ILP Clarion House

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ILP Clarion House

Post by PanBiker » 05 May 2012, 10:12

It's the centenary year of the present Clarion House building on the Ginny Lane site. There will be a weekend of celebrations in August which are presently in the planning stages.

I will post developments here as they are formulated.

A new Facebook site has been launched with some good information and pictures.

ILP Clarion House Facebook Site

The Clarion House Website can be found on the link below. Lots of information about the ILP and it's history plus local walks and rambles and more pictures.

Clarion House Website

Anyone else's memories of Clarion House or ILP related information would be welcome. Post here or visit the Facebook site to contribute.
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Re: ILP Clarion House

Post by Stanley » 06 May 2012, 04:38

Two friends at Clarion House in 2000.

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CLARION AND CO-OP IN BARLICK.

It was nice to see the article in last week’s BET about the Clarion House at Newchurch, I have had many a good pint of tea there under the photograph of Keir Hardie who, in 1892, was the first Independent Labour Member of Parliament and chairman of the ILP from 1893 to 1900. The ILP used to very strong in Nelson and the surrounding districts and had an uneasy relationship with the newly formed Labour Party until 1932 when it disaffiliated. One of the consequences of the death of the ILP was the rise of more extreme left-wing affiliations in England such as the Communist Party which reached Barnoldswick in 1931. The activists in Nelson watched the decline and eventual demise of the ILP and eventually formed ‘The Nelson Independent Labour Party Land Society’ which took over Clarion House and as far as I am aware is the last surviving direct remnant of this early working class movement.

As part of the same working class movement, in 1891, a Manchester journalist called Robert Blatchford founded ‘The Clarion’ a socialist weekly paper which was intended to propagate the idea of a working class political identity. This publication faced strong opposition from the right wing proprietors of the national newspapers and, more importantly, the distributors, W H Smith, who refused to handle the Clarion so in 1894 the Clarion Cycle Club was formed as a socialist cycling club to promote fellowship and mutual benefit within the movement but also to distribute the Clarion newspaper. By 1936 there were over 200 Clarion cycling clubs and though the paper had ceased publication in 1931 the members still held strong links with the ILP.

The Clarion House at Newchurch opened in 1912 and has preserved an unbroken link with the beginnings of the Labour movement in England. At one time there was an extensive network of Clarion Houses, Fred Inman, of Earby, told me about cycling to Morecambe in the 1930s and stopping at Clarion houses on the way for his meals. He said his brother was a member of the Clarion Cycling Club and they had a handbook setting out socialist aims and used to sing ‘The Red Flag’ (The Internationale) at their gatherings.

There is a Barnoldswick connection as well. Tom Duckworth told me that ‘Pop Hill’ was a shoe-repairer and clogger at the bottom of Manchester Road and a founder member of the Barnoldswick Clarion Cycling Club. He was killed near Ribchester whist cycling and his comrades erected a form dedicated to him on the side of the Bracewell Road near Yarlside. You can still see the form and the memorial tablet embedded in the hedge on the east side of the road just beyond Yarlside Farm as you head towards the Coronation.

Dorothy Carthy contacted me last week and was kind enough to give me a copy of a leaflet she did for the opening of the new Pioneer Store, here is an edited version of it:

There were approx. 2o founder members. The Society could not afford to employ staff and the Committee acted as voluntary shop assistants. Based on the principles laid down by the Rochdale Pioneers, provisions were supplied at lower prices through 'bulk buying', and profits were shared by way of a dividend to members who all held a share in the Society. Richard Ryley in his diary mentions attending the Co-operative Society's Directors meeting which was held in a small shop on Church Street in 1862. (My Days are Swifter than a Weaver's Shuttle - K. Wilson).

Between 1862 and 1896 the premises in Manchester Road and No. 1 Branch in Co-operative Street were opened, these were in existence when William Edward Harper (my grandfather) came to Barnoldswick from Carleton in 1896 to take up a job as administrator for the Co-op at thirty shillings a week and a house. He had kept the Co-operative Society’s books in Carleton despite losing two fingers in an accident at Carleton Mill. After leaving school he went for evening lessons with the headmaster. The house he got was in Co-operative Street and is now part of the Co-op Hall. The hall had a bakehouse underneath and for some time one of the Albert Road shops was a café with a room above for large party catering. The Co-op also had a library, Women’s Guild and an insurance scheme for paying out sick benefit, in fact catering for the needs of all its members.

