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Church House, South Tawton, Devon, UK





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Archive 7 - March 2005

Church House Restoration Project - Another Phase Begins  David Youle 22nd March 2005

The process that started with a public meeting at the start of October 2002 can be seen as a series of overlapping phases. The first phase was concerned with Meetings and Organisational Structure Building, resulting in the formation of the Management Committee, the Friends of Church House and the various contacts and connections necessary to progress. The second phase involved the production of a set of Preliminary Reports - a Historical Survey, an Architectural Assessment and a Feasibility Study. A third phase of the project was concerned with funding, initially to provide these reports which then themselves became the basis for seeking and securing the major funding for the restoration itself. Phase four is concerned with Work Specification, Approvals (completed November 2004) and Contractor Tendering. The tenders were opened in February and the main contractor, Darrock and Brown Ltd. from Bodmin in Cornwall, were chosen and approved in March. The chosen thatcher is Malcolm Hayes from Chagford, who has already featured on this pages repairing the trench taken by John Letts in February.

The Meeting gets underway

The Pre Contract Meeting at Church House on March 22nd 2005 marks the start of phase five , the actual Repair and Restoration of the building. It was a formal introductory meeting, bringing together:


The Employer (Church House Management Committee) - David Youle

The Architects (Van der Steen Hall) - Allen Van der Steen & Pip Morrison

The Builders (Darrock & Brown) - Bill Gladwell & Arthur Britton

The Quantity Surveyor (Bare, Leaning & Bare) Fred Major

Lead Archaeological Monitor (Franklin & Andrews) - Oliver Firkin

Associate Archaeological Monitor (English Heritage) - Rebecca Child

Oliver and David go over the figures

Oliver Firkin and David Youle

Allen & Rebecca listen to Bill
Allen Van der Steen and Rebecca Child


The work involved, which is due to start 25 th April, is extensive covering thatching, chimney repair, doors, walls, floors, beams and windows, a toilet for disabled people, kitchen fittings, lighting, heating, drainage and fire precautions, etc. The expected finishing date, all being well, should be the middle of September.

Pip shares a joke
Pip Morrison

Fred, Arthur, Bill & Pip

Fred checks an item








Fred Major

While this is going on, as well as the unfinished work on the other phases, the Committee will be turning its attention more fully to phase six , the Furnishing of the Building (before October) and Information Materials Provision (by August 2005) and phase seven the Marketing & Publicity Strategy and Building Usage Planning for community needs, educational purposes and fund raising events, to pay for future maintenance and upkeep. I suppose you could say phase eight will start when the use commences, hopefully with an opening event sometime after the start of October 2005, three years since the project began.

Arthur Britton & Bill
Bill the Builder
Arthur Britton ad Bill Gladwell

Further information

Please contact David Youle

Phone               01837 840418