Victorian fountain completed

The restoration of the St. Lawrence Jewry Fountain, which now stands at the East end of  Carter Lane near St Paul’s Cathedral, was completed in August 2010.

The Victorian fountain was designed by architect John Robinson and the bronze sculpture was carried out by the artist Joseph Durham, and erected in 1866 outside the church of St Lawrence Jewry. During the redevelopment of the Guildhall in the 1970’s, the fountain was dismantled, but one of the planning permission conditions of the redevelopment was that the fountain should be re-erected. The dismantled fountain was left in the bomb site of the Guildhall Art Gallery for approximately 15 years and then stored on pallets in a barn at Great Gregories Farm, in Epping.

 

Images © 2011 Harris Digital Productions

Victorian drinking fountain nears completion

Work on the restoration of the St. Lawrence Jewry Fountain is near completion. The fountain which was last seen in the 1970s was dismantled into approximately 150 pieces and put into storage.

st-lawrence-jewry-fountain-st-pauls-cathedral

The pieces of the nineteenth century drinking fountain have been conserved and restored by Cathedral Works Organisation under the supervision of Freeland Rees Roberts Architects. The fountain has been relocated to the eastern end of Carter Lane Gardens at the south of St Paul’s Cathedral. It is anticipated that the restoration work will be completed by August 2010.

Major Restoration of Tower Bridge Completed

The repainted bascules and balustrades

AFTER three years of grit-blasting, paint analysis, abseiling engineers, scaffolding, cradles and polyethylene wraps, the most famous bridge in the world has been restored to all its majestic glory – and the raising of the Bridge is back!

The repainted bascules and balustrades
The repainted bascules and balustrades

The major restoration of Tower Bridge, which only takes place every 25 years, was completed at the end of March and with the polyethylene wraps removed from the freshly painted bascules, the bridge is now back in full operational mode and open to shipping. The first vessel to pass through will be the MV Dixie Queen at 5.30pm on Saturday 2 April.

“As custodians of one of the world’s most iconic and much-loved structures, it is a privilege to be trusted with the responsibility of ensuring it is preserved for future generations to enjoy,” said Tower Bridge Bridge Master Eric Sutherns MBE.

“As Tower Bridge is both a very busy London thoroughfare and a tourist attraction that’s open 363 days of the year, the works had to be phased to have minimum impact on the public which is why it took three years to complete. It’s fantastic to see the Bridge finally divested of all wraps, scaffolding and cradles and standing proud in pristine condition again.”

Beginning in March 2008, the scope of the essential works was to strip away the old layers of paint and repaint all the steelwork. The Tower Bridge Exhibition remained open throughout the process but the impressive spectacle of the raising of the immense bascules had to be suspended from November 2010 to allow the contractors to carry out the work.

Tower Bridge was the creation of architect Sir Horace Jones and civil engineer Sir John Wolfe-Barry. It took eight years to complete and was officially opened on 30 June 1894 by the Prince and Princess of Wales (the future King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra). It was originally painted a greenish-blue colour and was a chocolate brown before adopting its present colours of blue, white and red for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1976.

The £4 million cost of the works has been funded by Bridge House Estates, an ancient City trust that dates back to 1097 when medieval monks founded a charity that charged Londoners a toll for crossing London Bridge. The primary purpose of this trust was, and still is, to maintain all five City bridges (London, Tower, Southwark, Blackfriars and Millennium Bridge) at no cost to the taxpayer. The trust is now worth £700million and continues to give grants totalling millions every year to charities in Greater London.

22,000 litres of paint forming six layers of primers and top coats were used in the state-of-the-art high performance coating system and around 1,500 tonnes of abrasive material were used to blast away the old paint and reveal the original metal framework underneath.

