanical installations are being completed, along with improvements to insulation wherever possible. Full decoration is also being undertaken externally, including the 15th Century elevation being stripped of many layers of paint to reveal the original brickwork façade underneath.

    A new hardwood doorway and canopy will lead to the refurbished garden, which will be landscaped and have new drainage installed before the Deanery is handed back at the end of this year.

    To hear more about this and other projects visit our Latest News page or the Bakers of Danbury Facebook page.

    Westminster School

    Summary =Bakers of Danbury recently built an extension to the Grade I Listed Westminster School. The extension included two entrance lobbies, a new block of visitor w/c, a presentation/ reception room as well as four new offices and meeting rooms for school staff. Bakers also carried out refurbishment and renovation works to six rooms around the perimeter of the new build extension, as well as the installation of a new stairwell and lift.

    Location = Westminster, London

    Challenge =Westminster School is the only ancient school in London which still occupies its original site. The site of the new extension is very closely surrounded by Grade I Listed buildings, some dating back to the 11th century. Access was restricted due to working on a live school.

    Solution = Phase one involved carefully dismantling the modern concrete music center to protect the archaeology below ground and the listed buildings surrounding the site.

    During phase two, Bakers oversaw archaeological excavations,which were carried out in conjunction with Pre-Construct Archaeology. The archaeological excavations uncovered part of the original kitchen to the Monks Abbey dating back to the 11th century.

    A section of the new build floor (within the presentation/ reception room) was later covered with cantilevered glass to create a platform from which to view the archaeology below ground level. Close co-ordination between Bakers, the structural steelwork fabricator and the glass floor manufacturer was required because in some parts the glass floor were only 10mm away from the archaeology. Underfloor lighting and temperature control were installed to help preserve the archaeology.

    During phase three of the project, Bakers used traditional building techniques and materials to create the new build extension. The extension was constructed with handmade bricks, reclaimed tiles and handmade timber and lead light windows, and it's new lead roof which features an oak oval lantern, with complex lead soffit detail was installed.

    External restoration works were carried out to a number of surrounding school buildings together with an internal renovation to six rooms, plant-room and the installation of a new stairwell (with decorative balustrades) and lift. Bakers carried out extensive repointing and cleaning, as well as stone (Burford stone) and brick repair and replacement to the neighbouring Grade I Listed Ashburnham house.

    A full M&E package which covered both the new build extension and existing school buildings included a contractor led design disabled platform lift and a Daliv Control Lighting System which enables separate light settings for different parts of one room. The expansion of the plant-room provided a new heating system to the new extension together with an adaption to the existing school heating system. Landscaping was carried out to Little Deans Yard, which lays the front of Westminster School.

    The project was overseen by Bakers' Contract Manager Chris Norman. Throughout the project, monthly progress meetings took place with the Client, Ptolemy Dean Architects, Structural Engineers, M&E Consultant, Quantity Surveyor, Chris Norman and other representatives from Bakers of Danbury. The Contract Manager, Chris worked in close collaboration with the Project Quantity Surveyor to monitor the overall contract values, variation costs and the final contract sum.

    Less formal weekly meetings with the School Bursar took place with Chris Norman and the Site Manager to maintain communication between the Principal Contractor and Client, also enabling Bakers to organise works around any forthcoming School activities and restrictions. In addition to the Site Manager’s daily inspection of works, Chris Norman held a weekly site meeting with the Site Manager to inspect works, checking quality, health and safety and progress against the project programme.

    Farleigh Hospice Christmas Tree Recycling

    Bakers of Danbury were very proud to be the main sponsor for the 2019/ 2020 Farleigh Hospice Christmas Tree Recycling Campaign which raised a massive £37,500.

    2019 was the sixth year that Farleigh Hospice has organised their Christmas Tree Recycling campaign. Growing in popularity every year, the Christmas Tree Recycling campaign raised a over £10,000 more than last year.

    Without the help of all of the volunteers who collect the trees over the first weekend in January, it wouldn't have been possible. The volunteers collect the trees and drive them back to chipped and recycled - some are used in local parks and some to make fuel.

    Farleigh Hospice asked Bakers of Danbury in 2018 if we would like to be the first ever sponsor of their Christmas Tree Recycling event, as they had seen we actively support local charities. We have been proud to be the main sponsor for the campaign over the last couple of years, and look forward to doing the same this year. To date Farleigh Hospice Christmas Tree Recycling events have raised the following;

  • 2015 - £3,700 collecting 450 trees
  • 2016 - £5,000 collecting 613 trees
  • 2017 - £12,000 collecting 1,400 trees
  • 2018 - £20,000 collecting 2,100 trees
  • 2019 - £27,000 collecting 2,800 trees
  • 2020 - £37,500 collecting 3,500 trees
  • Debbie de Boltz, Fundraising Manager for Farleigh Hospice wrote:

    A huge thank you for sponsoring our Christmas Tree Recycling Campaign again this year. I am delighted to tell you that we collected in excess of 3,500 trees and raised over £37,500, which is a truly fantastic amount of money.



    You are helping us to continue providing hospice care and support to anyone affected by a life-limiting illness or bereavement across mid Essex. Thanks to you we can help people to live as actively as possible from the point of diagnosis to the end of their lives, by providing physical and emotional care, free of charge. We can support people in their own homes and provide bereavement services to anyone who needs them within our community.



    We rely on your support to help us raise the £6 million we need every year (over £16,000 a day). With the number of people needing specialised palliative care and bereavement support growing every year, your generosity is more important now than ever. It is because you care that we can.

    To find out more about the services Farleigh Hospice provides visit www.farleighhospice.org