An Arts and Crafts Exchange

We're in the midst of high season for visitors at the moment, with our calendar chock-full of pop-ins and stays by family and friends right into September.....so, time to take a bit of a summer break from the blog.

But before I clock off, and shoe-horning in between guest bedroom valeting and cake baking, I must share some pics from our recent 'mini exchange' weekend with the Edgar Wood Society in Middleton.  We spent a fabulous Saturday afternoon welcoming fellow Edgar enthusiasts from the other side of the Pennines to look around Briarcourt.  As well as enjoying chats and feeling buoyed up by the enthusiasm and support our visitors showed for our renovation project, Dunc and I relished another fix of David Morris's insights into the architectural design and history of the building.  Whenever we speak to him, we learn something new.

The Edgar Wood Society at Briarcourt - learning about the stained glass

The Edgar Wood Society at Briarcourt - learning about the stained glass

Two days later, and I'm off with friends Sean and Jo for a return visit.  We're delighted to be heading to Long Street Methodist Church and Sunday School (aka 'The Arts and Crafts Church') in Middleton, to meet David and Nick Baker for a tour of this important Edgar Wood commission and HQ of the Edgar Wood Society.

Nick, David, Jo and Sean at Long Street Methodist Church

Nick, David, Jo and Sean at Long Street Methodist Church

Built just 4 years after Briarcourt, this commission would have been a very different proposition for Edgar. Designing a public building for a committee, indeed a whole local community, he would have had many people to please whilst looking to hold on to his own artistic integrity.  The result is a deceptively pared back design which is actually crammed full of exquisite details and textural contrasts.  In true Arts and Crafts spirit, Edgar works to get the best from the materials he employs - not least the beautiful swirling pink sandstone and speckled bricks.

A few of my highlights......

Happy Summer!