This was a time of great expansion for both Barnoldswick and the Co-op, branches being established throughout the town. Other smaller shops such as Butchers and Cloggers traded alongside the branches, and in 1907 the first part of the large Store comprising three shops was opened in Albert Road. An extension was added in 1924 with more shops and offices and a Tailoring department in Frank Street.

Around 1900 a dividend of four shillings in the pound was being paid though in 1908 the Craven Herald reported that the dividend of three shillings and twopence was five pence lower as the takings of the Drapery department were down by £600. In the late twenties and early thirties there were hard times in the cotton industry, trade suffered and the Society stopped paying out share capital, to the distress of the shareholders. After the second world war business revived and a dividend of one shilling in the pound was declared.

Mr T E Smith, who started work with the Society as an office boy in 1927, became secretary and served the Co-op for 43 years. He recalled the time when four tailors were employed in the Tailoring department in Frank Street and the chairman of the Committee used to go in once a week to check the cash. In April 1970 Barnoldswick amalgamated with the Burnley Society and the Albert Road departments were closed with the exception of the food store. In 1972 the societies merged with Co-operative Retail Services created by the gradual amalgamation of nearly 200 retail societies.

So my question was answered and I know now where the bakehouse was.

SCG/24 June 2005
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Re: ILP Clarion House

Post by PanBiker » 07 Aug 2012, 20:32

The Clarion House Centenary Celebrations will take place this Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th August. A brief itinerary of what is planned for Saturday is shown below. More information and recent activities can be found on the Nelson ILP Land Society Facebook Site.

Short speeches on Saturday 11 August from:
Ann Cryer, former MP for Keighley
Barry Winter, National ILP
Paul Salveson, Author and campaigner
Denis Pye, Author of Fellowship Is Life

There will also be a guided walk over to Clarion House from the former Socialist Institute on Vernon Street, Nelson on the Saturday Morning 11 August starting at 10.30 a.m.

Further details of the weekend and events planned for Sunday 12th can be downloaded from the Clarion House Website or checkout the attached PDF file.
CentenaryCelebrations.pdf
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Re: ILP Clarion House

Post by Stanley » 08 Aug 2012, 03:23

Funny Andrew Stephenson wasn't there..... Not one to miss a pic in the paper!
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Re: ILP Clarion House

Post by PanBiker » 22 Mar 2014, 16:31

Just got back from the launch event held at Clarion House for the recently formed "Friends of the Clarion". Here is Clarion House this morning on a rather grey day. You can't see the smoke from the chimney against the skyline but inside the fire is already roaring in the grate.

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The event was an initial get together with a Jacobs Join buffet brought by those in attendance. The groups intentions are to provide ongoing maintenance and support to the building and grounds that the Clarion sits in. They will work in conjunction with the ILP Land Society who administer the site and the running of Clarion House.

Here are a few pictures of those gathered at Clarion House today.


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Here are a couple of Jack Burrows who is our historian, he presented a short history of the early days of the ILP and the various houses and locations that the ILP members operated from in the district before securing the land at Dimpenley for the present Clarion House erected in 1912. Jack has a personal connection with the Clarion in that his Grandfather, took Jack's Father to the Clarion when it operated from Nabs Farm before he was a year old. Jack's Father took him to the present Clarion House before he was one years old. Jack in turn took his own son to the Clarion before he was one.

He can remember as a small lad in the 1930's being sent up to the farm further up the lane to get more milk if they ran out. Another memory is being sent down the lane with a cart and a milk kit to Pendle Water when the trickle from the 3/4" water pipe feeding the building could not keep up with demand of the two copper boilers and the thirst of 400 -500 who regularly turned up at weekends.

He also covered the fund raising for and inauguration of the ILP Institute on Vernon Street in Nelson. Nelson ILP no longer owns the building but it is still there and you can still see the two foundation stones for the building which were laid by Selina Cooper and Katherine Bruce Glasier. We still have the stained glass windows from the institute one of which is at Clarion House and the other is on permanent loan to the the Socialist History Museum in Manchester

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The Clarion Choir, who are based in Burnley were in attendance and gave renditions of two socialist "hymns". Those at the back must have been quite warm as they are right in front of the fireplace.

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The group will be run alongside the existing ILP Land Society but will have it's own constitution which sets out the purpose and aims for those who volunteer. The event was quite well attended and a number of suggestions for tasks to be done and activities were put forward.

