Tag Archives: oak church spire

Considerate Contractor Scheme Award Winners

We are delighted to announce that Bakers of Danbury has been awarded the Gold Award at The City of London's Considerate Contractor Scheme Awards 2022.

The City of London said the decision was based on the overall performance of all personnel working on behalf of Bakers of Danbury during the past year on the site (St Lawrence Jewry).

The Gold Award recognises that the requirements of the Code of Good Practice have been consistently exceeded. It reflects a spirit of pride, an awareness of the needs of the passing public and regard for the surrounding environment.

To find out more about the Considerate Constractor Scheme 2022 Awards click here.

Image: ©Clive Totman 2022

St Lawrence Jewry – Hard Hat Tour

In May 2022, a group of over 50 SPAB (Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) members took part in a hard hat tour to find out more about the repair and restoration works Bakers of Danbury are currently carry out at St Lawrence Jewry in London

The SPAB members were allocated one of two tour times for which the attendees were split into three small groups. The tours took 1.5 hours during which the groups stopped at 6 points within the site. As St Lawrence Jewry was a working building site and the tours involved climbing up and walking along multiple lifts of scaffolding - which have a limited amount of space - it was essential that the tours were well organised to ensure the tour groups were able travel along their designated route without the risk of meeting one of the other groups.

The tour guides for the three hard hat tours were Julian Harrap, Andrew Coles and Judy Allen from Julian Harrap Architects. The SPAB members enjoyed a detailed guided tour around the vestibule, nave and on the nave roof to see works taking place.

During the tour the attendees found out about how the current repair and restoration works are sensitive to the late 17th century construction including both the traditional materials and the quality of workmanship and how the works were designed for longevity using materials with longer service lifespans to ensure the ongoing preservation of the building.

Some other interesting information the attendees were told during the hard hat tours also included; how the intricate carved stone was gently cleaned using a nebulous spray technique, Julian Harrap Architects’ theory on why the external ashlar stone was removed from the north elevation sometime after the 1940’s, and how Julian Harrap Architects calculated the strengths and weaknesses of the existing 1950's nave roof before Bakers of Danbury could carry out repairs, structural strengthening and re-roofing using heavier code 8 lead.

To find out more about repair and restoration works to St Lawrence Jewry, London click here.

St Lawrence Jewry, London

Works are underway and scaffold wrap is going up around our restoration project at St Lawrence Jewry in London. To find out more about the project visit www.bakersofdanbury.co.uk

St Lawrence Jewry, London

Summary = Conservation and restoration works to St Lawrence Jewry, London, This project marks the largest phase of work to the building since the reconstruction by Cecil Brown in the 1950's.

Location = London

Challenge = The surviving Wren masonry suffers from heavy carbon staining and discoloration along with a pattern of defects

Solution = Under instruction from The City of London Corporation, Bakers recently started a large restoration project at St Lawrence Jewry, which stands in the yard of the Guildhall. The 18 month project is designed to return the Church to a sound state of repair and safeguard it for future generations.

St Lawrence Jewry, the official church of the Lord Mayor of the City of London, was first built in 1136 in the east end of London - the old Jewish quarter. It was rebuilt in 1677 by Christopher Wren after it was destroyed in the Great Fire of London, and reconstructed by Cecil Brown in 1957 after it was badly damaged in the Second World War.

Conservation and Restoration of St Lawrence Jewry, London

This project marks the largest phase of work to the building since the reconstruction by Cecil Brown in the 1950's. Many of the finishes to the roofs, gutters, cupola and spire date from then and are therefore towards the end of their service life, evidenced by the water ingress that has been an increasing problem in recent years. The surviving Wren masonry suffers from heavy carbon staining and discoloration along with a pattern of defects known as "corrosion jacking", caused by concealed iron cramps rusting, expanding and subsequently splitting and cracking the stonework.

Conservation and Restoration works

The Church remained open during phase one of the project. Phase one of works involved the cleaning and repair of the stone masonry elevations, tower and carved stonework; structural work, re-roofing and thermal upgrading of the lead covered Nave; re-roofing of the Commonwealth Chapel, Vicarage apartment and to the south-west of the tower; repairs to the timber framed, lead-clad cupola and spire; replacement of lead gutters and downpipes; overhaul, cleaning and repair of all stained and plain glass windows; replacement of lightning protection; and the repair and structural strengthening of decorative fibrous plaster ceilings, redecoration, repairs to the nave ceiling and commonwealth chapel and various upgrades to improve fire rating.

Phase two of works are currently underway and involve internal works including new mechanical and electrical installation, a fire rating upgrade and refurbishment of the vicarage & general office, renewal of boilers and flue arrangement, renewal of air handling unit and the renewal of the heating system.

In May 2022, a group of over 50 SPAB (Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) members took part in a hard hat tour to find out more about the repair and restoration works Bakers of Danbury are currently carry out at St Lawrence Jewry in London. The tour guides for the three hard hat tours were Julian Harrap, Andrew Coles and Judy Allen from Julian Harrap Architects. The SPAB members enjoyed a detailed guided tour around the vestibule, nave and on the nave roof to see works taking place.

Bakers of Danbury received a Gold Award at The City of London's Considerate Contractor Awards. The City of London stated that decision was based on the overall performance of all personnel working on behalf of Bakers of Danbury during the past year on the site (St Lawrence Jewry).

The Gold Award recognises that the requirements of the Code of Good Practice have been consistently exceeded. It reflects a spirit of pride, an awareness of the needs of the passing public and regard for the surrounding environment.

Church Masonry Repairs

Summary = Emergency masonry repairs to church bell tower ruins

Value = Approximately £30,000

Location = East Bergholt, Suffolk

Challenge = The construction of the bell tower began in 1525, but the construction stopped in 1530, due to Cardinal Wolsey's fall from grace and the Reformation. Bakers carried out the necessary emergency repair works in 2017 as the bell tower masonry, which is exposed to the weather, had suffered damage.

Solution = Bakers carried out consolidation to the masonry walls which consist mainly of flint. Repairs were carried out to the cracks and sections of the mortar capping on top of the walls. Bakers surveyed the walls for loose stones, and re-bed any loose stones identified. Loose mortar was removed, and repointing was carried out to make the masonry walls safe and weatherproof.

Bakers also carried out brick repairs to the tower door and laid reclaimed pamnent tiles to the floor which leads to the exposed staircase within the tower walls.

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

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.