Wednesday, June 28, 2006

SalvoFAIR: Baltic Exchange arrives

Knebworth, Hertfordshire UK - THE site has been laid out, marquees are being erected, heavy moving gear arrives and the first exhibit reaches Knebworth . . . the pediment from the Baltic Exchange which used to be standing in the heart of the City of London on the site of the present day Gherkin.

Mark eats the gherkin

The pediment from the pre-Gherkin Baltic Exchange has landed at Knebworth

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

SalvoFAIR: Mark meets the reclaimed Roman bricks

Today Mark was blessed by the blissful passers-by outside St Albans abbey, filmed by the crew from Richard & Judy, and fought the devil of recycling up the hill out of St Albans on his way north to Wheathampstead and Knebworth.

The video clip shows Mark engaged in a philosophical discussion with local youth, who boisterously celebrated his journey with a roly poly race (not shown here for legal reasons) and a rousing hurray and throwing of caps into the air . . . or something like that.

Next stop Wheathampstead, hopefully tomorrow.

Monday, June 26, 2006

SalvoWEB: Problems Fixed

The issues with the Fasthosts server were resolved in the early hours.

SalvoFAIR: Christian brick reclaimers of St Albans

St Albans, Hertfordshire, UK - MARK McGowans progress to Knebworth would not be complete without a visit to St Albans Abbey, a former Benedictine monastery built by Paul of Caen using reclaimed bricks collected by Ealdred and Ealmer, abbots in the 900's, from the ancient Roman town of Verulamium.

Here is what Encyclopedia Britannica says:

Shortly after the martyrdom of St Alban, probably in 303, a church was built on the spot where he was slain, and in 793 Offa, king of Mercia, who professed to have discovered the relics of the martyr, founded in his honor a monastery for Benedictines, which became one of the richest and most important houses of that order in the kingdom. The abbots, Ealdred and Ealmer, at the close of the 10th century began to break up the ruins of the old Roman city of Verulamium for materials to construct a new abbey church; but its erection was delayed till the time of William the Conqueror, when Paul of Caen, a relative of Archbishop Lanfranc, was in 1077 appointed abbot. The cathedral at Canterbury as built by Lanfranc was almost a reproduction of St Stephens, Caen; but Paul, while adopting the same model for St Albans, built it on a much larger scale. The church was consecrated in 1115, but had been finisl~ed some years before. Of the original Norman church the principal potions now remaining are the eastern bays of the nave, th~ tower and the transepts, but the main outlines of the building are still those planned by Paul. It is thus one of the most important specimens of Norman architecture in England, with the special characteristic that, owing to the use of the flat broad Roman tile, the Norman portions are peculiarly bare and stern.

TV and radio companies have begun to take an interest in Mark's travels, and Channel 4's Richard & Judy film crew is planning to catch up with Mark on Tuesday at St Albans to make a short film, scheduled to appear on their Wednesday programme. Hopefully the message will be broadcast that the reuse of reclaimed bricks was a well-established Christian acitivity, and that Roman bricks reused a thousand year's ago in an Early English abbey are still performing sterling service in the year 2006. The UK government is very keen to crush old bricks, for no useful purpose, instead of reusing them.

Footnote: Every 12 bricks embodies the energy of a gallon of petrol. The UK makes 3,000 million new bricks a year and destroys 3,000 million old bricks a year. The total embodied energy destroyed in the UK by wasting old building materials is enough to heat 10 million homes. Architectural Salvage Source in London Colney, a stone's throw from St Albans, are today's brick reclaimers . . . and they will be selling reclaimed bricks at this year's Salvo Fair at Knebworth.

SalvoWEB: Outage causes web problems

A major internet outage, possibly caused by underground optical fibre cables in the Bristol/Gloucester region of the UK is affecting Fasthosts which host some of the SalvoWEB servers. The problem is being worked on and should be resolved within a day. SalvoWEB's Rackspace server located in London is unaffected. Apologies for any inconvenience which is outside our control.

Friday, June 23, 2006

SalvoFAIR: RAF Hendon and English Rose

Tom Donaldson of Source in Bath, who will be at this year's Salvo Fair, gives the English Rose kitchen units a final buffing . . .

. . . and Mark does his version of a fly-past in homage to the English Rose kitchen made by CSA Industries who made Spitfires during WWII, the photo by kind permission of RAF Hendon, north London

RAF Hendon, London, UK - THE story of Britain's war effort has many swords into ploughshares tales from wartime industries to peacetime production, but none quite like CSA Industries (CSA: Constant Speed Airscrews), who helped crucially in the production of the Spitfire propeller, and then went on to make luxury aluminium fitted kitchens in the 1950's.

In the 1990's these fabulous kitchens had no secondhand value and were simply thrown away until the late Hazel Matravers of Salvo started matchmaking disposers with possible users, which was written about in BBC Homes & Antiques magazine. A few dealers started rescuing the kitchens and restoring them, the prime mover being Source of Bath who will be putting a restored complete old kitchen on the back of a truck and bringing it to the Salvo Fair at Knebworth. You can buy it there if you are lucky!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

SalvoFAIR: From Green Works to Ikea

Arriving at Green Works in Wembley, Mark rolls over a piece of old desktop in the warehouse . . .

. . . and it is transformed into RE-DESK flooring, a brand new innovative reused flooring product which will be launched at the Salvo Fair.

Job done. Mark heads off towards north Wembley. Steady on, that first roll of the day is always a bit tricky.

Mark reaches the Neasden temple. Are there are any fair trade Indian flagstones there, he wonders. Not really. The concrete pavers look English, the limestone comes from Bulgaria and the internal paving is marble from Italy. Oh well, keep looking!

