Thursday, October 29, 2009

Neptune at Christie's

New York, USA

Christie's, New York Rockefella Plaza, USA

An important French over-life-size cast-iron figure of Neptune recently came up for auction at Christie's New York. Cast by Val D'Osne, from the model by Gabriel Vital-Dubray, in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The edge of the conch-shell signed and dated V. DUBRAY/1856, the base stamped VAL D'OSNE. The piece is 210cm high to the top of its head and 275cm high to the end of the trident. The piece was estimated at $100,000 - $200,000 and realised $110,500 including buyers premium.


Mystery object

Rich Ellis blogger for Architectural Salvage & Antique Lumber is appealing to anyone who might shed some light on the object above. He has been told it is a ceramic coal heater but is clueless as to if it is American or European and which period it is from.

Architectural Salvage and Antique Lumber blog

Medieval stained glass photographic archive

The medieval stained glass photographic archive contains over 10,000 photographs of medieval stained glass listed by place and subject matter. The website was created over three years with a focus on glass before c.1320 but photographs of later windows that have already been taken are also displayed.

The purpose of the archive is only to display windows and panels together with an identification of the subject matter and to give some dates. However, as the project evolves it is hoped that more basic information and bibliographic references on each window will also be given.

Stained glass archive

Chicago Botanic Gardens

Chicago Botanic Gardens, Glencoe USA

Following the absence of the fair in 2009 Chicago Botanical Gardens Antiques and Garden Fair will return in 2010. The preview night is to be held on Thursday 15 April and the fair will run from Friday 16 April until Sunday 18 April.

Chicago Botanical Gardens

Bunny boiling for biofuel

Stockholm, Sweden

Authorities in Stockholm are giving bunny boiling a whole new meaning. The annual cull of the animals has started already in an aim to control their numbers in the cities parks. However, this year the carcasses are being incinerated to generate heat and power which has sparked outrage in some Swedes.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Loos can leave you feeling flush

Above: Private collection: Simon Kirby owns more than 200 toilets as well as the historic Thomas Crapper and Co [pict. Mail Online]

If you own a Victorian toilet you could quite literally be sitting on a goldmine!

Victorian toilets are very much in vogue for any bourgeois home and are currently commanding thousands of pounds on the market.

Sir John Harington is usually credited as the inventor of the first flushing water closet. Two were made in 1594, one for Harington and the other for his godmother, Queen Elizabeth I. Although the 'John' had flushing mechanisms, it was emptied only once a week and consisted of little more than a box below the seat. The first flushing toilet of the type we know today was not patented until 1775 by Alexander Cummings. Three years later Joseph Bramah refined this with a mechanism allowing the toilet to be flushed more easily through the use of a set of gears.

The cistern-driven pans that started to be made in the mid-1880s are the most collectible, as they are the earliest toilets that are readily adaptable to modern bathrooms. Of these, the most valuable are decorated with prints such as flower arrangements. The golden era of their manufacture came between 1880 and the First World War. The older pans in good condition are becoming increasingly rare and this helps to push up their value. Later pans tend to fetch less because mass production flooded the market, explains Salvo Code dealer Simon Kirby. Simon has been collecting toilets since the age of seventeen and bought the historic toilet company Thomas Crapper and Co in 1997.

He says, "There are some fantastic-looking early pans, but to be fit for use they must be in excellent condition and watertight. It is vital to study any potential purchase carefully for cracks."

Mail Online

Trader Gray passed away

Images from This is Cornwall

TERRY Gray, known familiarly as Trader Gray, ran the Shiver Me Timbers salvage yard in Penzance, Cornwall UK. His ramshackle yard in Long Rock, where he lived and worked, featured a large mock pirate's galleon built from reclaimed wood. A YouTube video shows him heating bricks by a woodburning stove which he placed in his bed and night to keep warm.

His business was open to all comers, not necessarily people wishing to buy, as he also provided a friendly welcome and informal social service to truants and miscreants who needed warming up and a cup of tea. Appreciative comments can be seen on YouTube such as 'Trader Gray Rest in Peace. This man was a legend....... the world will be a duller place without him. So pleased to have been part of his tribe if only for a passing period in time. Big Love and Respect Steve & Jayne' and 'Really sad news of Trader.... he paid for me to get a taxi when I'd missed the last bus home as a kid. Bless im. What a character to loose.'

