Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Renovated Butchers big hit on Open House weekend

Islington, London, UK
- After 3 long years Richard Travers has lovingly restored the old Plumb shop on Hornsey Road. The butcher shop fittings were almost stripped and shipped to America in 1996, but a local conservation officer stepped and the premises was listed Grade II. Mr Travers opened the house up to the public during last weekends London Open House Festival, and was amazed to receive more than 650 visitors. The mosaic floor was missing fifteen percent of it's tiles, which were found by scouring architectural salvage yards across the country... (and SalvoWEB too, we think!)

Cryptical Crate Man

- You're lucky if you spot the mysterious Crate Man of Oz, built by Sam, Jerome, Ed and Gab. When they don't have better things to do, they are creating giant men from old milk crates The crate men are normally in the midst of some daring feat, like climbing over or sitting on top of very high walls and fishing in dangerous places.

Bob Lovell moves Antique Oak Flooring Co

Above: The new Salvo Directory entry for Antique Oak Flooring Co

London UK - BOB Lovell reports that The Antique Oak Flooring Co has relocated to larger premises in London, near Chingford, at Sewardstone Hall Farm, Sewardstone Road, London E4 7RH.

The Antique Oak Flooring Co

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Christie's to handle Nick Gifford-Mead's scaling-down sale

Above: A George III Carved and Gilded Wood Chimneypiece In the manner of Thomas Johnson, circa 1760. The jambs and frieze with tenuous rococo ornament, mounted on a later painted panel, with statuary marble slips 53in. (136cm.) high; 64in (162.5cm) wide; the opening 44in. (113cm.) high x 40in. (101.5cm.) wide. Estimate: £15,000-20,000

London UK -

Thursday 29 October, 10.30am
Christie’s South Kensington

NICHOLAS Gifford-Mead started dealing in architectural antiques over thirty-five years ago and has been specialising in fire furniture, particularly in chimneypieces, ever since. Adopting the fundamental ethos that the stock must be original or sympathetically restored to realise it's true form, Nicholas travels extensively to source his stock in order to furnish some of the most prestigious houses in Great Britain and abroad, and Christie’s South Kensington is proud to be the next venue to be supplied with a selection of this stock which will be for sale in October 2009.

With estimates ranging from £500 to £50,000, an extensive collection of fine English and European chimney pieces, fire backs, andirons, shovels, tongs, fenders and sculpture will be on offer, comprising of approximately 170 lots, all of which embody Nicholas’ astute eye and unsurpassed depth of understanding, knowledge and interest in the field. Dealing in some of the best architectural items to be found from both the British Isles and abroad, Nicholas Gifford-Mead prides itself on the originality and provenance of its pieces which combined with a distinguished individual taste make for a compelling auction of architectural antiques.

Highlights include the simple elegance and restrained rococo style of a George III carved and gilded wood chimney piece (estimate: £15,000-20,000) alongside the grandeur of a large Italian stone chimney piece with armorial overmantle (estimate: £4,000-6,000); complemented by a selection of fire irons including a George III steel and brass set (estimate: £1,200-1,800) with with ball-knop finials and the shovel blade pierced with lattie ornament and a range of elegant fire grates including a large polished steel and cast iron fire grate in the George III style (estimate: £3,000-5,000) – all of which would add the perfect finishing touch to any home this winter.

Above: A Set of George III Steel And Brass Fire Irons. Late 18th century. With ball-knop finials, the shovel blade pierced with lattice ornament. Estimate: £1,200-1,800

Above: A Large Polished Steel and Cast Iron Fire Grate. In the George III style, late 19th or early 20th century. Of serpentine outline, the railed basket flanked by foliate engraved panels, above a fluted pierced fret within tapering standards applied with paterae bosses and surmounted by urn-shaped finials 32.1/2in. (82.5cm.) high; 34.1/4in. (87cm.) wide; 20in. (51cm.) deep. Estimate: £3,000-5,000

Above: A Large Italian Stone Chimneypiece Armorial Overmantel. Estimate: £4,000-6,000

Christie's plc

Campaign to take down fake stonehenges

The Burren, County Clare, Ireland
- Children from local schools, local landowners and officials have started a campaign to remove the mini dolmens cropping up all over the Burren in County Clare. The mini dolmens are smaller versions of the large limestone structures made by Bronze Age man. The creative visitors making the fake stonehenges are disturbing the limestone and causing irreparable damage.