Valhalla. Mark reaches the meatballs of Ikea where all things are new. Why don't Ikea sell some of the millions of pieces of unwanted furniture collected and refurbished by Green Works, he thinks, while rolling onward to Hendon

Wembley, London, UK - GREEN-WORKS is paid by corporates and multi-nationals to remove millions of desks from city of London skyscrapers when they decide to give them a makeover, every seven years on average. What happens to them? Green-Works operates its warehouses in partnership with other community and not-for-profit organisations. All of these outlets have the common aim of providing training and employment to the disadvantaged, disabled or long-term unemployed. A small number of desks are refurbished. Most are taken apart, the metal recycled and the chipboard sent to be burnt in a waste to energy incinerator - a bad case of downcycling.

So Salvo suggested an upcycling alternative - turn the chipboard into flooring. With help from Buro Happold, a test system was devised, and now a new chipboard flooring product will be launched, called Re-Desk at the Salvo fair on Friday 30th June. Green Works are inviting salvage dealers to become stockists. They will also explain to construction professionals on the afternoon of Friday 30th June at the Salvo Fair, how reuse of Re-Desk will help support a raft of green and friendly causes embraced by Green Works.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

SalvoFAIR: From King's Cross to Camden

No journalists this morning, and no sign of Warner Brothers at Platform 9 3/4, so Mark heads off on his lone journey north.

In Arlington Road he senses the proximity to Camden and its camaraderie, which spurs him on . . .

. . . to Camden Road where half the population is more idiosyncratic than he.

Until he is forced to stop to do another interview, this time with a journalist from the local newspaper, Hang'em High

Camden, London, UK - Mark was reaching a nadir. Not sure why or where any longer, overcome with raging heat, he battled on against the towering odds of reaching Knebworth in time for the Salvo Fair. One false move, one erring sense of direction, could mean days travelling the wrong way. In a bid to cut down weight, Mark has had to jettison his map, and now relies on innate streetcraft, learned from years of unorthodox travels, of unravelling the riddles of the many foreign languages of passing locals. Eventually he neared Camden, an old stamping ground, where the familiar landmarks hove into view. When I left him he was deep in conversation with the world's journalists, eager to pounce on his every word to scoop their rivals with the latest roly-poly news.

The celebrated Susan Dando, world class gymnast that was, has been offering Mark rollling advice via the kind people of Capital Gold radio. When in training for the great rolling event Mark had, of course, been following her exercise programme video, or at least trying to, but he found it a little advanced.

Roll on tomorrow when he will be passing Green Works, where the social workers repair discarded desks, to help them launch a new concept in flooring, Re-Desk. See you then!

SalvoFAIR: Mark's tired

Mark is a little tired and emotional this morning at Platform 9 3/4 on King's Cross station. Warner Brothers are not taking any notice . . .

. . . but he heads north towards Camden Lock where he will go east via canal to Wembley, or er, possibly Acton.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Reuse: Letter to Gordon Brown

To Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP, UK Government Chancellor

Dear Mr. Brown,

Is there any way that tax subsidies to the UK film industry could be coupled with requirements for them to sharpen up their poor environmental record? Although it may appear that companies like Warner Brothers have environmental policies, they all use tiers of sub-contractors to mask their true environmental performance. At the bottom of the sub-contract pile there are little or no environmental controls. The waste is pretty bad. For example, when the film 'Saving Private Ryan' was made, production companies scoured Europe for salvaged materials to build an entire French town at Leavesden studios. When filming finished we requested that they should allow the salvage of those materials. Instead, as far as we are aware, at the end of filming they sent the materials to landfill. But this is not all.

If reclaiming and reusing materials is a government priority, could salvage companies have some recognition of that in the UK tax and subsidy structure? Recycling and destruction is being subsidised with billions of pounds of taxpayer's money. Reclaiming and reuse gets no help. It is not a level playing field. Consequently fifty per cent more is being destroyed now than was ten year's ago. The embodied energy of reusable building materials destroyed annually is now enough to heat 10 million UK homes. Ten years ago it was only enough to heat 2 million homes. So it is not surprising that hitting emissions targets is proving tricky. All this has eluded the government's experts, mainstream construction, the green and the heritage building lobbies, despite our trying to get it on their agenda. Hence my letter to you.

Yours sincerely,
Thornton Kay
Salvo Llp

SalvoFAIR: Reclaimed doors at Clerkenwell

Mark rolls past reclaimed doors at Sans Walk, Clerkenwell, panel doors, art doors, glazed doors and prison doors, allo of which will be at Salvo fair.

Jason Davies of Architectural Forum (tel 020 7704 0982), Islington, who is selling the prison doors, and Gini Coates (mob 07779 642985), artist, with some of her art doors. Both have stands at Salvo Fair.

Prison door before treatment, the original 1847 paint was a stone colour.

Prison door after cleaning showing its austere ironclad side - the other side is pine and covered in bolts.

London, UK - THIS morning Mark McGowan appeared at Sans Walk above the old House of Detention and rolled past the old prison and other reclaimed doors from Architectural Forum in Islington. Artist Gini Coates was also there with some of her art doors, which sell for 1,000 pounds. All of these doors will be at the Salvo Fair.

In the UK 2 million reusable doors are thrown away every year. Many are now recycled by being chipped, mulched, composted and burnt. But they should be reclaimed and reused. Recycling is subsidised by the taxpayer. Reuse is not.

PRESS: Salvo gallery of 3MB pics for press use | Rex Features picture agency commercial pics

Sunday, June 18, 2006

SalvoFAIR: Mark videos

Appreciative audience at St Paul's Cathedral.

Friday, June 16, 2006

SalvoFAIR: Mark heads off

Mark McGowan started from the Gherkin, former site of the Baltic Exchange. Journos covering the launch included a lady from LBC Radio as two Times photographers looked on. Later that day he was on Radio Five, Capital Gold, Three Counties radio, BBC Newsround and more.

