The Restoration Project
Project Update, November 2004
It's great to report that
Sapcote & Sons Ltd (Sapcote),
our building contractors, started the building work as
scheduled on 19th April 2004 and that generally the work has progressed according
to our original programme. A few delays along the way have
resulted in a minor re-scheduling of the completion date
to January 2005, but as that date approaches everyone is
confident that work will be completed by the new target
At the time of writing the roof is in place (including a replacement
of the original ridge sign), the rotten floor joists (unfortunately
that is most of them) have been repaired or replaced, new floors
are in, the internal plastering is nearing completion and the
patterned tile floors are being renovated. So the building looks
very bare, but is beginning to return to life! Externally, work
to the boundary walls is nearing completion, and groundworks
are in place for the new car-park, ready for re-surfacing and
By special arrangement with Sapcote and thanks to their
support, the building was open for viewing during the Civic
Trust Heritage Weekend on 11th & 12th September - with
over 200 people taking the opportunity to see a building conservation
project "in progress".
Thanks are due to local historian and former employee within
the fire-brick (or refractories) industry, John Cooksey for writing
the "History of Fire-bricks" section of this website.
He has recently published a book "Brickyards of the Black
Country - A Forgotten Industry" (price £9.99) available
from John on 01384 836122.
Work to record the memories of former employees of the Harris & Pearson
Company has been commissioned and began in October. More on this shortly.
With thanks to support from Dudley
MBC, design work for an interpretation board to be installed
within the central archway of the restored building is nearing
completion. Design work for an accompanying information leaflet
October also saw the start of a marketing programme to find a new user
for the restored building. For details contact the selling
agents Fraser Wood (telephone 01922
Ways in which you can help at this stage:
- Do you know anyone who used to work at the Harris & Pearson
building or at the brickworks? We are finalising
the list to contact for possible recording of memories.
- If you know of any organisation with a possible interest
to own or rent the building when restored,
for use as commercial offices, please contact the selling agents Fraser
Wood (telephone 01922 629000).
- Would you like to be kept informed about
the ongoing work of the West
Midlands Historic Buildings Trust? Then please contact
us about becoming a member.
- And we are always in need of sponsors. If
you know of any organisation likely to be interested
in making a donation towards the general running costs
of the Trust, or towards specific future building conservation
projects, please contact us.
Building protected by a temporary roof cover whilst work is carried out
The replacement ridge sign and repaired roof.
Where bricks were badly damaged, they have been replaced
First-floor ceiling being re-plastered
Enlarge this image
Rotten Timbers were repaired rather than
replaced, with new timber spliced in where necessary. The two photos
above show examples in roof timbers and in one of the original front