Ken, you forgot to mention the fun we had driving through pilton village, as we missed the small green Mccurdy signs that were set upon a green hedge background. It was a great site and it would be a shame if some of our international visitors missed out as a result of this.
Originally posted by Ken Hume:
The UK Carpenters Fellowship made a visit to McCurdy and Co's job site at Pilton in Gloucestershire yesterday and were given a preview of the work currently being progressed by a group of modern day monastic carpenters (which includes a guy from the Bronx!) under the watchfull eye of project manager Giles Frampton.
This barn was built some time about 1340 but lost its original cruck roof structure together with thatched covering following a fire started by a lightening strike in the mid 1960's. We learned that the very diligent fire department removed all remaining charred timbers and thatch for safety reasons and then uncerimoneously burnt the remains.
This has given the barn preservation trust quite a headache in establishing and agreeing a new appropriate roof design with English Heritage.
Fortunately one black and white photograph of the old roof was taken in 1947 and Peter McCurdy was able to obtain some additional information from the Getty museum in Los Angeles where Walter Horn had archived his files made during his many trips to England.
Good use was also made of 3 similar local surviving barns to establish a new truncated (base) cruck design complete with arcade plate and upper crucks.
Author of "Cruck Construction" - Dr Nathanial Alcock was present to witness this spectacle and I am sure that this will give him a good excuse to update his 1981 catalogue which is unfortunately now out of print.
The barn is due for completion in October 2002 and could be a very good stop point for US/Can visitors to Frame 2002.
A big thank you to Henry Russell for arranging this visit with Peter McCurdy even though it was noted that he had fled the country to participate in the upcoming crane project in the states.
Ken Hume et all.