Dennis Buggins and Milena Moore of Extreme Architecture were there to explain the connection between the Gherkin and Knebworth, which is that the Baltic Exchange will be on their stand at the Salvo Fair.

Mark rolled down to the Bank of England, and opposite Mansion House was seen fearlessly crossing the road

Which was promptly followed by friendly advice on road-crossing from a police cyclist

As Mark crossed the reclaimed setts in front of St Paul's Cathedral, two of security men asked what he was doing. "Somersaulting to Knebworth," Mark said.

Mark went under Temple Bar - the lodge will be at Knebworth - which was rescued by the actress wife of an aristocrat after its demolition in 1880 who had it re-erected in Theobalds, Herts, from where it was returned in 2004. Mark's trip coincided with London's Architecture Week, which involved a flock of sheep being driven under Temple Bar just as Mark was negotiating it on Saturday 17 June. The chipboard houses are by Scottish architecture students and represent modern architectural education.

London, UK - MARK McGowan began his epic somersault to Knebworth trip amid a blaze of publicity from the Gherkin this morning. The Times and LBC Radio were there, several radio stations rang for a live interview including Radio Five, Capital Gold and BBC Three Counties, and BBC Newsround caught up with him during the day for a slot on that evening's show. Outside the Bank of England a police cyclist kindly offered advice about not getting run over, and many bystanders wished Mr. McGowan well. Tomorrow he will be heading past St Paul's Cathedral through Temple Bar on his way to Clerkenwell on Monday where he will meet up with Jason Davies and Gini Coates for a reclaimed door event.

Monday, June 12, 2006

SalvoFAIR: Mark's 40 mile epic journey

ARTIST Mark McGowan's next big adventure as artist-in-residence of this year's Salvo Fair starts this Friday 16th June at 10am from the Gherkin in the city of London, where he will attempt to roll head over heals for 40 miles to the Salvo Fair at Knebworth in Hertfordshire. The endurance event will last over two weeks. Mark is trying to raise awareness about salvage and believes that the current recycling phenomenon will destroy the planet. Mark will have sponge on his head and back and will be carrying an old door and four reclaimed house bricks the entire journey.

For more info and images see Mark's web site or call Mark on 07956084780.

Route and Days
10.00 Friday 16 June - Gherkin, Saint Mary Axe
10.30 Friday 16 June - Lloyds Building, Lime Street
11.00 Friday 16 June - Fenchurch Street, Lombard Street
13.00 Friday 16 June - Bank of England, Poultry, Cheapside
15.00 Friday 16 June - Temple Bar, St Paul's Cathedral
17.00 Friday 16 June - Newgate Street, Holborn Viaduct, Snow Hill, Farringdon Road

10.00 Saturday 17 June - Farringdon Road
11.00 Saturday 17 June - Guardian newspaper, Farringdon Road
13.00 Saturday 17 June - Bowling Green Lane

10.00 Monday 19 June - Clerkenwell Close
11.00 Monday 19 June - site of Clerkenwell House of Detention, Sans Walk
13.00 Monday 19 June - Woodbridge Street, Skinner Street, Rosebery Avenue, Farringdon Road, Kings Cross Road

10.00 Tuesday 20 June - Acton Street, Gray's Inn Road
12.00 Tuesday 20 June - Platform 9 3/4 Kings Cross Station
13.00 Tuesday 20 June - Pancras Road, Camden Street
17.00 Tuesday 20 June - Camden Lock - then via the Grand Union Canal

10.00 Wednesday 21 June - North Circular Road, Queensbury Road
11.00 Wednesday 21 June - Green Works, Queensbury Road
12.00 Wednesday 21 June - North Circular Road, Brentfield Road
13.00 Wednesday 21 June - Neasden Temple, Brentfield Road
14.00 Wednesday 21 June - Brentfield Road, Drury Way
15.00 Wednesday 21 June - Ikea, Drury Way
16.00 Wednesday 21 June - North Circular Road

10.00 Thursday 22 June - North Circular Road, Edgware Road

10.00 Friday 23 June - Colindale Avenue, Grahame Park Way
11.00 Friday 23 June - RAF Hendon, Grahame Park Way
13.00 Friday 23 June - Grahame Park Way, Hale Lane, Edgware Way

10.00 Saturday 24 June - Edgware Way, North Western Avenue A41 to Watford

10.00 Sunday 25 June - North Western Avenue A41 to Watford, Saint Albans Road, North Orbital Road, Bucknalls Lane

10.00 Monday 26 June - BRE, Bucknalls Lane
11.00 Monday 26 June - footpath through Brickets Wood, Station Road, Smug Oak Lane, Watling Street, Harper Lane, Shenley Lane

10.00 Tuesday 27 June - Herts Architectural Salvage, Shenley Lane, London Colney
11.00 Tuesday 27 June - Napsbury Lane, Mile House Lane, London Road to St Albans, High Street, George Street
15.00 Tuesday 27 June - West door, St Albans Cathedral
16.00 Tuesday 27 June - Saint Peters Street, Sandridge Road, Sandridge, Wheathampstead

10.00 Wednesday 28 June - Wheathampstead, Ayot Saint Peter, Kings Walden

10.00 Thursday 29 June - Kings Walden, Woolmer Green, Stevenage Road, A602 over A1(M)

10.00 Friday 30 June - private road to Knebworth
10.30 Friday 30 June - Knebworth entrance gate
11.30 Friday 30 June - Salvo Fair

11.00 Saturday 1 July - Fort Knebworth, crossing field
12.00 Saturday 1 July - Salvo Fair

11.00 Sunday 2 July - Fort Knebworth, crossing field
12.00 Sunday 2 July - Salvo Fair

Specific places Mark may pass en route and their connection to Salvo Fair
Mark McGowan will be available for an interview throughout his two
week progress. At various locations along the route other different
people will also be available, and there will be photo opportunities
for the press.