Olympian stone capital theft

Olympia, Greece
- A police investigation is underway after a capital was allegedly stolen from a Byzantine church built on the site of Pheidias' workshop. The capital measured approximately 30cm by 30cm by 20cm.

Best bookstore in the world...

Maastricht, Germany
- An ancient church has been transformed into an awe-inspiring bookshop. Merkx & Girod, the Architects, designed a three storey black steel book shelf, accessible by a lift and stairs, and also giving a wonderful view of the nave of the church. Since it's closure the church had been used as a warehouse and an enormous bike car park.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Seven figure sum of treasure found in a field

Above - Gold strip with the inscription 'Rise up O Lord, and may thy enemies be dispersed and those who hate thee be driven from thy face' taken from Vulgate, the Bible used by Saxons.

Above - Sword fitting with animal-related design known as Salin's Style II

Staffordshire, England - A hoard of Anglo Saxon gold and silver has been found in a farmers field in Staffordshire. The stash is five times bigger than the 1.5kg find in 1939 at Sutton Hoo. Terry Herbert who found the loot in a farmer friends field has been metal detecting for 18 years and said 'it is what metal detectorists dream of'. The boxes of treasure comprise of 1,500 pieces; 5kg of gold and 2.2kg of Silver, and could take more than a year to be valued.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Germans resist EU bulb changeover

Every light bulb's phasing out and banning explained in the link below

GERMAN consumers (and, one suspects, plenty of others in Europe) are hoarding traditional light bulbs before the phase-out starts with 100-watt bulbs, according to Der Spiegel. Some Germans have bought enough light bulbs to last them for the next two decades and retailers have joined the craze by stocking up on the energy-wasters as the bulbs on the shelves or in stocks are still allowed to be sold until they run out. Ironically, this has boosted the profits of companies manufacturing the product. According to GfK, the sales of incandescent light bulbs in Germany were 20% higher between January and April this year compared to the same period in 2008. Consumers argue that CFL bulbs cannot match the light quality of incandescent bulbs, saying that they are two dim and distort colours. Moreover, concerns have been raised that the flickering fluorescent light could trigger migraines or epilepsy seizures.

Some also question the greenness of CFLs, which contain mercury and require proper recycling facilities. However, as coal-fired stations emit mercury, incandescent light bulbs indirectly emit more mercury by using up larger amounts of electricity, experts noticed.

The economic and environmental argument against incandescent lights is nevertheless convincing as they convert only around 5% of the energy they use to light, wasting the rest as heat. Fluorescent lights use up to 75% less energy than incandescent lamps, while efficient halogens that match the light quality of conventional bulbs save somewhere between 25-50% of energy.

Sept. 2009: Incandescent light bulbs of 100W and above will be phased out.
Sept. 2011: 60W incandescent bulbs phased out.
Sept. 2012: 40 and 25W incandescent bulbs phased out.
By the end of 2012: All inefficient light-bulbs phaced-out.

The complete picture for every kind of light bulb (courtesy of the EU)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Planning go-ahead for 43-storey block

Westminster, London UK

Planning permission has been granted to build a 43-storey residential block on London’s South Bank. The Doon Street Tower will stand at 168 meters, taller than anything else currently on the South Bank.

The new build was contested by English Heritage and Westminster City Council on the grounds that it would undermine the “rich architectural heritage of Westminster, which has 11,000 listed buildings.

Councillor Robert Davis, Westminster City Council's cabinet member for the built environment, railed against the ruling, saying that the tower would be “a blot on the landscape for generations to come? nothing short of architectural vandalism.”


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Super Squat

Lassco, Brunswick House London

A group of leading designers are currently 'squatting' at Lassco's Brunswick House as part of London Design Festival running from 19th - 27th September. The five designers are exhibiting collections and installations in the house all week.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Sing to save churches

In an attempt to save threatened churches an initiative has started whereby choirs will perform in 40 of the most significant churches in England over the first weekend of October.

The “Birthday Song”, which takes place over the weekend of 3-4 October, will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Churches Conservation Trust and offer people the chance to find out how their local churches can be saved through community uses.

All forty events will have one song in common, voted on by the public. Choirs will invite audiences to join with them in singing the winning song.

The Churches Conservation Trust

Design Museum to move to the old Commonwealth Institute

OMA’s long-awaited plans for the former Commonwealth Institute have been given the go-ahead by Kensington and Chelsea council. Councillors approved the scheme, which is to include moving the Design Museum into the 1960s grade II listed building.

