Rossi Long Consulting worked in close collaboration with Architect and Builders in designing and detailing a scheme of repairs to the church tower flintwork and timber cupola which led to the Parish Church being awarded the prestigious SPAB (Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) John Betjeman Memorial Award.
The timber cupola had suffered in its exposed position from extreme weathering and was extremely fragile. With English Heritage grant funding a programme of sensitive repair was embarked upon utilising a unique combination of modern materials and repair techniques whilst retaining as much of the original oak structure as possible.
Careful attention was paid to the design of the oak frame joints to avoid moisture traps which had resulted in the earlier decay. SPAB principles of repair were followed, including minimal intervention, honest identifiable repairs, respect for age and use of matching materials where appropriate.
Stephen Thorp, Rector of All Saints, says: “……as it progressed we could see, even as lay people, the high level of skill and craftsmanship involved. It was a joy to behold and we all appreciated the sheer quality of the work that was being done. The project has really brought the community together. Now, at last, we are able to ring the bells again at All Saints and we have a new ringing team, of which I am a member! It has brought the tower back to life. We are not only thrilled by the quality of the work, but also to receive this award.”
In May, a group of SPAB architectural professionals visited churches shortlisted for this year’s award to assess a variety of repair projects. Panel spokesman Peter Burman says: “In every case we were impressed by the high level of professionalism which had gone into the repair project. We felt that all four short-listed projects exhibited the SPAB’s principle of ‘honest and visible repair’.