1. Gherkin (10.00 Friday 16 June - Gherkin, Saint Mary Axe)
When the old Baltic Exchange was damaged by a bomb in 1992, the
marble and stone cladding was carefully photographed, dismantled and
moved to warehouses in Reading with the intention of rebuilding it,
but the supporting structure was instead demolished to make way for
the Gherkin completed in 2004 by Norman Foster for SwissRe Insurance
Co. The cladding, interior trading halls, fixtures and fittings were
eventually sold to Derek Davies who moved them to a yard outside
Manchester, and this was all then resold to Dennis Buggins of Extreme
Architecture who moved it to Kent. There will be a 50ft scroll of
photos of some of the fab marble work on display and Mark McGowan,
Dennis Buggins and Thornton Kay will be available for interviews.

*Extreme Architecture will have the largest stand at this year's
Salvo Fair where they will be displaying elements from the Baltic
Exchange, parts of the 1958 Lloyds building in Lime Street which is
being replaced by another Norman Foster edifice, the Temple Bar
lodge, and elements from the Royal Box at Ascot.

2. 51 Lime Street (10.30 Friday 16 June - Lloyds Building, Lime Street)
The new Norman Foster tower is being built on the site of the former
1958 Lloyd's Building, itself incorporating earlier elements, some of
which will be on the stand of Extreme Architecture at the Salvo Fair.
Mark McGowan, Dennis Buggins and Thornton Kay will be available for

3. Temple Bar (15.00 Friday 16 June - Temple Bar, St Paul's Cathedral)
When Temple Bar, Wren's old gate to the City of London, was
demolished in the 1870's Valerie Meux, wife of brewing magnate Sir
Henry Meux, bought the stones as architectural salvage and erected
them in a glade in the park at their home Theobalds, Hertfordshire,
not far from Knebworth, from where they were bought for £1 in 1998,
and returned to London to be re-erected. The lodge that abutted
Temple Bar was not needed in the move, but was bought by Extreme
Architecture and will be for sale at Knebworth. The story is that the
Lodge was used during ceremonial processions to store the pearl-
encrusted sword offered to monarchs by the Lord Mayor of London when
they entered the City, as a sign of allegiance. Mark McGowan, Dennis
Buggins and Thornton Kay will be available for interviews.

4. Guardian newspaper (11.00 Saturday 17 June - Guardian newspaper,
Farringdon Road)
The UK press have been extremely supportive of the UK salvage
industry, especially the broadsheets, apart that is from the Guardian
who seldom mention reuse of old building materials. Perhaps Mark
McGowan somersaulting past their offices in Farringdon Road with a
reclaimed door and some reclaimed bricks may draw the attention of
their editor to their lack of support. Traditionally, reuse has been
a conservative value, so it is perhaps not surprising that the Daily
Telegraph has been in the forefront of support for the reclamation
industry, followed by The Times and Independent. The same could be
said of governments, with the most support coming from conservatives
like Chris Patten, Tom King, Michael Heseltine and even John Major,
way back in the 1980's - not exactly from the ministers but from
their wives and daughters, many of whom were staunch salvageurs.
Chris Patten's 'This Common Inheritance' was the first government
policy document promoting the reuse of old building materials.
Perhaps that is why the Guardian's support has been a bit slow. The
salvage industry needs all the press and media help it can get at
present, because so much is being recycled and destroyed instead of
being reclaimed and reused. Mark McGowan and Thornton Kay will be
available for interviews.

5. Antique Doors (11.00 Monday 19 June - site of Clerkenwell House of
Detention, Sans Walk)
The UK throws away 2 million doors a year of which 5 per cent are
rescued for reuse. In order to encourage more reuse this year Salvo
has produced a lovely door poster, which will be on sale at
Knebworth. Salvage dealer Jason Davies of the Architectural Forum in
Islington bought 160 doors from the old prison located here which he
is now offering for sale. Artist Gini Coates will be bringing an art
door and explaining how art and salvage can work. Both Gini and Jason
will have stands at this year's Salvo Fair. Gini Coates, Jason
Davies, Thornton Kay and Mark McGowan will be available for
interview. Photos of prison doors and Gini's art doors (the prison
itself was demolished aprt from what remains underground, and it is
from here that the doors were removed).

6. Reclaimed Bricks (12.00 Tuesday 20 June - Platform 9 3/4 Kings
Cross Station)
Mark McGowan will be offer Warner Brothers a reclaimed brick at
Platform 9 3/4. The UK film industry and its American overlords, like
Warner Brothers, has received huge subsidies and uses large
quantities of materials, but seldom salvages them for reuse. 'Saving
Private Ryan' scoured Europe for reclaimed materials with which to
build an entire French town at Leavesden studios which, when filming
ended, was all taken to landfill, despite requests from Salvo.
Luckily, film stars themselves are much more salvage-friendly, even
young ones. A major young Harry Potter star came to the last Salvo
fair where they purchased a Victorian oak gothic harmonium from
Chancellors antique church dealers. Every 12 bricks embodies the
energy of a gallon of petrol, and the UK makes 3 billion bricks a
year and destroys almost 3 billion bricks a year. Around 150 million
are saved for reuse, but saving UK bricks is getting harder and
harder as big corporates say it is easier to take them off to
landfill or crush them for hardcore than allow them to be saved for
reuse. Thornton Kay and Mark McGowan will be available for interview.

7. Canal boat transport (17.00 Tuesday 20 June - Camden Lock - then
via the Grand Union Canal)
A reclaimed or new brick can travel 2500 miles by road before the
energy embodied within it is used up. By canal or sea (or rail) that
figure increases dramatically. The pressure to build and develop is
such that speed is of the essence and the means of transport is the
fastest possible irrespective of environmental cost. Slowing things
down = improving the environment.

