Letter from Nantwich
Historic building undergoing urgent repair
Part of the gable end of 45 High Street is all that can be seen through the scaffolding and above the hoarding.
WHEN scaffolding appeared on the front of an historic building in the town's High Street I assumed that a team of experts were about to repaint the old timbers to preserve them for many years to come.
But it turned out to be more serious that than.
I later learned that the front wall of the building had separated from the rest of the single bay, three-storey and six-room piece of Nantwich history.
After there being just scaffolding for several weeks, a hoarding was added. When I saw a young man painting it I asked what was happening to the building. He told me it wasn't in danger but there was a problem with the front aspect. The scaffolding wasn't to stop the front wall from falling down.
The building in 1961 when it was a chemist's shop.
Picture: Nantwich Museum
I understand that the project will take around 16 weeks to complete. If that sounds a long time for one task, I have heard that the building needs other work being done on it.
I've contacted Quadriga Contracts Ltd and Bridgford's estate agents for details. Watch this space.
The aim is to use as much of the original French oak as possible.
AS its name indicates, High Street is a very busy thoroughfare with many people walking along it every day - even in U.K. lockdowns for the coronavirus pandemic.
Actually, passers-by were obviously quite safe to pass by as proved by the seat-cum-planter that was left immediately in front of the hoarding.
When I was in the street there was a couple of people using the seat, oblivious to the situation behind them.
The building was empty but a few weeks earlier it was where Bridgford's estate agents were in business. I was told that the local staff had moved to the Crewe office.
Then I did what I always do when something about old Nantwich comes to my notice. I contacted historian and Museum volunteer, Andrew Lamberton, to ask what he knew about the building.
He told me: "The property has been an estate agents for some time - 30 years or more, I would say, off the top of my head.
"It is sad to see it in this state and I hope that it can be restored soon."
I ASKED him if the magpie (black-and-white) building had been one of those that had escaped the Great Fire of Nantwich in 1583, but he said: "It did not survive the great fire because virtually the whole of High Street was completely destroyed.
"However, if you look at information about listed buildings, it says it is early 17th Century.
"I'm not sure about that because it would have been built in 1584 immediately after the fire like its neighbour.
"I can't see the plot standing empty for, say, 50 years.
"It's a prime trading position in the middle of the most important street in the town.
"I think the reason for giving a later date is the internal diagonal cross braces which were a feature of 17th Century buildings."
The building society's premises in better days.
Picture by Andrew Lamberton
Above: a trio of magpie buildings and The Falcon inn (brick building), which is now a ladies' fashion shop. Picture: Nantwich Museum
Left: A similar view as the restoration is carried out
FOLLOW THESE LINKS TO OTHER PAGES: HOME | ASK ANDREW | CHANGING SCENES | CONTENTS | AIRMAN'S GRAVE | CHARITY SHOPS
CHURCHE'S MANSION | WHAT IS A DABBER? | FAMILY LINES | FUNNY PHOTOS | GREENSPACES SOUTH CHESHIRE | (The former) LAMB HOTEL | LETTERS
LETTERS UPDATES | LOST HOUSES | NANTWICH CIVIC SOCIETY | NANTWICH IN BLOOM | NANTWICH TOWN FC | NANTWICH VIDEOS
NEW HOUSING IN NANTWICH | NEWS ITEMS | OLD NANTWICH PICTURES | PICTURES PLEASE | PLACES TO SEE | RIVERSIDE | SPOTLIGHT ON . . .
STAPELEY MANOR | STREET NAMES | THE HACIENDA | THINGS YOU SAY | THIS AND THAT | WEBSITES | WHAT'S ON