Dave Gamston gave a fascinating talk on “Historic Pub Interiors: a Conservation Issue”, including slides showing some of the Yorkshire pubs under threat.
Elizabeth Hirst of Hirst Conservation stood in for Rachel Morley and spoke on “The Stones of Stamford”. Rachel has since provided the following additions to the answers to some of the questions:
1. Re: Moss on slates
While not ideal, moss growth on roof slopes is inevitable, particularly on cooler, shadier north-facing slopes. The rooting filaments of the organism can, over time, penetrate the slate, but more so, moss holds water, which is an issue in winter times, as freezing conditions can lead to spalling.
2. Re: Narrow path and salts splashing
In this instance, I think all that can be done is applying a colour-matched lime render to form a sacrificial plinth coating to a height of approx. 900mm. This WILL get damaged and require renewal after time, but it should provide adequate protection for the stone. The lime mix should be weaker and more porous than the stone, this will allow rapid evaporation of moisture absorbed and should accommodate several cycles of salt crystallisation.
If the building is listed it will be necessary to contact the local conservation officer before installing this, as listed building consent may be required.
3. Re: Reputable builders
Before you award a contract to a builder or conservator, it is quite reasonable to ask to see examples of their work and see testimonials from clients. It can also be advisable to instruct a surveyor to supervise the works and ensure the works are completed to a satisfactory standard.
Tickets are available from the Secretary.
Unless otherwise stated, all talks will be at Browne’s Hospital, with tickets costing £3.50.
Wednesday 21st May: Visit to Oakham Castle – organized by the Friends of Rutland County Museum and Oakham Castle, meeting at the castle at 2pm; please do book tickets as usual, though there is no charge.
A donation to the Friends would be appreciated. Tim Clough, who was Curator for many years will be showing us round, and we hope to hear about their planned major refurbishment.
Weather permitting, he expects to take the group around the exterior and interior of the Castle (so footwear suitable for walking on grass is a good idea).
Wednesday is market day in Oakham, so the advice for those coming by car is to use the pay-and-display public car parks: Burley Road and Church Street are the nearest to the Castle.
Friday 13th June : A day in Kings Lynn, starting with a 2 hour tour with a blue badge guide at 10:30, followed by an afternoon visit to Clifton House, the most complete medieval merchant's house in England. Please note there is a waiting list for this visit; if you have a firm place and cannot go, please let Melanie know, so we can move someone off the waiting list.
Saturday 21st June: Order for Night Prayer – Compline at St. Leonard’s Priory. This is the first time such a service has been held for many years. A reception, with light refreshments will be held between 6.30pm and 7.45pm, followed by the Order for Night Prayer. A choir from St. Mary's will be present. There will be no charge, but tickets will be issued; please book in the usual way. The service will be led by Canons Donald Gray and Kenneth Court. Please bring your own chairs if required.
Thursday 9th October: The 2014 AGM and Awards evening. Details to follow.
The Magic Lantern Slides of Henry Traylen
Dave Baxter, who many of you know as a Civic Society member has digitised many of these slides that are archived at the Town Hall. They have been compiled into a book and the Civic Society has acquired a limited number of these that are available to members as long as our stock lasts at a discounted price of £9 per copy. It is a fascinating collection; it will solve our “what present can we give to our speaker” problem for the next few years!
If you would like a copy, please let me know, either by email or phone on 01780 751910, and we will work out the logistics of getting it to you on an individual basis.
Stamford Stone Trail
Thanks to a great deal of help from John Smith, the new version of the Stone Trail will hopefully be going to the printers next week.
Children's Town Trail
A group from Malcolm Sargent School met the Mayor, toured the Town Hall and tried out the trail last week. Great fun was had by all! Copies of the trail are on our website or in printed form from the Tourist Information Centre.
Urban Group Activities
I am sure you have all seen the new planter in the High Street; quite apart from the fact that the plane trees there were in a dangerous condition, the smaller flowering cherry makes the whole area more spacious. Thanks to all involved.
The Stamford Heritage Project
The Stamford Heritage Project, which aims to capture the histories of most of the listed buildings and sites in the town, is moving steadily forward.
Most of the first fifty pilot sites now have had their initial short histories written. These can be seen on the project web site www.stamfordheritage.org.uk.
The project team are now working on the design of the signs which will be displayed at each location. These signs will probably take a number of different forms, depending on suitability at each individual site. Currently, we have prototype samples of signs made in ceramic, plastic and vinyl (window stickers). Each sign will carry the Stamford Heritage logo, the name of the site, a short-form web address for the specific page relating to the site, and a QR code graphic.
Most current model smartphones have the ability to read QR codes and many also have a technology known as NFC (Near Field Communication). This would make their use even easier for visitors; merely touching the smartphone against a sign will bring up the appropriate web page without the need to scan the QR code.
If you are one of our volunteer writers and still have site histories to complete, we would appreciate these as soon as possible, so that the pilot project can be completed on time. Any queries about the project can be addressed to Dave Sones, at firstname.lastname@example.org.