Trader Gray died and was buried in Marazion cemetery, along with his favourite pies and cakes, on 11 September 2009 after a service in St Mary's Church packed with family and friends. His poker-worked reclaimed timber coffin had been carried to the church in his old pickup, decorated for the occasion with Indian rice sacks and sunflowers. It was then piped into the church while a jazz band inside the church played When The Saints Go Marching In. Some dealers from the salvage trade were in attendance.

His sister Jean, now living in Canada, said, "Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere".

There is another reclaimed timber salvage yard called 'Shiver Me Timbers' in Williamstown Australia. It is not known whether they knew of each other.

2 houses demolished in 10 minutes

Following the decision in 2006 to demolish the Dudley North Priory estate due to its deterioration the final two houses have been demolished in just 10 minutes.

Andy Cook, from Humphries Demolition Ltd said, "The remains of the last two properties will be painstakingly sorted by hand – allowing reclaimed bricks to be added to the 500,000 which are already being shipped to other building projects." Mr Cook added that up to 97 per cent of the debris created during the demolition will be reclaimed and reused.

"The first stage of the demolition was to go into the houses and carry out a soft-strip where all the fixtures and fittings are removed. This allowed us to carefully extract floorboards and plasterboard to be recycled. Once the buildings themselves are pulled down workmen go through the bricks and chip render off whole ones before they are stacked on pallets and sold on," he explained.

If planning permission is granted the Bromford Group will go ahead with a 314-home development including apartments, bungalows and houses and will be a combination of rented, privately owned and shared ownership properties.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Salvo calls for architectural salvage trade to lobby their MPs by 30 Oct 09 about a proposed new undemocratic law/rule

Above: Not the right way to save old materials. Reusable bricks, roof slates, wood floorboards, and more, are destroyed by thoughtless and rapid demolition. Careful dismantling saves materials for reuse. [Photo taken from Vale of White Horse District Council demolition page *** - see more about this below

FROM 1987 to 1994 the UK government required local authorities to consider placing a 'salvage clause' on all planning applications and listed building consents where reusable material was likely to arise, requiring that it was reused on site, or sold to a local salvage contractor. This clause in PPG15 (Planning Policy Guidance Note 15) came about partly as a result of my relationship with Chris Patten, the then Tory cabinet minister, who was also my constituency MP.

In 1994 policymakers in the higher echelons of English Heritage rewrote PPG15, which is the bible used by UK local authorities, their listed buildings officers and planning officers, when making decisions about historic buildings. The salvage clause was dropped in the rewrite despite objections from Salvo on behalf of the trade.

The government is now set to produce a new version of PPG15, now called PPS15 (Planning Policy Statement 15) which is out for consultation until 30 October 2009. It can be seen here
PPS15 Consultation

I have drafted my comments (see below) which now need trade support. I would like every salvage dealer to put these points to their local MP so that they can have a voice in the decision. An important issue is that PPS15 is not a law debated in parliament.


Response from the UK reclaimed building materials industry on the consultation for PPS15
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

A. Reusable materials arising from demolition and refurbishment need to be saved.

The most valuable material reclaimed from demolished buildings is removed from historic buildings dating from before 1920, and most of these are listed buildings or are in a conservation area, both of which are governed by the Planning Act but in reality controlled by guidance notes for local authorities written by English Heritage.

The old PPG15 prior to 1994 included a recommendation to place salvage conditions on planning consent to alter or demolish historic buildings which would result in the disposal of reusable building material. The salvage condition recommended either reuse of such material on site, or its sale to a specialist reclaimed building materials salvage business.

This clause was deleted when the revised PPG 15 was produced in 1994. Salvo's objection at the time was met with a verbal response by telephone from an employee of English Heritage that there was 'not room' for the clause about salvage conditions in the new PPG 15.

This change in government policy has led to hundreds of millions of tons of old but historic and reusable bricks, stone, ironwork and timber being sent to landfill, or recycled by being melted down, crushed and burned from 1994 to 2009.

The EU 2008 Waste Framework Directive has now been passed in the European Parliament, and must become law in the UK by 2013. It requires member states to reuse as a 'priority order' over recycling, waste to energy and landfill.

