2014 © Skillington Workshop

    Skillington Workshop Ltd to receive £10,100 from second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

    April 09, 2021 by Tony in News 0 comments
    Skillngtons has received a grant of £10,100 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help us manage the increased costs and the uncertainty around working through the Covid pandemic. We are one of 2,700 recipients from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund. Although we have been fortunate to have been able to manage an almost continuous stream of work since mid-May 2020, having had to take advantage of the government’s furlough scheme for our site staff for seven weeks, there have been numerous increased costs. In line with industry guidance we have revised our travel arrangements and had to provide additional vehicles to avoid sharing long journeys in vans.   Our work regularly involves having to stay away, which has been particularly challenging in terms of finding suitable digs which are not shared, eating arrangements, and indeed for the wellbeing of our team. A lot of our work involves handling heavy and awkward objects or working in relatively confined spaces, and we have had to adjust methods accordingly to minimise compromising social distancing. The grant will help mitigate these costs and allow us to manage our way through to what we hope […]

    Coronavirus statement

    April 06, 2020 by Tony in News 0 comments
    The Coronavirus pandemic is affecting all walks of life and our business is no exception. The majority of the sites we are working on have closed until the government’s lockdown measures have eased, working away from home (staying in accommodation) is not currently viable, and much of what we do is impossible whilst following social distancing protocol. For the time being we are therefore limited to administration and report-writing (mainly from home-working) and emergency works. During this period we are preparing for a return to work in due course, looking at what strategies we might employ if there is a partial or temporary easing of lockdown. In the meantime please direct all email enquiries to admin@skillingtons.co.uk . Our office number – 01476 565671 – should be answered during office hours but in case of difficulty or for out-of-hours emergencies only please contact David Carrington on 07713 647225. We apologise for any inconvenience caused whilst these measures are in place and hope that all of our contacts stay in good health.

    South Mimms Church

    February 13, 2020 by Tony in News 0 comments
    South Mimms is best known to some as the service station where the A1 meets the M25, but nearby is a small but historic village in which is historic St. Giles’s church.   Skillingtons have been involved here for many years, initially in assisting a main contractor with in 2011 the re-location of the important mid-15th century Frowyk brasses, set in a fractured Purbeck marble ledger slab, from the foot of the tower to the Frowyk Chapel to the north of the Chancel.   The Frowyk Chapel is known to have been built in about 1525-6, the centre-piece originally being the fine canopied tomb chest monument to Thomas (d.1523), son of the builder Henry Frowyk. Exceptionally fine London work this is one of a group of monuments also including that to Christopher Urswyck (d.1522) in St. John at Hackney – which was also conserved by Skillingtons (our survey in 2004, the works carried out in 2009).   Unfortunately the Frowyk Chapel has been affected by settlement and the north wall – into which the monument is built – falling outwards. We have been monitoring this since cracks first started appearing in the monument in 2016, and in 2019 concluded in […]

    St Alban’s Cathedral – Restoration of the Shrine of St Amphibalus

    October 01, 2019 by Tony in News 0 comments
    Shrines were focal points of medieval cathedrals, housing relics of saints and attracting pilgrims from far and wide to pray for forgiveness. Most English shrines were severely damaged or destroyed during the Dissolution and Reformation, as was the case at St Albans where the shrine of St Alban himself (dating to circa 1302-8) and of St Amphibalus (circa 1350). The fragments of the broken up shrines were used to block up an archway, to be re-discovered during George Gilbert Scott’s restoration of the Cathedral in 1872. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL POST >>>    

    William Lack ACR

    July 23, 2019 by Tony in News 0 comments
    It is with great sadness that we have to report that William Lack passed away on the 30th May 2019, aged 74. William was born on 13th April 1945. He took a degree in mathematics and pursued a career as a geologist. He eventually met H.K.Cameron, the renowned monumental brass conservator, via his wife Jenny who was a member of the Monumental Brass Society who had arranged a brass rubbing exhibition in Shrewsbury to raise funds for the Cambridge workshop. Keith Cameron, in his 70s at the time, was looking for the right person to become his apprentice and William soon transpired to be that person. Before long monumental brass conservation had taken over as the day job, and remained William’s career for the rest of his life. This was, of course, tempered with other interests, as William was a real family man – juggling work with bringing up his two daughters whilst Jenny was working as a teacher. He also had an enduring love of old cars and motorsport.   William Lack succeeded Les Smith as Hon. Bulletin Editor for the Monumental Brass Society with Bulletin 113 (January 2010) the first to appear under his editorship. He has been […]

    Monumental Brasses

    October 20, 2016 by Tony in Building 0 comments
    We have established a new department to the company specialising in the conservation of monumental brasses. Trading under the name Skillington Lack, we work with William Lack ACR as our consultant with Simon Nadin as our lead specialist conservator. Simon has been serving an apprenticeship under William’s guidance since 2013 and Skillington Lack is now taking on commissions in its own right. Since brasses are generally set in stone ledger slabs, the preservation of which our stone conservators are long established experts, we are unique in being able to provide a complete service for the conservation of these fascinating memorials. See the new Services page for further details. Click here.