Recent changes to the design have included a reduction in the height of residential blocks proposed around the striking RMJM-designed building itself, open floors on all levels of the museum new landscape design incorporating a water feature.

Kensington and Chelsea council leader Merrick Cockell said, "“If all goes to plan, Kensington High Street will soon have the Design Museum at one end and an invigorated Kensington Palace at the other. The draw of these unique buildings at either end of one of London’s great high streets will attract visitors, locals and retailers to Kensington, helping to secure its long-term viability, combating the recession and beating off competition from soulless retail malls.”

bd The Architects website

Canterbury Cathedral held up by duct tape

According to the Sunday Telegraph, which is running a Save Our Churches campaign, there are fears that the 24m-tall Great South Window of Canterbury Cathedral could collapse unless repaired immediately.

Trustees of the cathedral warned in 2006 that there would be "disastrous consequences" unless urgent action was taken to renovate the building, which is suffering from serious damage caused by corrosion and pollution.

Apparently one fifth of the cathedral’s pillars are being held up by duct tape. However, a global effort to raise £50 million by 2011 has so far managed to raise only £9.4 million.

The Telegraph

How to Make a Pot Rack from Copper Pipe

'This Old House' shows you how the common copper plumbing pipe shines up easily for an elegant hanging grid. The website gives step by step instructions on how to make an innovative pot rack from disused copper pipes.

Above: Overview of the pipes.

Above: Cut the pipes. Create a diagram of your pot rack design, including detailed measurements.

Above: Lay out the pieces of the rack on a flat surface and assemble the pieces.

Above: Assemble the mounting flanges.

Push a flange assembly onto each mounting tee and secure the pot rack to the wall.

This Old House

Piet Hein Eek

Above: the Tree-Trunk garden house

Piet Hein Eek specialises in making furniture from waste material from the industry and nature. He also undertakes commissions which can be as varied as his ideas and materials. A recent commission is the 'Tree-Trunk garden house' made from hundreds of found logs.

Above: The Treetrunk armchair

Piet Hein Eek said, "While designing, material, technique and organisation are modifying factors. Because these factors are, or are chosen, different all the time, the designs are very different also. Our approach and pragmatic method of working stay unaltered by which you will sooner see a connection in methods of work than in appearances. For example I take the tree-trunk chair. This chair evolved from the nature project. A project in which I make products from material that, more or less, was withdrawn from nature. To let the material flourish it had to be processed in a simple technique. By using a specific screwed connection, the planks can now be joined square to each other. The materials we use are uncommon and modifying. Because of this, products arise that surprise me too. I would never have come up with the tree-trunk chair, if I'd design from my traditional sense of beauty."

Above: Scrap wood cupboard

Piet Hein Eek said, "The scrapwood cupboard from 1990 was my reaction against the prevalent craving for flawlessness. I wanted to show that products that aren't perfect still can appeal to our sense of aestetic and functionality. I also wanted to design a product that could be made with limited means, material that was abundant. The combination of uncommon material and also uncommon, but simple methods of working became the thread through our work. Because of the expanded possibilities the variety in work has grown. Still, the challenge remains to get the maximum out of the circumstances."

Piet Hein Eek

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Protesters unite to save historic bridge

Leicester, UK

About 250 protesters gathered at Bede Park in Leicester on Saturday 12 September to protest against the proposed demolition of the Bowstring Bridge. Many insisted that while the bridge was still standing they would not give up their fight or relinquish hope.

Campaigner Lee Mullen set up a Facebook group opposing the demolition of the bridge, and the neighbouring Pump and Tap pub, which has been joined by 3,000 people.

Mr Mullen has distributed leaflets encouraging people to email city council leader Ross Willmott and cabinet member for regeneration Patrick Kitterick to tell the councillors why they believed the demolition should not go ahead.

Demolition of the landmark is due to begin on or about Monday, September 21. Many described the plans – which will allow for a new De Montfort University sports centre – as "cultural vandalism" and said they believed other alternatives had not been given enough consideration.

Laura Elvin, 22, who lives nearby in Wilberforce Road, said: "There are areas in the city that are derelict, disused and ugly – why knock down something that actually gives character to the area?"

