Project Restoration News
May 20th | Exterior complete
A stunning result
May 15th | A brand new car park
A new pea shingle surface is completed today
April 30th | Timber finish
Natural grey timber treatment aligns with the flint stone walls of the chapel
April 14th | A panoramic view
New floor to ceiling windows will offer a spectacular view
April 8th | The view from above
The completed structure. Drone photography by Andy Thomson
March 24th | All in a day's work
The roof is completed
The carpenters signed their craftsmanship with name and date to record their work. All the timber ends were cut to the correct angles and notched and numbered and the walls marked out for the spacing and the whole roof was assembled in two days by two men. The building inspector has been in attendance and approved the structure.
March 5th | Taking shape
The new spaces begin to appear
March 5th | Project Manager's Update
The project is running to programme despite poor weather holding up some of the work to the roof and blockwork.
The roof lights are in and giving good free lighting and the new boarding, 150 mm thick insulation and heavy duty top cover should last for a generation. The retaining wall has a beautifully pointed brickwork facing. The beamed floor of the kitchen and toilet area is in place and the blockwork walls started. In the hall, the window apertures have been cut out and the large steel beam inserted in the north west elevation. The window frames are being made in a local joinery shop and should be inserted in two weeks. Connection of a new underground power cable and remove the old overhead lines is scheduled for 20th March.
Most of the construction materials have now been ordered and the intention is that the structure will be largely complete for the Easter weekend.
February 9th | Splish splash
Watch the foundations being laid
February 5th | Up, up and away
Drone pilot Andy Thomson captured the first days of construction on Project Restoration
The floor plan for the new construction is now visible
February 1st | Project Manager's Update
We are at day 13 of a 64 day project.
The demolition went very well with 8 large loads of spoil going off site including concrete lumps and all the tree stumps that weighed over a ton each. We were fortunate that the asbestos survey identified only two wc cisterns and a sound pad under the sink with no asbestos in the floor tiles or ceiling tiles. They must have been the cheapest possible at the time! This saved both time and money as a specialist would have had to be employed to remove the tiles if they had had asbestos content as anticipated and not now required.
The excavation of the trenches for the new foul drains, new water supply and new power supply was also straightforward. Thames Water had installed the new stop tap for the water supply by the roadside in the first week of January so that was also a time saver as the old stop tap was never found and without the new one it would have been difficult to turn the water off. A surprise was that the water pipe entered via the church and the internal stop tap was by the baptistery so water must have been laid on before the hall was built.
The Building Inspector visited site today to inspect and approve the new foul drain that is connected to the second of the old manholes and the trenches have been back filled this afternoon. A flexible plastic duct with a draw wire has been laid in the trench ready for the new power supply cable to be drawn in when the building is ready. Then the old overhead power lines will then be removed. The reason for cables being overhead is that they were installed before the hall was built in 1965 and it was not possible to excavate the graveyard. And a new water supply pipe is in the trench too ready for connection later.
The footings for the new kitchen block can now be started and will be dug out this week. It was not possible to start this earlier as the digger needed access across this area to the lower levels to deal with the utilities trenches. The bricklayer is due on site next week after the concrete is pumped into the footings that should be inspected by the Building Inspector on Friday. Unfortunately the car park is a muddy mess at present and this is due to the delay in starting the project that was intended to be in the drier autumn.
The chippy, Steven, has cut the first aperture for the roof lights and the insulation and the new rubber weatherproof cover is on site ready for fitting the new roof next week.
The build team are very appreciative of the cake fairy who tops up their cake tin each week with lovely looking cakes.
Please do not enter the site area that includes the hall, it is simply not safe to do so.
Project Manager - Speen Church Restoration
January 22nd - 23rd | Inside and Out
January 19th | Demolition Day
December 4th | View from the air
The drone camera shows the chapel and site of the forthcoming development
November 24th | Construction to commence 9th January, 2017
Following approval of building regulations and budget, instruction letters to contractors have been signed and Project Restoration will commence on January 16th, 2017
Watch 'Restoration - The Movie.
Written and directed by Lucy Entwisle and Alice Wilson
If you have a comment or a question, or if you are interested in supporting Project Restoration,
Please contact the Project Finance Officer by email.
Speen Church as been at the centre of our village’s vibrant community life since 1813. Built originally by voluntary subscription, this picturesque traditional Baptist chapel has long served families from the surrounding area, including High Wycombe, Naphill, Great Missenden, Bledlow Ridge and Cryers Hill.
Why is Project Restoration so important?
1.The single inside lavatory provides inadequate capacity to support the large attendances enjoyed at our functions and it is often unserviceable.
2. The kitchen and hall falls short of required standards for providing even basic catering and hosting
What is the proposed plan?
1. The kitchen and lavatories at the west corner of the building are to be replaced and a new and accessible place of welcome created.
2. Complete necessary upgrades to the existing hall and augment it to provide additional greeting, meeting and assembly spaces.
What will it look like?
What happens if this work is not completed?
The church in Speen will be condemned to decline.
It will not have the access, food or lavatory facilities required of a contemporary public space, and the events and services which contribute so much in village and community life will cease to happen.