The new PPS 15 must reflect the requirements of the EU 2008 Waste Framework Directive by containing positive guidance to planning authorities requiring them to ensure the reclaiming of reusable material for reuse when demolition, alterations, refurbishment or restoration occurs.

B. Confusion of listed building and planning officers is increasing global warming.

Most reclaimed building material is used in the historic environment by private consumers working outside mainstream construction. Much reclaimed material is reused without planning consent being sought or given. When applications for consent are made which include reuse of reclaimed material, planning officers refuse on the basis of their informal opinion, outside any legal or formal structure. We estimate that in half UK applications, or sometimes in every instance in certain authorities, planning officers reject reuse of reclaimed material in historic buildings.

These refused applications, to our knowledge, have never been legally challenged because in order to achieve an overall scheme for a building on a site, applicants have in every case acquiesced and dropped the reuse of reclaimed materials as part of the application.

So government policy to reduce global warming by reuse has not been implemented at a local level, and this has resulted in increased carbon emissions due to new materials having to be manufactured to substitute for reusable old ones. For example, the major brick manufacturers now produce new bricks that look like reclaimed bricks, which can be used in those areas and for those applications where reuse is not allowed by planning officers and listed building officers.

The new PPS 15 must give clear guidance to planning departments which encourages the reuse of reclaimed building material.

The scale of the problem can be seen with bricks. Every year the UK demolishes brick buildings which contain a total of around three billion bricks. Every year the UK currently (2008 BigREc Survey comissioned by Defra) reuses around 300 million old bricks. Every year around 2,700 million bricks are landfilled or crushed.

Significant fossil energy is used to crush the old bricks. Every 12 bricks embodies the energy of a gallon of petrol which is destroyed when bricks are crushed.

The failure to reuse results in additional carbon emissions from new brick manufacture, added to which are increased carbon emissions from the crushing of old bricks.

Similar examples of energy and resource inefficiency exist across the reclaimed building material sector covering a large range of material, for example, from dressed walling stone, to tropical hardwood woodblock flooring, to fine Victorian joinery and staircases.

From Thornton Kay of Salvo Llp
and on behalf of 129 reclamation businesses of the UK salvage trade to whom this has been circulated and approved

PPS15 Consultation


Please contact your MP about this as soon as possible. The end of the consultation period is 30 October 2009.

Thanks for your attention

*** The following statement is taken from the Vale of White Horse District Council website:
In March 2007 the Vale of White Horse District Council signed up to the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change. By doing this it pledged to reduce its own carbon emissions and to encourage others to do the same. The declaration sets out that the Council 'acknowledges the increasing impact that climate change will have on our community during the 21st century and commits to tackling the causes and effects of a changing climate on our district'. The document also commits the Council to reducing its own greenhouse gases and to encouraging other businesses and individuals in the Vale to do the same.
The Vale of White Horse District Council is typical of every local authority in the UK. All have signed up to policies which pledge to encourage reuse, but none of them actually do. This is why the government must act.

Hoffman Kilns

KRIS DE DECKER writes about the development of the technology of continuous brick firing in the late 1800s, in the latest online article in Low Tech Magazine. For salvage enthusiasts this mag is great antidote with articles like 'Cargo ships, then and now' and '12 small wind turbines put to the test' or 'How to make everything yourself: online low tech resources'.

Low Tech Magazine: Hoffmann Kilns by Kris De Decker

Only five commit to waste reduction push

Despite Wrap specifically targeting architects since June, only five architectural practices — Boyes Rees, Simons Design, Aedas Architects, RPS and Atkins — have so far pledged to reduce waste sent to landfill from their projects, prompting Wrap to launch a series of new architect-focused initiatives.

It is now working with the RIBA, which has signed up to the commitments, to create a series of 10 workshops across the UK towards the end of this year.


Australian pilot wins award for sustainability

Above: An Australian building used as a pilot by the Green Building Council of Australia has won an international award for sustainability. [photo from Architecture & Design]

Bond University’s Mirvac School, Australia

Bond University’s Mirvac School of Sustainable Development building won the 2009 Sustainability Award from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, the world’s premiere property and construction institute. The building was the brainchild of Professor George Earl, head of the school of Sustainable Development at Bond University.