8. Re-Desk flooring (11.00 Wednesday 21 June - Green Works,
Queensbury Road)
As part of a DTI funded scheme looking at the reuse of reclaimed
materials in a specific project in Birmingham, Thornton Kay of Salvo
who was the reuse consultant suggested that Green Works be asked to
look into the possibility of using old chipboard desktops as a
flooring material, rather then sending them off to be burnt in waste
incinerators. Buro Happold, who ran the project, devised a testing
system, and now a new product has been created, which will be
officially launched at the Salvo Fair and is called 'Re-Desk'. Colin
Crooks (or another Green Works spokesperson) and Mark McGowan will be
available for interview. Photo opp Mark McGowan somersaulting over
ReDesk flooring, with another new ReDesk walling product in the

9. Imported flagstones (13.00 Wednesday 21 June - Neasden Temple,
Brentfield Road)
Ten years ago, no new flagstones were imported into the UK. Now
thousands of tonnes are brought into the UK, many from India. It is
not known whether these are quarried under 'fair trade' labour
conditions, but it is known that bonded labour (= slave labour) does
happen in India. In the 1980's salvage yards rescued flagstones from
UK demolitions for resale to discerning gardeners and landscapers.
Now there are fewer available but new Indian riven flagstones look
very similar to reclaimed, so many salvage yards now stock them. The
Salvo Code requires businesses to offer fair trade alternatives where
they are know to exist. The trouble is that we do not know of any
fair trade flasgtones. Mark McGowan will be asking people at the
Neasden Temple if they know of any 'fair trade' Indian flagstone
suppliers. Mark McGowan will be available for interview.

10. Reuse suggestion (15.00 Wednesday 21 June - Ikea, Drury Way)
Ikea UK famously launched itself with an ad campaign suggesting women
should throw their good old solid natural wood furniture into skips
and buy new less solid unnatural furniture from Ikea. Sadly this
concept has been reinforced by the media, spearheaded for 10 years by
the BBC with programmes like Home Front and Changing Rooms - now
thankfully both banned by the BBC's watchdogs. However, the concept
of old furniture being treated as a consumer durable is very much
still with us, and every day millions of pieces of furnitire are
thrown away and millions more new ones are made and sold. The London
borough of Brent is the most reclamation-friendly in the UK, with
even the Salvo site linked to its own 'use reclaimed materials where
possible' web page. Mark McGowan will be somersaulting to Ikea to ask
the manager of the Ikea store in Brent Cross to reinforce this
message by giving our postcards for the forthcoming Salvo fair so
that a few more people may realise that there are alternative
options. Mark McGowan will be available for interview.

11. Spitfire spitroast (11.00 Friday 23 June - RAF Hendon, Grahame
Park Way)
At the end of the second world war some businesses involved in
wartime production turned their skills to making aluminium kitchens.
English Rose and Paul were two such brands. In the 1990's old
aluminium kitchens had no secondhand value until Hazel Matravers
started trying to matchmake disposers with possible users and managed
to get an article about the kitchens in BBC Homes & Antiques
magazine. Since then a handful of dealers have started resscuing
them, the prime mover of which is Rod Donaldson of Source in Bath who
will be erecting a complete old kitchen and be bringing it to
Knebworth via RAF Hendon where we hope to have a picture of the
somersaulting Mark McGowan, and an English Rose kitchen alongside its
Spitfire counterpart. Rod Donaldson, Mark McGowan and an RAF Hendon
curator will be available for interview.

12. BRECRE (10.00 Monday 26 June - BRE, Bucknalls Lane)
Very few quango's, research, construction bodies, government or local
authorities have any interest in reuse of old building materials with
the glaring exception of the women of the 'Construction Resource
Efficiency' unit of the Building Research Establishment, now the BRE.
They are very keen on reuse and have always joined in with the Salvo
Fair, and this year are sponsoring the new look 'Construction
Professionals' afternoon at the Salvo Fair on Friday 30 June. Mark
McGowan will be somersaulting in to the BRE to send best wishes from
the salvage trade to Gilli Hobbs and Katherine Adams and to thank
them for their ongoing reuse and reclamation support in the face of
much recycling pressure. If there ever was an England Reclaim team,
Gilli and Katherine, both keen footballers, would be in it. The BRE
will be at Salvo Fair again this year. Gilli Hobbs, Katherine Adams
and Mark McGowan will be available for interview.
13. Salvage Yard (10.00 Tuesday 27 June - Herts Architectural
Salvage, Shenley Lane, London Colney)
Mark McGowan will be calling in at a real salvage yard to do more
somersaulting over large piles of bricks and reclaimed doors. Herts
Architectural Salvage will be returning the compliment by having a
stand at the Salvo Fair this year. Lloyd Hampson, Dean Carradine and
Mark McGowan will be available for interview.

14. Reclaimed bricks (15.00 Tuesday 27 June - West door, St Albans
When the Norman builders of the fine cathedral of St Albans needed
materials despite the novelty of vaulted gothic with flying butresses
and stained glass walling they did not baulk at reuse as a pragmatic
sensible and even Christian thing to do. Why waste vaulable resources
making bricks when they existed from structures made a thousand years
before by the Roman builders of Verulam. So they took these bricks
and reused them, and they can still be seem in the walls of the
current cathedral today. That reclaimed bricks last for 2,000 years
is a fact that seems to have eluded some planners who say that
reclaimed materials should not be reused in their fiefdom under any
circumstances. Salvo's advice is to ignore these planners and reuse
the old bricks anyway, and offer to pay the planners bus fare to St
Albans. Salvo does not believe that planners have the legal powers to
prevent reuse, but some like to think they have and tend to bully
people into believing them. As part of 'Salvage 2006' Mark McGowan
will pay homage to the medieval cathedral builders and to the Roman
brickmakers that came before them, and will berate any planners who
would like to turn up about their reuse recalcitrance. In the
vicinity we hope to have an 11ft high statue of St Michael attacking
a serpent, showing the age-old allegorical battle of 'Truth
Overcoming Falsehood', which here means truth of reuse over the
falsehood of recycling. Lack of building materials reuse means that
the enough energy to heat 10 million homes is lost every year in the
UK. The statue of St Michael will be at the Salvo Fair on the stand
of Laurence Green of In-Situ Manchester, along with a giant camel and
huge ceramic insulators which can be reused for something, possibly
as water features in a large garden. Mark McGowan will be available
for interview.