When the repainting began in 2008, paint specialist Patrick Baty of Papers and Paints was brought in to establish how the Bridge was painted when it was erected in 1894. By taking samples of paint from all over the Bridge he was able to analyse the many layers laid down over the life of the Bridge and record the decorative history before the evidence was lost. The process revealed more than just layers of old paint – by removing all the coats of paint from over the past 116 years it was clear to see how the Clean Air Act of 1956 improved the quality of London’s atmosphere – no more soot between layers!

Since the restoration project began it has been recorded and documented in a dedicated website by Harris Digital Productions, see www.thetowerbridge.info for a comprehensive record of images and procedures used.

High resolution press images available on request.

St Paul’s drinking fountain springs to life

The first fully certified drinking fountain in London for 30 years was switched on at 11am on Friday 21 May. The fountain is alongside St Paul’s Churchyard, near the City Information Centre and opposite St Paul’s Cathedral. It was unveiled by Robert Duffield Chairman of the City Corporation’s Port Health and Environmental Services Committee.

The drinking fountain is designed to refill water bottles and will provide a welcome facility in the summer months to workers, residents and visitors to the City. It has been installed with the approval of Thames Water, the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme and the Drinking Water Inspectorate. There is a thorough maintenance programme which includes daily cleansing and regular tests to ensure the water is of the highest quality.

This is a trial installation as part of a proposed scheme to introduce new drinking water fountains around the Square Mile and restore the City’s historic drinking fountains. Depending on the success and use of the fountain it could lead to a roll out of similar drinking fountains across the City during 2011.

Robert Duffield, Chairman, Port Health and Environmental Services Committee, City of London Corporation said:

“The fountain represents the City of London Corporation’s commitment towards reducing waste by providing an opportunity to refill empty bottled water containers instead of simply throwing them away. It is a free amenity for workers, residents and visitors being unveiled at a particularly vital time: ahead of the summer season.”

The project is part of the ongoing streetscene improvement work around the Carter Lane / St Paul’s area which also includes the installation of the restored nine metre high St Lawrence Fountain later this summer. In addition it complements the nearby Cheapside Initiative, which supports the development of Cheapside as a premiere retail and leisure destination and is anticipated to attract more shoppers and visitors to the area.

Victorian drinking fountain – work starts in the City of London

Work gets underway on the rebuilding of the St Lawrence Jewry Fountain, which was last seen in the 1970s after it was dismantled into approximately 150 pieces and put into storage. The fountain was built in 1866 and originally stood outside the church of St Lawrence Jewry, but was dismantled in the 1970’s during the redevelopment of the Guildhall.

Work gets underway on the rebuilding of the St Lawrence Jewry Fountain
Work gets underway on the rebuilding of the St Lawrence Jewry Fountain

 

Progress on Victorian drinking fountain

Work on the restoration of the St. Lawrence Jewry Fountain is now well underway. The fountain which was last seen in the 1970s was dismantled into approximately 150 pieces and put into storage.

The pieces of the nineteenth century drinking fountain are being conserved and restored by Cathedral Works Organisation under the supervision of Freeland Rees Roberts Architects. The anticipated completion date is August 2010 when it will be relocated to the eastern end of Carter Lane Gardens at the south of St Paul’s Cathedral.

You can follow the project at www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/stlawrencefountain

Video by Harris Digital Productions

Grit blasting Southwark Bridge

Industrial painting contractors have now started grit blasting Span 4.
Polythene wraps have been applied to the scaffolding, which prevents particles of paint or dust escaping into the natural environment.

Southwark Bridge is an arch bridge linking Southwark and the City across the River Thames. It was designed by Ernest George and Basil Mott and opened in 1921.

  • Southwark Bridge will be returned to its original bright colours of green and yellow
  • 13,000 litres of paint will be used on Southwark Bridge
  • 26,000 man hours to complete the Southwark Bridge job over a four – year period
  • £2.5 million to complete Southwark Bridge facelift
  • 1,000 tonnes of expendable abrasive will be used to blast Southwark Bridge back to its metal framework before repainting

Video by Harris Digital Productions

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