You may have seen that the scaffolders are back! This week they are removing the top level of the scaffold. The cupola is now revealed and the tin roof is being removed, we will be able to see that glorious roof before long! But more about that later…
Starting from the ground floor…
There is lots of work being done with windows and doors at the moment. The first window on the left (which used to be in the ladies loo) will be a fire exit door in the new Town Council office, so they have been carefully removing the stones at the bottom to turn the window into a door.
The two most southern windows, facing down bridge street, are also being turned into doors, so that people can enter the Town Hall from the south as well as the north. the stones are being carefully removed and the best of them are being used to block in the old fire exit door on the east of the building, to return that door to a window…. all very complicated but the work is meticulous stunning!
At ceiling level, the wooden batons are in place ready for the oak laths to be put in place ready for the plastering or the ceiling. Once the ceiling is finished, the internal birdcage scaffold will be able to be removed.
When you reach the first floor, lots of work has taken place in the old office (which will be the new catering kitchen for the upper hall). The services for the attic run through here and the service hatch for accessing these will be in the kitchen rather than the attic space. Some old skirting detail has been uncovered too, which is rather nice.
On the first floor, the wooden panelling is looking amazing. Lots of softwood panels and broken pieces are being repaired, replaced or restored. Three new solid oak window frames have been made for the upper hall. One for the old fire escape door which is becoming a door (notice a theme this week?!) and two for the southern windows which, on closer inspection, were found to be a softer wood and therefore hadn’t fared very well being battered by the elements! These two had probably been replaced by an inferior wood in the past and now need replacing again. lloyd joinery in Brackley have made these beautiful windows for us – I don’t envy the contractors having to lift them into place! The ceiling is still looking beautiful now the birdcage scaffold has come down and the restoration is complete!
There is lots of work happening in the attic, preparing the space for it’s future use as a holiday let space. The floor is being insulated and soundproofed and then the levels made equal throughout. There is work happening in the plant room and work has begun on the new dividing wall for the holiday let. The wall is set back from the original 1706 wall of the georgian building as it is very historically important. this step has meant we can retain some beautiful features like the chimney engravings.
On the roof the work is complete and it is just beautiful. These sandy slate tiles are the new ones that will weather with age and soon look the same as the old reclaimed and salvaged tiles that we managed to save from the roof. I can’t wait for you all to be able to see the roof! The work has taken 187 days of solid work by several different contractors and really is a fabulous piece of work! Bird netting has been placed around the gantry to the flagpole and the cupola to protect the building from the pigeons.
Here are some lovely views of the roof and scaffold. The beautiful cupola is now on show all over the town and it looks fabulous!