Leicester Mercury

Build your own bike out of bamboo

Above: Sean Murray, co-founder of Bamboo Bikes in Red Hook, with one of his eco-friendly bikes from bamboo which, he says, "is stronger than steel." [Pict. NY Daily News]

A Brooklyn company is teaching New Yorkers to create their own bikes from scratch using bamboo in a 16 hour, two day course. Over 60 people have shelled out the $1,250 to build custom bamboo bikes since the shop opened in June.

"Most people aspire to one day change a tire, let alone make a bike. Bamboo bikes boast benefits over traditional two-wheelers - they're lighter and stronger than high-end carbon frames. Bamboo's unique structure allows for more shock absorption and a smoother ride than carbon," said Sean Murray, 26, co-owner of the Bamboo Bike Studio in Red Hook.

NY Daily News

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

One woman's fight to preserve Beirut's architectural heritage

Above: Were it not for the dedication of Lebanese conservationists, the "Yellow House" would long since have been destroyed

"During the reconstruction phase that followed the Lebanese civil war, many important buildings were torn down. Conservationists were, however, able to save a number of individual structures. One of the most important of these buildings is the so-called 'Yellow House', which once belonged to the Barakat family, is closed to the public and largely boarded up," said Martina Sabra, reporter and activist.

The 'Yellow House' remains standing due to the tenacity and dedication of the Beirut architect Mona Hallak. In 1994, she began investigating the house during one of her expeditions with the APSAD, an independent organisation for the protection of historic monuments and buildings. "People were afraid to enter the house because of the possibility of unexploded bombs or mines. But I just had to go in. It was unbelievably fascinating, mainly because it looked as if the inhabitants had just left a few hours previously. One of the flat owners was a dentist. His dentist's chair was still in its place when I entered the house. It was covered with a thick layer of dust, but it was still working. His cupboard drawers contained personal letters from prominent Lebanese politicians," recalls Hallak.

Despite its cultural and historical importance, the house was almost demolished several times in the 1990s. In 1997, Mona Hallak managed to prevent its demolition at the last minute. Now the City of Beirut has big plans for this Art Nouveau building, which is steeped in history: the intention is that by 2012, it will house the first Beirut museum of municipal history, the "Bait Al-Madina" (City House).

Tomlin and Essex push reuse case to Defra

London UK - SO it was that Jonathan Essex of Bioregional and I arrived in Whitehall at the offices of DEFRA to take part in the latest consultation to discuss the EU Waste Framework Directive and the Waste Hierarchy.

Sadly, carefully worded thoughts are too dull to catch the popular imagination. Conversley, sensationalist headlines alienate the scientific community and responsible policy makers. So taking the plunge and steering between the two extremes someone had to call for commitment to environmental challenges and demand things change before it is too late. Let me restate that same point. Commitment has to mean confronting awkward and inconvenient truths that may involve disruption to comfortable lives and require significant altered behaviour. Al Gore may have his detractors but the title of his themed environmental crusade addresses the real issue. Will we accept the inconvenience?

Behind the scenes, in the corridors of power in dry committee rooms, argument hardly rages but quietly progresses dealing with the great environmental issues of the day.

Before you lose the will to live I should explain.

The prevailing policy affecting waste and the construction industry is wedded to the obsession of recycling in the name of diversion from landfill. Successive government agencies have each rowed in behind the recycling posture, with Treasury subsidy following and providing reinforcement. Conveniently this approach is easily monitored and
measureable by targets, which gives Ministers the opportunity to claim tangible achievements, whilst actually failing to address the fundamental problem.

Waste is defined and modelled as a pyramid with Reuse (and the unspeakable reclamation) at the top of the narrow pinnacle presiding over the broad base of recyclates and incineration (crushing and burning demolition materials). The reality once more is that we pursue target-driven objectives relentlessly endorsed by tax incentive and gloss over the implicit deception because it is reassuring to believe we are successful as recyclers.

The deception continues in the very language we use and the way we discuss the issues. The Germans call the process of material recovery either upcycling or downcycling to expose the truth of the situation. We settle for pretending that recycling is good, whilst actually applying the lowest common denominator approach, and never truly addressing the problem that recycling destroys reusable building materials. Whilst we continue to recycle (crush and burn) we will never achieve the higher recovery of embodied carbon values which would be obtained by driving the emphasise of activity higher up the
waste hierarchy.