In the last post Stanley mentions our current M.P. and his penchant for not missing a photo opportunity. He was not in attendance today, (not his cup of tea I would imagine) all free today but it was noted that his recent announcements in the BET could have jeopardised a future project for the Clarion, details of which we have been asked not to reveal until after 1st April. Rules and requests obviously don't apply to Mr Stephenson as he has published it, regardless of him having nothing to do with any aspect of what it is about. I will post more in here once the embargo date has passed.
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Re: ILP Clarion House

Post by Stanley » 23 Mar 2014, 04:02

Lovely to see this. I note Keir Hardie is still presiding. Unfortunately your aims are not are not on Stephenson's radar.....
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Re: ILP Clarion House

Post by PanBiker » 06 Jul 2016, 15:24

As reported in another thread, we were up at the Clarion today with the Friends of Clarion group for a short meeting and then a working party. There were around 10 in the group and we concentrated on ground works to prepare the site for this coming Sundays Family Fun Day. We have mowed the top half of the field and expanded a bit down the field, weeded and cleared the undergrowth from around the seating and benches, tidied up the kids play area. We are expecting about 10 tents on the Saturday for Clarion Choir members who will be camping overnight.

The event will be a Jacobs Join but we will have two barbecues (meat & veggie options) and a salad bar. Clarion House of course will have all it's normal fare available as well. We will have the Clarion choirs who will be doing sessions throughout the day and we will have field games for the kids. Going off last years event, we are expecting around 100 to attend. Should be a good day.
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Re: ILP Clarion House

Post by Stanley » 07 Jul 2016, 02:35

Lovely, Stan and his mates will be smiling down on you.....
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Re: ILP Clarion House

Post by PanBiker » 07 Jul 2016, 09:38

I forgot to mention what the embargoed item was in my original post about the friends of Clarion House meeting. Stephenson blabbed it all over the local press despite an embargo on publication, laying claim to some influence on our successful Lottery grant application for funding for a replacement roof for the Clarion. We applied for the grant and won it on our own submission and were awarded enough to remove and dispose of the old asbestos roof which has now been replaced with terracotta tiling.

I'm certain Stan will be with us as will Gibert Kinder his comrade from Walton Gaol, Charlie Schofield and Len Dole. I can see them all now, in and around the Clarion. I remember once walking up the field from the stile in the bottom corner with Gilbert who we had met on Jinny Lane. It's only 50 yards or a bit more up the field to the Clarion but it took over half an hour for the journey as Gilbert (never in a rush) pointed out and identified every wild flower and grass variety in the field on the way up, magic, one of the nicest blokes I have ever met.
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Re: ILP Clarion House

Post by Stanley » 08 Jul 2016, 05:06

Lovely.... My sort of politics. Remember the article 'The only plumber in Walton Gaol. (LINK)
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Re: ILP Clarion House

Post by Stanley » 26 Aug 2016, 03:26

Bumped for the link.
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Re: ILP Clarion House

Post by PanBiker » 07 Sep 2016, 16:47

Meeting and maintenance day today. I did the mowing. We have identified a number of capital projects that need attending to. An information board, a new gate for the site (it could be a gate and a half), Replacing some of the blown front double glazed window panes, painting the main Clarion tea room, (its a high ceiling so we have decided to inquire from folk with the right tackle), a pent lean to outside the building for our log store and a wood bin in the boot room for dry logs.

We will also see if would be feasible to install a wood / coal burner in place of the open fire. The ironwork fittings, grate, ash pan etc for the open grate are getting harder to replace and suffer damage from rain ingress down the chimney. Problem here is that we only light the heating once a week and we get variable draw from the flue.

A good productive day, we had about 12 workers today and the site is looking a lot better for the groundwork efforts.
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Re: ILP Clarion House

Post by Stanley » 08 Sep 2016, 03:09

Nice......
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Re: ILP Clarion House

Post by PanBiker » 08 Sep 2016, 08:56

Just realised I have never put a picture up since the building was refurbished and re roofed. I'm back up there for an ILP meeting on Sunday so I'll update the thread with the new look.
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Re: ILP Clarion House

Post by Stanley » 11 Sep 2016, 04:49

Looking forward to it Ian......
If you are ever going down there for a short visit do me a favour and give me and Jack a lift. I'd like to have another pot of tea with Keir Hardie before I die!
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Re: ILP Clarion House

Post by PanBiker » 11 Sep 2016, 12:59

That wont be a problem Stanley, in the meantime here are few up to date photos of the building.