15. Salvo Fair (10.00 Friday 30 June - A1(M) J7, the road to Knebworth deer park) Mark McGowan will be somersaulting the last mile to the Salvo Fair to
arrive on the fair site at 10.30am

Saturday, June 10, 2006

SalvoFAIR: Events and workshops

Photo: At Salvo 2005 Simon Kirby of Thomas Crapper & Co gave penny farthing rides, Michael Brown of Lock Restoration Co made antique keys while-u-wait, and Ronnie Wootton of MDS Ltd looked implacable as the world reflex champion. This year there will be more talks, and both Simon and Ronnie are prepared to take on all-comers [Photo 2005 © Salvo

Hertfordshire, UK - This year's Salvo Fair at Knebworth will include workshops, demonstrations and talks by the trade. Here are some examples:

Sanitaryware by Norman Cockroft of Alscot Bathrooms on the stand of Thomas Crapper & Co - How to clean stained baths bogs and basins, and when to call in the professionals.

Old cast iron radiators by Andy Triplow of the Old Radiator Company, Kent - How to clean them, test them and adapt them to modern heating systems.

Old English Rose & Paul kitchens by Tom Donaldson of Source, Somerset - Making 1950's aluminium kitchens fit for the modern home.

Antique keys and locks by Michael Brown of Lock Restoration Co, Strathclyde - How locks work, maintaining your old locks, repairs and keymaking.

Stained glass and leaded lights by Edgar Phillips of the Stained Glass Group, West Midlands - How to seal leaky windows, painting and firing, making hangers 'while-u-wait'.

Penny Farthing racing by Simon Kirby of Thomas Crapper & Co, Warwickshire - Mr. Kirby will take on all-comers. Probably late afternoon when the field is quieter. Contenders must bring their own penny farthing.

Traditional beam hewing by Wocko The Woodman of Knebworth - Slow but steady oak and chestnut beam hewing workshops, lasting all day between well-earned rests.

Reflex Reaction Challenge by Ronnie Wootton of MDS Ltd, West Midlands - Mr. Wootton, World Champion, who beat the Parachute Regiment at Malvern Show, will take on all-comers.

The Square Mile Project by James Rylands of Sotheby's on the stand of Extreme Architecture from Kent - The successful sale of the Baltic Exchange and other buildings like it is vital if more is to be saved. Dennis Buggins of Extreme Architecture will be there and is bringing parts of these buildings. Overseas and top-end dealers are welcome to the talk on Friday morning, and all construction professionals to the talk on Friday afternoon.

If you are planning to have a stand at the fair and have an idea for an event please contact Thornton Kay of Salvo. Tel 020 8400 6222. See the Salvo Fair web site.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Gingerbread thefts mystery

New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A. - EXACTLY where the pieces and parts of New Orleans homes are ending up, and what prices they're bringing, remains largely a mystery, although there is no shortage of suspicion among residents. Some of that suspicion has been directed at local dealers such as The Bank, a Felicity Street shop that essentially recycles the sorts of items that are being stolen. Co-owner Kelly Wilkerson, who runs the business her father started with her brother Sean, doesn't take kindly to the raised eyebrows. Some in the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association accused The Bank of inviting the thefts when it put up signs advertising its desire to buy architectural pieces after the flood. But Wilkerson said The Bank does not deal in stolen goods.

"We've been made the scapegoat," Wilkerson said, taking a cigarette break in the middle of a typically harried day last week. "The Holy Cross neighborhood is basically blaming us, saying our signs advertised to crackheads. But we're not buying from crackheads." On the wall above her in her cluttered office hangs a clipboard full of photocopies of driver's licenses, which she requires from the people who sell to her, along with the address where they got their merchandise and a description of what she bought. Wilkerson said she also has a policy of waiting at least a month to strip wooden items of paint before restoring them, in case anyone calls to claim the piece. She said she will not buy from anyone in what her father always called the "buggy brigade": walk-ups bearing merchandise in shopping carts, themselves stolen, of course. She won't take anything freshly painted, either.

Wilkerson said she's testified several times in theft cases and has offered to testify in another one involving a man she helped apprehend. He brought her a set of doors from Mid-City. He gave her a fictitious name and said he had gotten them from his mother's house, a story vouched for by a woman claiming to be his mother. "She was in on it, too," Wilkerson said. The real owner of the doors came in later with the police, and Wilkerson returned them at no charge. Then she and the owner cut a deal for her shop to strip them for her.

In another case just before the storm, a man brought her a set of seven doors, some of which seemed to match a description she received earlier that day regarding some stolen doors. She put the guy off -- offering him a high price and telling him to wait -- and then went in the back to call the police, she said. "It's all very exciting, you know, when the cops show up," she said. "It makes me nuts when people steal, especially now, when there's plenty of legitimate jobs out there."

Just then the phone rang: a woman from Holy Cross looking for a set of pocket doors stolen from her home. Wilkerson agreed to visit the woman's house. At 426 Delery St., Deborah Ortego wearily cleaned the former home of her recently deceased mother. The house next door had its decorative gingerbread work stolen. On the porch of the house on the other side, a case of silver generic cans of water, probably dropped there by National Guard troops, sat untouched, an eerie artifact of post-Katrina suffering still there nine months later. Ortego's pocket doors had disappeared sometime in the past week. Earlier, somebody broke in and stole the claw feet off the tub.