“When I started the school all the programs were developed by myself and my team from the ground up. So I believed it was important that the new building of the school should reflect the vision of the school. We also wanted it to be a teaching tool, so a lot of the features are not hidden- they are exposed- so students can actually see how it is built and see sustainable design in action.

"The state of the art building has reduced emissions by 80 per cent for a building of its size (2,500 sqm), and produces 60 per cent of its power through solar energy. The building’s windows are also orientated to reduce the amount of energy needed for lighting and climate control. Even the lift is environmentally friendly, generating enough power for its up trip on the way down," said Mr Earl

Architecture & Design

Belgium's Tongeren Antiques Market

Above: More than 350 vendors bring their wares to Tongeren each week.

Tongeren , Belgium

Each Sunday from 6am-noon, thousands of antiques lovers peruse the offerings of more than 350 dealers arrayed beside the ancient city walls in Tongeren. Tongeren is the oldest town in the country and has more attractions than just the market. It was fortified by Julius Caesar as a Roman army camp and ongoing excavations in the 13th- century basilica still continue today. Tongeren may be only an hour's drive south from Brussels but the town is not a tourist magnet like Paris or Rome, and so the competition and the prices are reduced.

"I see carved Belgian cabinets, French Provincial armoires, myriad trunks and chests, a sturgeon writhing on a platter, a stuffed fox in one booth, a foxhunter's hat in another. Crackled Flemish paintings; a $10,000 Picasso print; insect collections; Frisian cowbells; Meissen figurines; bronze Greek gods and rusting cherubim; architectural salvage; handwrought niblicks (golf clubs); a collection of scales; and enough chandeliers, candelabra, china, crystal, and silverware to host a stadium-size dinner party. Things here tend to be well vetted, sorted, and of a high quality," said Tom Conrad, owner of Heart of Europe Tours.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Reconditioning for jars

Above: Examples of Kilner jars on Mr Denyer's website.

Peter Denyer Services in Epsom provides a one stop shop for everything you want for jars, from recycled jars and lids to screw bands.

Mr Denyer hopes to encourage people to embrace the traditional way of preserving fruit and vegetables. He also provides a metal screw ring reconditioning service, "This will work where your rings are tarnished and discoloured and you will get back clean brass coloured metal rings. If your rings have been left in the damp and are red rusty and pitted" said Mr Denyer.

Above: Typical rings which will give good results.

Kilner Jars Uk

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Pallet Chair

The Pallet Chair is manufactured in a collective workshop in Lugano, Buenos Aires. Studiomama the London based company behind the pallet chair have also made the instructions available for purchase on their website to encourage others to rework wooden pallets into functional furniture.

A number of chairs were auction at the recent London Design Festival. Artists were invited to personalize the chairs, to be auctioned off for charity. Artist Cornelia Parker painted her chair with alternate white and red pigments. The white pigment was made from the chalk from the white cliffs of Dover, and the red, from a house that fell on to them.


Skip salvage sells for £6,000

Above: The Talwin Morris pieces were rescued from a skip in the 1960s

Glasgow, Scotland UK
Three Art Nouveau items rescued from a skip outside a derelict building in Glasgow in the 1960s have sold at auction for more than £6,000.

A former architecture student found the Talwin Morris designed pieces in a skip outside an Alexander "Greek" Thomson building in the city's Stanhope Street. Talwin Morris was one of the leading Glasgow illustrators of the late 19th century and was a business acquaintance of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

He said, "It was a lecturer at the Art School who told us that various buildings in Glasgow were about to be demolished and asked some of us to survey the buildings. I went down with some fellow students to survey the Thomson building in Stanhope Street and on one of our visits we arrived to find that everything was being stripped out and thrown into a skip."

BBC News

Heritage campaigners challenge demolition

Above: Developers want to turn the site into a nine-storey apartment complex with shops

Belfast, Ireland
Carlise Property Developments want to transform the 19th Century warehouse on Queen Street in Belfast city center and turn it into a nine-storey apartment complex with shops.

This plan has been greatly opposed by a number of heritage campaigners. Campaigners have consequently won High Court permission to challenge the demolition. A judge ruled tearing down the 19th Century warehouse should be based on more than just economic reasons because it is in a conservation area.

BBC News

Monday, October 12, 2009

Newark, Swinderby, Lincoln gossip

Above: Newark Castle, last Thursday, with early morning sun streaming through the windows.