If all this seems arcane let me demonstrate the experience of the Olympic Park. The sustainability studies boast 90 percent recovery levels of recycled materials and go immediately into boasting the sustainability credentials of the project. Politicians and the Olympic Delivery Authority instantly congratulated themselves as successful in achieving two core buzz targets - sustainability and recycling. The reality is that traditional demolition teams have mechanically crashed (sorry, reduced) buildings to the ground, sent the concrete and bricks to an onsite crushing facility and segregated the timber and burnable
elements for energy generation via incineration. The embodied carbon saving is minimal but the Government loves the headlines saying they are succesful recyclers. Hardly anything is reclaimed and reused and so the self-deception goes on!

Jonathan Essex and I both made these points at last week's consultation exercise held by DEFRA in Whitehall. The exercise could potentially redefine the waste hierarchy in favour of reclamation over recycling but Defra need much more representation from the salvage industry to confirm that this is what we want, and to balance the almost 100 percent of construction stakeholders who are pushing for recycling over reuse.

Get your views off quickly to DEFRA whilst the door is open and before it can be diluted by vested interests that pursue profit before social and environmental considerations.

More shortly, Steve Tomlin.
Masco, Gloucestershire

See the Defra waste hierarchy consultation website here
Email your response to
We would be grateful if you would also please send a copy to so that we can see how many representations are made by the trade.

Porca Miseria

Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury Bucks

One of the most striking features at Waddesdon Manor is a light called 'Porca Miseria' which hangs in the dinning room. Translated from Italian, "Porca Miseri", means “Oh my Goodness” which is quite fitting for the exploding dinner service (white porcelain dishes, cutlery etc) that emanates light. It was created as commission in 2004 by lighting designer Ingo Maurer. The light sits in stark yet perfect contrast to the reigning 19th century style decor.

Above: All pictures taken from Waddesdon Manor PDF

Waddesdon Manor

Monday, September 14, 2009

Most successful summer yet for IBS Reclaim

Above: IBS Reclaim Ltd in Oakley, Bucks

Oakley, Buckinghamshire UK - IBS Reclaim Ltd has announced that summer 2009 was the most successful yet; there was a 400 percent increase in sales in July compared to 2008. Contracts ranged from the supply of reclaimed York stone flagstones to Sykes & Son Ltd for a prestige refurb of John Keats House*, London, to the the purchase of nearly 600sqm of reclaimed flagstones and 200 tonnes of rare Denner Hill setts from the most expensive UK house outside London. The reclaimed flags sold in record time due to advertising on SalvoWEB, to building contractors and private individuals. Some flags even went to Austria. There was a major interest in reclaimed doors, again due to adverts on Salvo, with a stock clearance of some forty doors at £40 each, and a resulting increase in reclaim sales as well as enquiries for IBS made-to-measure service. This year IBS use of the SalvoWEB enhanced listing and build-a-button system is first out of 37,770 registered users.

David Marlow, manager of IBS Reclaim Ltd, said, "The development work at IBS continues this year with an antique and reproduction fireplace and radiator centre opening on the first floor of our new warehouse, a new section of both made to measure recraft doors and reclaimed doors is underway, and on the ground floor an area of Mike Corbett's cast stone products is displayed along with more reclaimed items. We also have a new paving section. During the 2008 video interview with Drummond Shaw**, he said that the future was towards new products. IBS agrees and tries to mix reclaimed and new products to complement each other."

Apart from its sales and redevelopment, IBS has also donated old stone samples from its reclaimed stocks to Dr Nick Cutler of Oxford University's Centre for the Environment who was making a study of biodeterioration which includes the effects of algae and lichen on stonework. He was fascinated by David Marlow's knowledge of Sarsen stone and Denner Hill stone history especially the story of the snipers***.

David, who is by trade a street mason, has fond memories of using Denner Hill at Pinewood Studios in 1985 aged 22 and his father - who trained him and has just retired after laying York stone for 46 years - built the Little Shop of Horrors film set which filled the 007 studio, at the time the largest sound stage in Europe. The stone used included Denner Hill kerb reclaimed from near Aylesbury. "I laid two eight-wheeler lorryloads of Denner Hill setts and kerb. Working from 400 photographs I recreated a genuine street scene of Skid Row in downtown America within the studio, working for construction manager Michael Redding of James Bond fame, alongside David Geffen, producer for Warner Brothers. We constructed everything at foot level in stone instead of the usual hardboard and cardboard imprinted and painted, due to the rain scenes and high level drop takes for rain, the full scale set was three stories high with a $30m budget. I was there for about four months," he said.

IBS are currently looking to buy reclaimed items especially stone surrounds.