"You'd have to be here 24 hours a day to stop it," Ortego said. "And there's all these people trying to buy houses on the cheap down here, trying to muscle you out, so you don't know if they're involved, since they'll be renovating." After Wilkerson measured the door and recorded the paint color of the surrounding walls for a possible match later, she promised to alert Ortego if similar doors came her way. "So what happens now if you find them? How do I get them back?" Ortego said. "If we're satisfied the doors are yours and the paint matches, you just get a truck and come down and pick them up," Wilkerson told her.

So if The Bank, one of the few architectural salvage operations back at full steam after the storm, isn't fencing the loot, who is?

The Wilkersons scratch their heads on that one. Sean Wilkerson said he had a recent conversation with another dealer, Angelo Ricca of Ricca's in Mid-City, on the same topic. Neither man believed the thieves had tried to sell much of it to them, at least not in the quantities both of them knew have been stolen. "He was baffled," Wilkerson said. "He turned to me and said, 'Where is this stuff going?' " Ricca couldn't be reached for comment. Wilkerson said he thinks most of the stuff is being trucked out of town. New Orleans' architecture might be unique, but as with the rest of its culture, there's a substantial demand for its artifacts nationwide. "We get people all the time buying doors in bulk and taking them to Texas or wherever," he said. "There's got be some out-of-towners setting them up a little warehouse somewhere."

[Taken from an article Tuesday, June 06, 2006 By Brian Thevenot Staff writer. See the complete piece here The Times-Picayune]

Letter to David Miliband

To Rt Hon David Milliband MP, Environment Minister, UK Government

Dear Mr. Miliband,

I have been involved in reclaiming materials for reuse from demolition since the 1970's. In the past ten years it seems that the volume of material being reclaimed for reuse has been dropping, while recycling has been increasing. Reuse has traditionally been spearheaded by very small businesses. Recycling by very large ones. The reclaimed building material sector is comprised of several hundred small businesses who have no trade representation. The recently formed recycled wood sector with help from WRAP have benefited from subsidies and grants. As a result the amount of wood being reclaimed for reuse has dropped from 700,000 tonnes a year in 1998 (1998 BigREc Survey) to a much smaller figure today, possibly as little as 200,000 tonnes. We do not know the exact figure because Salvo cannot afford to undertake another major trade survey - Salvo is a two person business. Money is poured into subsidised wood recycling, which means mulching, composting and burning wood, a lot of which is highly sought after by the reclamation trade and which five years ago, before the subsidies, was being bought by them.

The reclaimed building materials sector has not been helped with any funding or subsidy, pays taxes and rates, and employs many thousands of people in low and high skilled work. As sources of UK materials dry up, due to recycling, the trade is going abroad to find materials to supply the healthy UK demand. For example, ten years ago the only reclaimed brick you could buy from a local salvage yard was one from a local demolition. Now the reclaimed brick sector are finding it very hard to get UK bricks from demolition so they are topping up supplies from around Europe and last month an Argentinian company was offering bricks from Argentina in the UK. This is not ideal when reclaimable UK bricks are being destroyed.

The embodied energy of the reclaimable materials now being destroyed by recycling is enough to run 10 million UK homes a year. But the true picture is worse because it takes a lot of additional energy to recycle the tens of millions of tonnes of materials that were being reclaimed. In effect, we would better off putting all reusable bricks into landfill whole, so that they can be mined and reclaimed in future, rather than crushing them. The UK makes 3 billion bricks a year and destroys about the same amount, and the reclaimed brick sector saves 150 million bricks for reuse. Ten years ago no bricks were crushed, now probably 3 billion a year are. Every 12 bricks embodies the energy equivalent of a gallon of petrol. So just in bricks we are destroying 4 Buncefields-worth of energy a year. Add up all the reusable materials and it comes to one Buncefield a week.

This year, at the Salvo fair, we are holding a construction professionals afternoon, where we will be launching a new book by Bill Addis on 'Building with Reclaimed', and a new product from Green Works of flooring from desktops, and to which journalists have been invited. We would be delighted if you could come and meet some of the trade. It is on the afternoon of Friday 30th June at Knebworth.

Yours sincerely,
Thornton Kay
Salvo Llp
Tel 020 8400 6222

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Who in London has famous salvage?

London, UK - SOMEONE asked me who has salvage from famous buildings. This is a good question, and hard to answer off the cuff. This was my reply.

"The person you want is Dennis Buggins of Extreme Architecture for Lloyds and some other famous buildings. Michael Davis was the person involved with Drew Pritchard, but that fell apart I think, and now he is involved with Dennis. Dennis will also be bringing bits of the Baltic Exhchange, Temple Bar and Ascot Royal Box to the Salvo Fair and James Rylands will be giving a short presentation about the stuff on Friday 30 June, one for the trade in the morning and one for professionals in the afternoon. Other than that, Jason Davies of Architectural Forum usually has materials from famous London buildings, and try Tony Brook at Lassco. A few years back Whiteway and Waldron did have some panelling from the House of Commons but I expect that's gone now."

Of course the Salvo Want Ads system could throw up a different picture, so I shall try raising an ad on SalvoWEB.

BigREc Survey 1998

BigREc is a trade survey by Salvo that came two year's after a question to the Prime Minister from Salvo. (The html is quite groovy for 1998 but it looks slightly dated now.)