Newark, Nottinghamshire - Newark's International Antiques and Collectors Fair was held on Thursday 8th and Friday 9th October. Thursday was a beautifully sunny day with a slight chill in the air and the car park was busier than usual at 9.30am as people arrived at the Newark and Nottinghamshire Showground where it is held.

A handful of trade could be spotted mulling around, though architectural antiques seemed a bit thin on the ground. There was slightly more in the way of garden furniture and ornament. Hugh Chudley of Mark Chudley International Shippers was busily packing up a van, and called out 'It's busy, isn't it!?' Mark and Kim from Morris Interiors, Shepton Mallet were visiting for the first time in three years. Adam Hills from Retrouvius, London had found a few bargains. Linda North had a pitch and was merrily buying away. Guy Trench, who also had a pitch was, by midday, off on his bike enjoying the sunshine. And with the only big display of antique brassware, Carol and Terry Sparke were buzzing after a big sale earlier that morning.

Rachel Everett from IACF said today that 'Newark was much busier last week than previous months. A combination of things helped; those who have closed shops down, or left antiques centres are relying solely on antique fairs to sell, and with the end of the recession in sight, there seems to be spurge of buying going on too. We saw it happen around 1996, after the last recession when Newark was really at it's peak'.

All the talk at Newark was of the previous two days which saw Arthur Swallow's Antiques & Home Show move from RAF Swinderby to the Lincolnshire Showground, and IACF, who bought Newark from the DMG Group in June 2009, set up a sister fair to Newark at RAF Swinderby on the same two days as Lincoln.

The Lincolnshire Showground is 10 minutes drive from Lincoln and 25 minutes drive from Newark. At Newark, Joe Sutton said 'Lincoln is a lovely new site with really nice feel. We're all trying to get used to not calling it 'Swinderby'. The two 'Swallow' sons were there and doing a great job.' The Lincolnshire Showground has just had a seven million pound makeover, and now boasts a new state of the art eco-friendly building, complete with marble floors, heating, and baby changing facilities.

There were rumours that IACF's sister antiques fair at Swinderby had been slow. Rachel Everett of IACF said 'It was decided that IACF would keep a fair running at RAF Swinderby in order to keep Newark strong. So the two shows could work in sympathy with each other, as the foreign dealers especially like to visit the two sites one after the other.' The Swinderby exhibitors seem to have split 25/75 between the old and new sites with 650 exhibiting at Swinderby in October and about 2,500 at Lincolnshire. To lure more people out during the winter months IACF are offering free entry to buyers on both days at Swinderby in December, and entry for buyers on Thursday at Newark in December is £10 instead of £20, and on Friday £5 instead of £10.

ICAF, Newark and Swinderby. Tel: 01636 702326
Arthur Swallow Fairs, Lincoln. Tel: 01298 27493

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Church salvage and the law

Some aspects of the law on dealing in architectural salvage, antiques and artefacts from churches by Thornton Kay

See the complete article 'Church salvage' and all the reference documents here

Removing antique, reclaimed and salvaged items from churches in England and Wales is governed by the 1990 Planning Act and the Ecclesiastical Exemption order of 1997.

Ecclesiastical exemption for the six named denominations covers works to a listed ecclesiastical building whose primary use is as a place of worship, and which is for the time being in use as such, works to an object or structure within such a building, works to an object or structure which is fixed to the exterior of such a building (unless the object or structure is itself listed), and works to an object or structure within the curtilage of such a building which, although not fixed to that building, forms part of the land (unless the object or structure is itself listed). In the case of the Church of England, although the exemption ceases to apply once a church has been formally declared redundant, it comes into effect again should a scheme for demolition arise under the Pastoral Measure 1983 (as amended).

The exempt denominations are:
the Church of England
the Church in Wales
the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales
the Methodist Church
the United Reformed Church
the Baptist Union of Great Britain and the Baptist Union of Wales

There are three types of listed status (in descending order of importance and difficulty to obtain planning permission):
Grade I: buildings of outstanding architectural or historic interest.
Grade II*: particularly significant buildings of more than local interest.
Grade II: buildings of special architectural or historic interest.

