Ashwell URC Interior Refurbishment c1906/7

Photo:Inscription on centre chair

Inscription on centre chair

Ashwell Photo Club

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Jackie Embury

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Ashwell URC Interior Refurbishment c1906/7' page

Jackie Embury

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Ashwell URC Interior Refurbishment c1906/7' page

Jackie Embury

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Ashwell URC Interior Refurbishment c1906/7' page

Jackie Embury

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Ashwell URC Interior Refurbishment c1906/7' page

Jackie Embury

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Ashwell URC Interior Refurbishment c1906/7' page

Jackie Embury

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Ashwell URC Interior Refurbishment c1906/7' page

Jackie Embury

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Ashwell URC Interior Refurbishment c1906/7' page

Jackie Embury

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Ashwell URC Interior Refurbishment c1906/7' page

Jackie Embury

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Ashwell URC Interior Refurbishment c1906/7' page

Jackie Embury

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Ashwell URC Interior Refurbishment c1906/7' page

Jackie Embury

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Ashwell URC Interior Refurbishment c1906/7' page

Jackie Embury

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Ashwell URC Interior Refurbishment c1906/7' page

Jackie Embury

Art Nouveau

By Jackie Embury

 

 

Around 1906/7 the interior of the church was refurbished in the Art Nouveau style.  Sadly the minute books do not give exact details so the following has been put together from snippets of information gleaned from the minute books, from Bailey/Brays (Builders) books and informed guess work.

 According to the heart shaped brass inscription on the large chair the "The interior of this church was renovated in 1907. This Rostrum & furniture was gifted by Mrs CC Edwards" the wife of the minister Revd CC Edwards, a very generous gift which must have transformed the worship area.

The brass doorplates, pew numbers and umbrella holders were given by the Revd CC Edwards.

There is a theme of hearts in the church, in the stencilled frieze, the gallery board, the pew ends, the pulpit, communion furniture and copper hearts on the wrought iron work supporting the communion rail.  (Maybe the wrought iron and copper work was produced by one of the local Blacksmiths).

Ashwell Museum has the original colour samples for the stencilled frieze, it is interesting to see the various options put forward by the architect.

It is believed that the walls were painted green (a popular colour of the art noveau period). The raised rings at the top of the support columns were painted gold and there would have been brass lamps on the pulpit.

 

Deacon’s Meeting – April 3rd 1907 – (The first mention of “alterations to the interior of the Church building”)

New Windows for the Chapel

A Report in the ‘Royston Crow’ dated 16 March 1906

“On Sunday last the usual services were resumed at the Congregation Church after the structural alterations.  The appearance of the interior of the building has very materially changed.

The long, ugly and severe windows filled with ordinary square panes of glass with additional round ones have been done away with and the daylight system has been thoroughly re-modelled on the most approved and up-to-date lines, well befitting the sacred uses of the edifice.

Cathedral glass worked into lead now fills ornate and well proportioned lights, six on each side.  The design and treatment of the tinted glass is of the conventional order and quaint, being in the form of fruit, flowers and foliage.  The work has been effectively carried out by Mr F J Bailey from designs by Messrs R Palmer Baines & Co., architects of London, the glass being worked by the firm of Mr T W Camm of Smithwick.” 

(As there is no known documentary evidence of the interior refurbishment this has been added to the minutes by Jackie Embury in May 2012.  Reginald Palmer Baines was the Architect son of Architect George Baines their practice name was G & R P Baines they were located at 5, Clement’s Inn, Strand, London between 1884 and 1929, they specialised in designing churches for the Baptists though not exclusively).

After the usual preliminaries a discussion took place as to some very necessary alterations to the interior of the Church building.  It was proposed and carried unanimously that a Business Committee be formed and composed of 7 Members of the Church and 7 Members of the Congregation to discuss the matter.  Also that the £100 legacy left to the Church by the late Miss Chapman be used towards the cost of such alterations.

C C Edwards– Chairman

 

It would appear from the above that after the structural/window alterations in 1906 other necessary alterations to the interior of the Church were carried out 1907, including the modification to the worship area. 

Unfortunately the minute book of the Business Committee still elude us so it is impossible to know exactly what work was done and who had the vision but it is thought that Reginald Palmer Baines (Architect) would have had an influence.

 

This page was added on 03/06/2013.

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