    Skillingtons shortlisted for National Heritage Award

    July 28, 2015 by Tony in News 0 comments
    We are delighted to announce that Skillingtons have been shortlisted for the Historic England Angel Awards 2015, in recognition of our work conserving and restoring the Montagu Monuments of St Edmund’s Church, Warkton. Nominated in the Best Craftsmanship category, we will face competition from three other parties who have demonstrated exemplary craftsmanship on a Heritage Rescue. Winners will be announced during an awards ceremony hosted by Andrew Lloyd Webber and supported by the Telegraph which will take place at the Palace Theatre, London on the 7 September. In addition to our nomination in an individual category, Skillingtons are also in the running for another award which you can help us to win – the Historic England followers’ and Telegraph readers’ favourite Award, presented to the project that receives the most public votes. Please show your support for Skillingtons and vote for us by clicking here.  Voting closes at midnight on 16 August 2015 and your support at this very exciting time would be very much appreciated. About the project The Montagu monuments, four world-class marble sculptures, are located on the Boughton Estate in St Edmund’s Church, Warkton. For several years the condition of these monuments was found to be deteriorating, […]

    Bats in churches

    January 22, 2015 by Tony in Building 0 comments
    There are 18 species of bat in the UK, all of which are protected by law since they have been in serious decline in numbers over the last century. One of the reasons for this is the loss of habitat. Barns have been converted into houses, and modern dwellings tend to be far more carefully ‘sealed’ than those of 100 years ago. Churches, however, have remained as they were and – anecdotally at least – it would seem that whereas bat numbers generally are going down the number roosting in churches is significantly rising. Much as those of us working to conserve historic buildings, and in particular works of art in churches, might love bats, generally it cannot be denied that their presence can cause real problems.   Bat excreta can stain and chemically alter wallpaintings, textiles, monumental brasses (and other metal fixtures and fittings) and even marble. Larger roosts can result in a huge build-up of droppings which can be nigh on impossible to keep on top of by regular maintenance. Protective covers, even where practical at all, can be a visual disaster. Meanwhile there are potential health issues with bat excreta which can have an impact on the […]

    Woolwich mosaics

    December 06, 2014 by Tony in Sculpture and decorative arts 0 comments
    St. George’s church, Woolwich, opposite the Royal Artillery barracks, was built in 1863 in an early Christian-Italian Romanesque style with elaborate internal decoration including mosaics and cladding in a variety of decorative stones. A Venetian glass mosaic of St George and the dragon was installed by Antonio Salviati around 1870, but variations in tesserae shape and placement between this and other mosaics on the site suggest that decorative work may have been completed in phases. The church was gutted during the Second World War when hit by a bomb, and has been preserved since as a ruin and as a memorial.   Its condition has been deteriorating for many years and a major project is currently underway, led by the Heritage of London Trust Operations to provide a new Glulam roof structure, consolidate the wall heads, improve the presentation, and to carry out phase 1 of the conservation and partial restoration of the interiors.   With much of the surviving mosaic decoration already removed in panels by others, in late 2014 Skillingtons won by competitive tender the contract for the conservation and reinstatement of the removed panels, and the in situ repair of the mosaics in the apse. This is […]

    Wells-next-Sea church, Norfolk

    June 03, 2014 by Tony in Uncategorized 0 comments
    Skillingtons have just been awarded the contract for re-flooring St. Nicholas church at Wells, on the north Norfolk coast. The existing floor of hard plain quarry tiles and (mainly) woodblock, all laid on concrete in the 19th century, has been giving problems for years, particularly with the wood rotting. Having won the work by competitive tender we have been working with the client to design a suitable layout of Ancaster Weatherbed flagstones in the nave, aisles and Lady Chapel – in total about 400m2. We have also been looking at a finish that combines a high enough degree of polish whilst achieving sufficient slip resistance. The work commences in July and will take about 20 weeks.