The BigREc Survey is the only complete survey of the reclaimed building materials sector ever undertaken. It was commissioned by the DoE, now DETR, who asked Gilli Hobbs at BRE to get the work done, and she asked Salvo. These figures are still being used in some quarters, despite their being ten years out of date. Attempts by Salvo ovber the past five years to get funding for a repeat survey have so far failed. This means that no update has been available to assess the damage done to reclaiming and reuse by the recycle and destroy sector. Handy for the destroyers, of course, among whom the quasi-quango WRAP have been the main protagonists in the past few years.

The story of BigREc is political too. Every year I used to write to the Prime Minister, first Margaret Thatcher and then John Major, asking the same question: Is reclaiming bricks for reuse a good idea? No reply was received until in 1992, when the letter got passed to Michael Heseltine, the then minister for the environment. Why? Because Salvo was based in Bath at the time, and our local MP, Chris Patten, was a member of the Tory cabinet. He was a supporter of reuse, and even wrote about the concept of reclaiming building materials being a good thing in his major and lasting environmental policy document, 'This Common Inheritance'. So Chris gave Michael a nudge, and Michael passed the query down the line in his department. A question like this cannot be answered without research. So some research was suggested which was eventually commissioned by the DTI, from the BRE who asked Salvo.

Unfortunately, by the time the research was finished, the Major government had been swept aside by Blair who immediately condemned reuse of old stuff as not 'New Labour' and paid for caravans to tour the country recommending that everyone should buy new office furniture, demolish their old buildings and build loads of new ones - which is more or less what has happened. The reclamation trade which up to that point had been merrily expanding found themselves going backwards as the recyclers began to get a (state-subsidised) grip on their materials. And the rest is history.

BigREc Survey

Monday, June 05, 2006

Auctions: Gaze to sell St Agnes heads

Photo: St Agnes Place in better times. Some keystones can be seen picked out in white paint. [Photo: from the Save website

Norfolk, UK - CARL Willows, auctioneer in charge at T W Gaze & Sons forthcoming architectural salvage and garden statuary sale on Saturday , is to sell around 30 carved stone keystone heads from St Agnes Place, Kennington, London's oldest running squat which lasted from 1969 or 1974, had several abortive attempts at total demolition in the late 1970's, and was finally the scene of mass evictions and complete demolition late last year. Bob Marley stayed there on several occasions in the 1970's and it housed London's only Rastafarian temple. Each keystone is around 30ins high and is carved, possibly Bath, stone.
[BBC News and St Agnes Place News]

Also on offer is an English chimneypiece made from Derbyshire alabaster, claw feet, fluted jambs etc £2k-£4k, a delicate Sheraton-style inlaid mahogany Edwardian mantelpiece with overmantle, some good doors, a turret clock from a very large stable block on north Norfolk complete with dial and hands and huge weights made by Bennett of Norwich, some good stained glass, quite a few named urns, lots of seating, York stone flags and reclaimed bricks.

Rumours are that a large screen TV is being planned for the England v Paraguay match, although this could be less fun than the 1920's 'As you like it' Table Garden with its wooden trees hedges and walling that will be at the sale as well.
[BBC News and St Agnes Place News]

SalvoFAIR: James Rylands to speak

Herttfordshire, UK - JAMES Rylands, Sotheby's garden statuary and architectural salvage expert, is to give two brief presentations at the Salvo Fair, Knebworth, on Extreme Architecture's 'Square Mile Project' on Friday 30 June 2006. The Square Mile project comprises an ensemble of architectural elements from the Baltic Exchange, Lloyds Buildings, Temple Bar lodge and the Royal Box at Ascot, all of which are now located in warehouses in Kent, and which have been collected by Dennis Buggins of Extreme Architecture in recent years.

At 12pm noon Friday 30 June 2006 on the stand of Extreme Architecture Mr. Rylands will give a talk to the top-end of the trade about the range of materials available for sale, the buildings involved, the type of client who may be interested, and the proposed break-up of the ensemble if a single client is not forthcoming. Dennis Buggins and Andy Triplow will also be in attendance. Tickets for the trade talk cost £10, including admission to the Salvo Fair.

At 2pm Friday 30 June 2006 on the stand of Extreme Architecture Mr. Rylands will explain to construction professionals, architects, interior designers and landscapers what the Square Mile project is about and the kind of building that could incorporate the ensemble of heritage architectural elements collected by Dennis Buggins. Tickets to the construction professionals talk are FREE on application to Salvo. Tel 020 8761 2316 or 020 8400 6222 or 07971 217842.

The press, media, TV and radio journalists are also cordially invited to attend either talk. James Rylands and Dennis Buggins will also be available for an interview. Please contact Salvo for admission arrangements.

[Extreme Architecture]

Reuse: FRN wants WRAP sorted

London, UK - Local environment minister Ben Bradshaw told FRN that he will review WRAP's role on reuse as the result of a letter that FRN sent to the minister calling for a clearer role for WRAP in the reuse sector. FRN's call came during the government's current review of England's waste strategy, which closed to public consultation earlier this month. (The reclaimed building materials sector and architects trade bodies were not consulted.)

FRN say that furniture reuse groups in the UK are reusing about 70,000 tonnes of items like furniture and electronics that would otherwise go to landfill, and that its membership collects and reuses about 10% of household furniture waste. FRN's formal response to the government's waste strategy review called for a more formal inclusion of reuse within local authority Best Value targets (including recycling credits), and a more effective crackdown on rogue operators in the reuse and electrical exports fields.

FRN also suggested that Defra should bring in some form of producer responsibility to support the reuse and recycling of furniture, particularly for MDF, chipboard and laminated furniture. Mr Bradshaw has confirmed he will address Furniture Reuse Network members at the organisation's annual conference in Birmingham this December.

NOTE: WRAP is the UK Waste and Resources Action Programme, which is government-funded and promotes recycling. FRN is the UK Furniture Reuse Network, an umbrella group for 400 charitable reuse organisations across the UK.