Telephone 01844 239400
IBS Reclaim Ltd

* John Keats, the poet, wrote Ode On A Grecian Urn at the Grade I listed Keats House, a regency villa on Hampstead Heath, and it was from there that he set out for Rome, where he died prematurely aged 25.

** Video interview of Drummond Shaw in 2008

Above: Denner Hill setts
*** David Marlow writes: Denner Hill stone was once the source of a flourishing local industry, dating back to at least the mid nineteenth century and earlier. The best deposits were to the north of High Wycombe - Bryant's Bottom, Denner Hill, North Dean, Naphill and Walter's Ash. The blocks or boulders of hard sandstone were found at depths varying from six to sixty feet and were located by workers probing the ground with long instruments known as snipers. The boulders varied in size, one at Walter's Ash was reported to be around twelve feet in height and weighed over three hundred and fifty tons. These blocks were split to produce cobbles, kerbstone, setts, building blocks, river stepping stones, cottage door steps and gateposts. Building blocks were used in the repair of Windsor Castle. Some streets in both Windsor and Aylesbury are paved with this stone. Denner Hill Stone quoins were also used with local brick and flint within the High Wycombe area known as Chepping Parish.

REiY help offered by BioRegional

London UK - JONATHAN Essex of BioRegional Reclaimed in Surrey is offering help to businesses willing to collect and sell for surplus reusable new materials from building sites. The help might include assistance with local authorities over planning issues, obtaining cheap land with or without planning permission, or facilitating a change in the use of part of an existing salvage yard to a new social enterprise REiY.

If you are interested please contact Jonathan at jonathan.essex.] or by telephone to 020 8404 4249.


Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Reused Wine Bottle light

Geraradot & Co a creative agency have shared their reuse design for an eco-friendly wine bottle light. In a quest to find a solution that’s highly creative and effective while keeping resources to a minimum they came up with a easy design that anyone can do at home. Geraradot provides a step-by-step guide of how to create your own light, with a full list of materials you will need.

Step-by-step guide to make your own wine bottle light

Gaze Rural & Domestic Bygones

Gaze, Diss Norfolk, will be holding a Rural & Domestic Bygones Sale at 10am on 12 September 2009

Above: Lot 6011: A 19th Century riveted three wheel water bowser, estimated at £150 - £225.

Above: Lot 6155: A Kenrick cast iron water boiler, brass tap, estimated at £30 - £45.

Above: Lot 6255: A ten drawer pine apple store, estimated at £80 - £120.

Above: Lot 6281: An unusual two tier pig feeder with dividers, estimated at £65 - £100.

Above: Lot 7458: An early 20th Century bootmaker's carved wooden shop display boot- "Lobb & Sons", estimated at £150 - £200.


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Tory frontbench signs up to 10:10 climate change campaign

Organisers of the 10:10 campaign said, "More than 8,000 individuals have signed up to the campaign. Some 270 businesses, including law firm Pinsent Masons, Reed Recruitment, Ocado and Oracle, and four major power companies, have so far pledged their support, as well as nine councils, 42 schools and 125 other organisations, such as the thinktank Demos."

As politicians embrace the campaign the conservative party have pledged that their entire frontbench would sign up. The shadow energy secretary, Greg Clark, said, "Conservatives strongly support this campaign. Once again it shows how voluntary action can show the way, proving that a low-carbon future is an essential, achievable and urgent priority."

Energy and climate secretary Ed Miliband said at the 10:10 launch event at Tate Modern, "I pledged to cut my personal carbon footprint and the emissions from my department's headquarters by 10% in 2010."

The Green party said it would encourage its members to join up to the 10:10 campaign, and could table an emergency resolution to its conference on the subject. Caroline Lucas, the leader of the party, said: "I would encourage all Green party members to commit to this, bearing in mind that most Greens will have been striving to reduce their carbon footprints anyway, and for many people the next steps towards, for example, carbon-neutral housing, would need to be facilitated by a package of government grants, subsidies and feed-in tariffs."

The Department of Energy and Climate Change said: "The government welcomes the national 10:10 campaign. By signing up … we hope people will send a broader message to governments round the world."


Demolition in Turkey goes wrong

Above: A building demolition in Turkey went seriously wrong when, instead of collapsing, it rolled over onto its roof. luckily there were no reported injuries.

Railings return to Perth through restoration project

Perth, Scotland UK

A project to restore cast iron railings to many of Perth's historic and architecturally significant locations got underway in August. Starting with the AK Bell Library an important A-listed building.