Conservation areas protect groups of buildings, for which an individual building may require listed building consent for alterations which affect its character, but not for demolition. Article 4 Directions can be imposed by a local authority to further control works in a Conservation Area but compensation is payable to any owner who is adversely affected. The demolition of all or part of a gate, fence or wall, the removal of a chimney stack, and changes to roof coverings may be affected by Article 4 directions.

Government general policy is to list all buildings erected before 1700 which survive in anything like their original condition and most buildings of 1700–1840. More selection is exercised among buildings of the Victorian period and the 20th century. Buildings less than 30 years old are rarely listed, and buildings less than 10 years old never. Although the decision to list may be made on the basis of the architectural or historic interest of one small part of the building, the listing protection applies to the whole building. De-listing is possible but rare in practice.

The total number of churches and chapels in the UK has been estimated at 75,000 of which 45,000 are still used for religious purposes. But this picture is changing. The first mosques in Britain opened at the end of the 19th century and by 1961 there were seven mosques, three Sikh temples and one Hindu temple in England and Wales, compared with nearly 55,000 Christian churches. By 2005 the number of churches had fallen to 47,600. According to the organisation Christian Research, another 4,000 are likely to go in the next 15 years. The Church of England still has 16,000 churches, and 1,700 have been made redundant since 1969. In 2009 Islamic website Salaam records a total of 1,689 mosques.

Covenants attached to redundant Anglican churches make it difficult for them to be used by another faith. The Church of England has opened more than 500 new churches since 1969. Redundant Anglican churches tend to be developed into houses, offices or restaurants. Methodist churches, down from 14,000 in 1932 to 6,000, and closing at the rate of 100 a year, are often sold with no restrictive covenant attached.

Apart from the fabric of the building itself, items covered by a listing are defined in the Act as any object or structure fixed to the building or any object or structure within the curtilage of the building which, although not fixed to the building, forms part of the land and has done so since before lst July 1948. These might include flagstones, walling stone, doors, gates, railings, gravestones, memorials, windows and stained glass, panelling, pews, radiators, pulpits, altars, fonts, paintings and tapestries, and lighting.

There are two types of items which can be taken from a church - fixtures which are considered to be part of the building, such as pews or windows, and chattels which are not fixed to the building such as candlesticks and vestments. There is a grey area on things like hanging light fittings and paintings, which may sometimes be fixtures and sometimes not.

If the church is still in use or owned by a religious body then its permission must be sought by the person wishing to sell or dispose of the items. This permission is known as a 'faculty' in Church of England and Roman Catholic churches and may be given as part of a scheduled change to the church which might be known as a 'reordering'.

What can be sold and when?

For a person from a church to sell chattels from a working church the following permission is needed:
• A faculty or church authority under a reordering scheme

For a person from a church to sell fixtures from a working church which is not listed and not in a conservation area the following permissions are needed:
• A faculty or church authority under a reordering scheme

For a person from a church to sell fixtures from a working church which is not listed but is in a conservation area the following permissions are needed:
• A faculty or church authority under a reordering scheme
• Listed building consent if an Article 4 direction is in place, unless the removal of the fixture does not affect the buildings historic character or significance (such an item might be, for example, a 1980's display board).

For a person from a church to sell fixtures from a working church which is listed but has ecclesiastical exemption the following permissions are needed:
• A faculty or church authority under a reordering scheme
• Listed building consent for a separately listed building in the churchyard
• Planning permission if there is a change to the exterior of the church but please note that it is also encumbent on the church authorities to have notified the DLTR or its current equivalent (See more here).

For a person from a church to sell fixtures from a working church which is listed but does not have ecclesiastical exemption the following permissions are needed:
• A faculty or church authority under a reordering scheme
• Listed building consent to remove, alter or demolish the item, unless the removal of the fixture does not affect the buildings historic character or significance, for example a ten year old notice board (unless perhaps the notice board itself was made using reclaimed wood from the church pews).
• Planning permission if there is a change to the exterior of the church

For the owner, or authorised agent of the owner, to sell fixtures from a deconsecrated church which is not listed nor in a conservation area the following permissions are needed:
• Planning permission if demolition of the whole is being carried out, unless the structure is dangerous.

