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Church House, South Tawton, Devon, UK





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Archive 14 - November 2005

THE COMPLETION OF THE PROJECT     David Youle 25th November 2005

The contractors have left the site and the re-opening ceremony takes place on Wednesday afternoon, 30 November. We were pleased that the Chairman of the Heritage Lottery Committee for the South West is able to join us to celebrate, with many others from all over the region. If you are not able to come on Wednesday, we are opening again on Saturday 10 December from 2-5 pm . More than 70 people have been intimately concerned with the £350,000 project that will ensure the future of this special building for centuries to come.

Specialists and experts have come from Sheffield , Worcester , Oxford , Bath , Leominster , Exeter and Cornwall , and we have been able to use local craftsmen for the thatching, joinery and ironwork. Anyone who visits Church House will be aware how many charities, trusts and other bodies have contributed towards the cost of the work. Heritage Lottery Fund granted over 78%, and without their support we could not have started the project, but the Dartmoor National Park Authority and our local councils have also helped. We will be writing to the Friends of Church House shortly, as their support from the early stages gave the committee much encouragement in their endeavours! Many of our Friends have offered to help with stewarding the building when we are open to the public - do join them if you have a few hours to spare.

The management committee will promote the excellence of Church House, but we would urge all parishioners to use the building whenever possible. We would remind you that bookings can be made on line or by phoning 01837 840418.

Darrock & Brown - The Main Contractors      pete kilgannon 26th November 2005

I have tried to give some idea of what has been happening as the work has progressed, from the initial funding grant, through the thatch, timber and historical research, the restoration commencing, the thatcher, mason, joiner even the ale brewery but, every day, the possibly less eye catching work has been progressing, resulting in the completed building we see today. My idea had been to produce a page featuring all the people involved but when I came to do this I found that I had been concentrating on the building when I took my photos and only got shots of the people if they 'got in the way'! I have tried to match photos to names but, as this has only been partially successful, I have resorted to listing the names and producing a series of shots that I hope give a good flavour of the work involved. In addition to the Darrock & Brown workforce, these pictures also include sub contractors - glaziers, plumbers, electricians, a blacksmith, fire prevention etc. I hope, at a later stage to get David to write a feature on our the architects, Van der Steen Hall Ltd.

Note: Some of the photos were taken by Martin Clarke, building up a photographic record of the work as it progressed.

Church House covered in scaffolding
Church House - Completed pencil drawing

Darrock & Brown Directors Arthur Britton, Bill Gladwell
Site Foreman Martin Clarke
Workforce Skye Ash, Don Atherton Shaun Carthew, John Day, Bobby Dymond, Lucy Godden, James Green, Nick Heather, Laurence Jago, Craig Kent, Jim Miller, Dave Napier, Stewart Oram, Nigel Ratcliffe, Mike Rich, James Rousseau, Michael Sleeman, Tom Watson, Don Willcock,

Argos Fire Protection Services, British Telecommunications , Church House Ale Guy Sheppard, Exe Valley Brewery, Head Brewer Daniel Wambua Calor Gas , Doors-Joinery Marshall Joinery, Electrical Andrew Davey, Ironwork Dave Denford, Kitchen Furniture Steve & Shaun Wright, Plumbing and Heating Alan and Miranda Vanier, Masonry Ian Piper, Scaffolding M and M, Western Power Michael Beharrell, Windows Daniel Humphries

Arthur Britton - Working Director
Martin Clarke - Site Foreman
Working on the floor timbers
The underfloor heating being laid
The steps as they were
The new steps
The repaired west chimney
The chimney repair ties
Electical wires
Building the gas cylinder store
Drainage work
The glaziers at work
Making cement
The chimney cover
The front door entrance
The first floor doorway
Repairing the timbers under the thatch
The new disability friendly entrance ramp
In the food preparation area
Sharing a joke
The oak floor being waxed
Work on the main hall
The blacksmith making the railings
The glazier fitting a window
The electrician making conduit
The fire protection worker
The first floor beams uncovered
An old stone floor uncovered
The original windows
The new windows
Doors and screen waiting to be fitted
Granite blocks on site
Jim Miller entering on the first day
The trainee architect gets her hands dirty
Plastering - an almost medieval scene
The plumbers take a look outside
The plumber
Covering the trench behind the building
The plumber's father
Cleaning the granite joints
A site meeting with Pip Morrison the architect

  Further Information
Please contact David Youle

          Phone      01837 840418