It is hoped that the second phase of the project will focus on Atholl Street, close to the North Inch. The buildings here were constructed between 1807 and 1825 and are generally little altered in appearance from that time. The two principal terraces on Atholl Street are fronted by low stone walls, which, aside from some short stretches of railings at basement level, currently have only ironwork stumps visible. Replacing the railings here would put back an important missing part of the overall architectural design and enhance the route beside the North Inch.

At the turn of the last century, Scotland had been a world leader in the production and export of cast iron and its ready availability had resulted in the widespread use of boundary ironwork, with most principal routes in Scottish towns being lined with railings. In 1941, Perth lost most of its railings to the war effort. More than 60 years on, Perth & Kinross Council and Perth & Kinross Heritage Trust have been working on a scheme to replace the railings and enhance the appearance and character of the City.

Perth & Kinross Council's Enterprise & Infrastructure Convener, Councillor John Kellas said: "Perth has a strong architectural heritage and restoring the railings will contribute to that heritage being maintained for the long-term future."

The Heritage Trust plans to set up a targeted fund to address other areas requiring railing restoration in Perth, in conjunction with property owners and occupiers. "£45,000 has already been pledged subject to matching funding being generated, and other contributions are now being welcomed," said John Kellas.

Perthshire Advertiser

Friday, September 04, 2009

Westland sells Bank of England sculptures

Westlands, london UK

A major collection of sculptures from the Bank of England have been bought by Wesland London, from a salvage company, 25 impressive statues that used to feature in the Bank’s New Change annex are now for sale.

New Change was built by The Bank of England in the 1950's to accommodate it's Accounts Department and was bounded by Cheapside to the north, Watling Street to the south, Bread Street to the east, Newgate to the north west and New Change to the west. The building occupied a sensitive site in that it formed a backdrop to Christopher Wren's majestic Roman Baroque St Paul's Cathedral.

The statues include Mervyn King’s predecessor, Sir John Houblon, the first Governor of the Bank, who features on the £50 note, and Michael Godfrey, its first deputy governor. Soldiers and heraldic symbols, such as lions and unicorns, dominate the collection. They are carved from Portland stone by sculptors including Sir Charles Wheeler, the first to be president of the Royal Academy, were cleared from the One New Change site, after it was bought by Land Securities for about £200 million in 2000. The developer is erecting a 560,000 sq ft Jean Nouvel office block on the site, which held the Bank’s accounts department.

George Westland, founder of Westland London, said: “There has been interest from Russia because St George is the patron saint of Moscow. In London, there is still a reluctance to be seen to spend money.”

Above: A lion holding a shield with a relief head of Minerva, one of a pair, sculptor Donald Gilbert. Originally on the Bread Street Facade of the One New Change building in the City of London.

Above: The fortress of gold guarded by lions, sculptor Alan Collins, circa 1958.


Alabaster candle stand has its day on SalvoWEB

West Pennine Antiques, Lancashire UK

A magnificent 10" tall antique alabaster candle stand is finally having its day after almost two years in storage. Paul Morris of West Pennie Antiques is offering the magnificent piece on SalvoWEB after purchasing it as part of a large clearance from St Andrews Church, 176 Queens Drive, Liverpool. The unique column was installed as a gift to the church in the late 19th century and comes with a great provenance of which Mr Morris holds a copy of the original dedication obtained from the church.

Mr Morris has undertaken extensive research on the candle stand and concluded, "It was designed by Philip Thicknesse and executed by Frank Norbury circa 1890. Thicknesse is a renowned ecclesiastical architect working mostly in the northern counties, in particularly Liverpool with his business partner William Willink. The firm carried out other works in the city including the the Cunard Building and Liners, Zoology building at Liverpool University, and Parr's Bank, Castle St to name a few.

"The candle stand Comprises of five sections, the plinth base section supports a second section carved in relief with primitive vegetation and sea-dwelling life forms such as ammonites and nautilus, supported by a dado section with pictorial panels to three sides depicting extinct vertebrates including marine reptiles and fish, the upper stage of the dado with land creatures such as a Woolly Mammoth, Pterodactyl, a giant Toad, and Iguanadons, supporting the plain shaft with carved acanthus leaves, the upper section is carved with three figural groups of man and woman supporting the candle dish.