For the owner, or authorised agent of the owner, to sell internal fixtures which cannot be seen from public ground outside, from a deconsecrated church which is not listed but is in a conservation area the following permissions are needed:
• Listed building consent if an Article 4 direction is in place
• Listed building consent for any pre-1925 gravestone
• Listed building consent for the demolition of any principal internal element of the structure including any staircase, load-bearing wall, floor structure or roof structure.

For the owner, or authorised agent of the owner, to sell fixtures which can be seen from public ground outside, from a deconsecrated church which is not listed but is in a conservation area the following permissions are needed:
• Listed building consent to remove, alter or demolish any item (unless the item is being replaced without listed building consent - such as roof slates being replaced during a re-roofing job) unless the removal of the fixture does not affect the buildings historic character or significance
• Listed building consent for any pre-1925 gravestone
• Listed building consent if an Article 4 direction is in place
• Planning permission if there is a change to the exterior of the church

For the owner, or authorised agent of the owner, to sell any fixtures, from a deconsecrated church which is listed the following permissions are needed:
• Listed building consent to remove, alter or demolish any item (unless the item is being replaced without listed building consent - such as roof slates being replaced during a re-roofing job) unless the removal of the fixture does not affect the buildings historic character or significance
• Planning permission if there is a change to the exterior of the church

Architectural entrepreneur brings rural business together

Having rode out one recession 17 years ago Keith Allan has found himself in the midst of another. His new approach is to bring independent rural businesses together in a cluster which may not be a new trend but it's one that's helping some small firms gain a foothold during the recession. Clustering together helps to reduce the overheads as everyone is helping towards the running of the place.

Mr Allan runs an architectural antiques business in north Northumberland and he is behind The Old Dairy which is made up of a collection of converted stables. Mr Allan said: “Within the buildings are a number of loose box stables – very much traditional stables – and we thought it would be nice to invite like-minded businesses to come in. Currently we have three or four businesses in the stables. It increases the variety of stock, one specialises in marine antiques – ships wheels, clocks, portholes – and one is curios, the place lends itself to that. People like to come out into the countryside – more and more people are shopping out of town. To come to a lovely country area like this – there’s a wonderful story here, the Battle of Flodden took place 500 years ago on the doorstep."

Although Mr Allan acknowledges that people are spending less money in the recession but suggests that, "you have to be optimistic as much as you can be in these tough times. Paradoxically, it can be a good time to start a business as you can negotiate better rents."


The opportunity to bring Chelsea Flower Show to your home

Summers Place Auctions, Billingshurst UK
20 October - live auction & 23 October - sealed bid auction 2009

Several items from Chelsea Flower Show will be offered for sale in the auction of Garden Statuary, Architectural Items and Decorative Fossils at Summers Place Auctions. This includes an abstract spherical limestone sculpture by Simon Thomas that appears to float on water, designed for the Cancer Research UK, Chelsea Garden 2009.

The sculpture, is accompanied by a pond liner made up of concentric steel dividers of oval form, is estimated at £10,000-15,000. Summers Place Auctions have waived all charges to the charity and half of the proceeds from the sale of the sculpture will go directly to Cancer Research UK's general lifesaving work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Summers Place Auctions

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Rayburn is greener than Aga . . . unless you have an anaerobic digester

"It’s time to come clean. I have a domestic problem to the tune of a £3000-a-year gas bill. No, I don’t live in a huge draughty mansion, just a rather uninspiring 70s-style chalet house," said Jane. Her Aga is one of the main culprits for this gas bill, Jane said, "I feel guilty over the waste of burning gas all day when the house is empty from 8am to 4pm."

This dilemma led Jane to seek out a meeting with Aga at their Coalbrookdale foundary near Telford. She hoped that the trip would give her the chance to see how Aga is moving into the era of 'green' cookers after 300 years of casting iron at the Coalbrookdale site.

She discovered that new Aga's are made from 70% recycled materials and now Aga owners can programme the temperature control on certain models and save up to 30% on annual fuel bills. Alsom, Methane produced by anaerobic digesters, biofuels and even wind power are being explored as new energies for Aga.

Rayburns now outsell the traditional Aga mainly because they are more versatile as a cooker, central heating system and hot water provider and are seen as greener. A major research project is currently under way to test both Aga and Rayburns on another low carbon fuel; bio-oil which is a mixture of cooking oil and kerosene.

Farmers Weekly Interactive

Pillaging American icons

Leelanau County, Michigan USA

In her blog entry Lisa Spindler poses the question; architectural salvage and the American barn: recycling or robbery? A rather rebust attack on the trade follows to which Thornton Kay of Salvo has responded with a number of suggestions.


China's lost heritage

Li Songtang at his museum in Beijing, where he displays relics saved from demolition sites in the rapidly modernizing city. [photo New York Times]

Beijing, China
"The destruction of this 800-year-old city usually proceeds as follows: the Chinese character for 'demolish' mysteriously appears on the front of an old building, the residents wage a fruitless battle to save their homes, and quicker than you can say 'Celebrate the New Beijing,' a wrecking crew arrives, often accompanied by the police, to pulverize the brick-and-timber structure" said Li Songtang.

It is difficult to overstate how much of China’s old imperial capital has disappeared in recent years. Mr Li has been salvaging architectural remnants since the 1970s, sometimes at considerable risk to himself. He then takes the objects back to his museum in Beijing, the first privately-owned museum in China. There are currently around 3000 items on display, including gate piers, plaques and screen walls ranging from 2nd century BC to the early 20th century. Mr Li also has more than 10 thousand carvings and is preparing to display them to the public. "Every item has a tale. That Song Dynasty lintel etched with a frenzy of folk scenes was pulled from a pig sty. The lacquered screen that tells the history of a clan of scholars was fished from the burn pile."

In the years leading up to the Beijing Olympics in August, the destruction took on a manic pace. According to Unesco, more than 88 percent of the city’s old residential quarters are gone, including many government-designated heritage zones.

Folk Carving Museum

New York Times

Auction houses adjust with the times

The personal view of UK journalist for artknows is that there is currently a steady transformation of the big international fine art auction houses changing to private dealerships as power shifts from seller to buyer. This suggests that the days when one could look to the auction arena for a relatively reliable indication of market activity are drawing to a close. The fall of the Lehman Brothers last year exacerbated this ongoing trend and has consequently forced auctioneers into conducting more and more private transactions.


Redirecting the waste stream

Building materials destined for landfill get put to better use in the homes of builder Dan Phillips. Old bottle caps, used wine corks, glass shards, old planks of wood and chunks of bone - things people might consider worthless become valuable building materials in the hands of Philips.

"I'm trying to keep stuff out of the landfill," Phillip says. "When a contractor finishes a project and has eight lengths of rebar left over, it belongs to the homeowner, but what's the homeowner going to do with it? So they take it to the landfill. That's the only venue for left overs and I'm trying to change that." Using free and recycled materials benefits the environment and enables him to reduce the building cost which allows Phillip to build houses for the three target groups he is most interested in helping: single mothers, low-income families and artists. He also employs a number of unskilled workers giving them the opportunity to learn the building trade.

Before Phillips began reclaiming construction waste to build houses in Huntsville USA, the small city of 30,000 was generating the equivalent of enough construction waste to build one small-scale house a week. The key to Phillips' program is finding a warehouse to store and organise donated materials, "getting materials donated is no problem," said Phillips.

Above: The Treehouse built by Dan Phillips of Huntsville is clad of Western red ceder used as shingles. Desk railing is bois d'ark, or bodark, wood, dismissed by tradtional builders, revered by Phillips for its strength and character.

Above: A Treehouse made from reclaimed materials. The ceiling is made of discarded samples of picture frame corners.

Above: This storybook house built by Phillips with recycled materials is reminiscent of the traditional houses of Normany.

Above: A single mother built this house under Phillips' guidance.

The Phoenix Commotion

Monday, October 05, 2009

Distance selling regulation

The majority of dealers make use of the internet as part of their daily business. However, if you intend to go beyond simply using the internet as an advertising medium and wish to sell goods over the internet, then you will have to comply with the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 and possibly the Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002.

These regulations apply when the customer does not come into your shop before placing an order which includes businesses that allow customers to buy goods from their website or by exchange of emails with no face-to-face contact.

To escape possible prosecution the seller must ensure that the customer is given some basic information including contact details, a description of what it is they are buying and terms and conditions of the sale. It is not enough to have this information available on the website the customer must be informed by either fax, letter or email. The seller is also required to provide prompt acknowledgement of receipt of a customers order.

The Office of fair Trading