"The unusual depiction of this column - the story of evolution - is perhaps considered a conflict of beliefs, especially in the late 19th century, when the church officially opposed Darwin's theory. However in the 'Dedication of the Font and Baptistery' given in 1900 by the church chaplain, the 'candlestick' is described as "a masterpiece... It is a version of Creation revised up to date. It is an overture to Science to come and make her home with us. It proclaims the reconciliation between research and religion. They have divorced too long." The symbolism embodied in the candlestick is plain to see. Man, the pinnacle of evolution and of God's creation. The plain shaft, symbolic of the extent of unknown knowledge that still separates humans from the rest of the animal kingdoms in the fossil record."

Candle stand on SalvoWEB

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Moral Issues or Legal Definition

A letter from the a member of the UK trade

Colin Scull
Bristol UK
3 September 2009

What’s recently come up (again) are some questions that we dealers have to ask ourselves: The minefield that we have to pick our way through, without a legal background in the subject; the need to run our business in a commercial way and what is best for the reclamation industry in general. That is quite apart from whether we think that the planning / listing / conservation officer is being right and proper or unrealistic / insane.

So the scenario is :
A chapel in South Wales has closed down.
They have sold off what items they could, but can not sell the pews because they have been listed and may not be removed. This, of course, reduces the possible uses of the building and therefore the value of the building.
The building is then sold.
The new owner gets planning consent to make changes to the building, with the restrictions that the pews can be removed (from the floor) but stored in the building or somewhere suitable. So that in the future the pews could be re-instated.
The owner then contacts several dealers to see if they want to buy the pews.
On trying to clarify the position with the planning / conservation officer, there seems to have been a “miscommunication” with the owner on whether he can legally remove and sell the pews.
Although the owner believes the planning restrictions on the pews are unrealistic he now agrees to stop offering the pews for sale.

So answer the questions to find out how you score: are you a moral leading light for the industry or a money grabbing b*stard that can justify anything?

A) They have been listed so we can’t touch them.
B) The planners are being daft, I can help the owner out and bend a few rules.
C) The planners don’t really care, they might send me a stiff letter.
D) The other dealers are keeping away, so I can buy them really cheap.
E) The owner is going to get rid of them, if I don’t buy them then they will be destroyed, so that he doesn’t have to pay to store them or put them back.
F) Although the listing officer is being un-realistic, it’s right to abide with his ruling.
G) Why isn’t there someone I can phone and find out the legal thing to do.
H) The Salvo code mentions something about listed items, but isn’t the code only a voluntary code.

So how do you score?
A – Yes 5 points. No 0 points
B – Yes 2 points. No. 4 points
C – Yes 1 point. No. 3 points.
D – Yes 2 points No. 4 points.
E – Yes 2 points. No. 4 points.
F – Yes 4 points . No. 1 point.
G – Yes – 5 points. No. 0 points
H – Yes – 5 points. No. 5 points.

0-10 Your grandmother should hide the gold in her teeth.
10-20 You will make money but do you have any friends?
20-30 Well I think we all blunder along trying to keep the wolf from the door.
30-40 Wow really ! you should be running Salvo.
50-60 You should check you adding up. Was it you that measured that last run of flooring that I bought straight from site?

Best regards
Colin Scull
Robert Mills Ltd

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Dorset's building heritage

Dorset UK

HIDDEN treasures will be going on show during a week celebrating some of Dorset’s best buildings. Homes, community facilities and attractions will be opening their doors for the Dorset Architectural Heritage Week from September 12-20. Many of those open during the week are normally closed to the public.

Society president Pru Bollam said: “The week helps make the public aware of the buildings that are part of our heritage.”

The full list of events can also be viewed at People can also call the booking office on 01202 888992.

Dorset Echo

Bugs to Buddha

Gumma prefecture of Japan

a bizarre Buddha statue that appears to be made from jewels, but is actually comprised of 20,000 dead bugs. The statue, located in a community hall in the Gumma prefecture of Japan, took over 6 years to create.

Inamura Yoneiji, a 89-year-old local of the area, created the statue in tribute to the souls of the insects, most of which are beetles. Talking about the statue, Yoneiji says “For children in the years immediately after World War II, Japan was poor and there was little entertainment available, aside from catching bugs. However, every bug would eventually die after being caught. By making a statue of a Buddha from their dead bodies, perhaps their souls can rest in peace.” And how much more peaceful could a statue of Buddha get, with the bodies of bugs extended into a new life to pay homage to Buddha.

earth first