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First one is just the general view of the building from the front lawn. You can see the new terracotta tiled roof, replacing the old corrugated asbestos covering we had before. The project was paid for by our successful application for Heritage Lottery funding.

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This from a little further down the field.

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Gable end and side entrance to the boot room (which used to be the kitchen). If you compare this with the 2014 photo you will see that the formerly rendered wall has been replaced with wooden cladding. The building is essentially a wooden framed structure. The gables were originally corrugated iron and for many years cement rendered and then painted. The chimney used to be more or less free standing as it was only tied to the building with a single bolt about halfway up. The panels were rotting and you could see a gap developing between the rendering and the stack, this has been corrected in the reworking.

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Relatively recent new bike racks provided via a grant from one of the cycling clubs that regularly have us on their club run routes. From the other photo's you can still see that some riders prefer the backs of the benches or any other surface to lean their bikes on. When we have some of our events on just about every wall is used, a favorite is the right hand gable which is easily accessible without any plantings in the way.

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Side entrance to the boot room, you can see the extension we had for the new indoor toilet facilities. This extension replaced a smaller structure at the back that used to be the coal and wood store. Internally we stripped out the old kitchen, Belfast sink and boilers to turn this into the new boot room (bench and hanging facilities for wet stuff) and access to the toilets, we also have shelving for a small library for book swapping and storage for field games equipment. The kitchen was moved directly behind the serving hatch through into the main room. We now have hot and cold water on tap into the kitchen and toilet hand washing facilities via an instant heat boiler, same for brewing up. We have a small on demand boiler at the side behind the counter, this maintains a preheated reservoir. It used to be three Belling boilers which were the only source of hot water in the old back kitchen, (and a lot of steam on cold winter days). These were jug filled and the same for transferring hot water into the sink, some of the current volunteer teams don't realise how easy it is now with the new kitchen facilities. It used to take about 40 minutes for a half filled boiler to come up to temperature for brewing up.

The extension runs the full length of the back of the building, the other side is used for maintenance equipment storage. You can see our coal bunker and temporary external wood store. A small amount of wood is dried out and kept in the boot room, it's currently stacked loose so we are planning to provide a chest to tidy this area up. We are also going to build a pent roofed structure on the outside for the external wood stack. Other enhancement for the site as in my previous post.

We have a bit of reorganisation to do in the main room. We have found the original plans for both the Clarion House when it was built in 1912 and the ILP Institute on Vernon Street in Nelson. We have had these framed and are going to display them in the main room. Job has been tasked and accepted by the Friends of the Clarion for the next maintenance meet in October.
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Re: ILP Clarion House

Post by Wendyf » 11 Sep 2016, 13:28

The roof looks good Ian. The building looks very similar to our 2nd home in Scotland (photos soon in Renovations the Early Years topic!) it was a timber kit house put up at about the same time as Clarion House.

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Re: ILP Clarion House

Post by PanBiker » 11 Sep 2016, 14:14

Clarion House was built by a Nelson building firm and refurbished by Nelson Joinery who have a link back to the original builders. The trustees of the Nelson ILP Land Society got a loan of £350.00 in 1912 from the Nelson Weavers Association.

Some good historical photo's of ILP and Clarion activity and events on the Facebook site.

Nelson ILP Land Society
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Re: ILP Clarion House

Post by Stanley » 12 Sep 2016, 03:16

Wonderful! Such a lot of hard work by good volunteers.
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Re: ILP Clarion House

Post by PanBiker » 10 Jul 2017, 09:02

Friends of Clarion House are working all week on maintenance of the building. Big job to do, we are sanding and resealing the entire floor, main building and verandah. All the tables and folding benches will have to come out, the tables are 8 ft jobs and weigh a ton! All the stuff will have to come off the walls as well as we are painting the inside. Turn it round in the week, we will be back open next Sunday.
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Re: ILP Clarion House

Post by PanBiker » 10 Jul 2017, 14:24

I underestimated slightly, the tables are actually 10ft x 2ft, 100 sq ft in total. They are all out of the way now along with the benches. We have taken everything off the walls although they are not being painted just yet. Industrial sanders tomorrow and we have three areas to do, main room, verandah and the kitchen. The old kitchen, now the boot room, toilets and storage has a solid floor.

I'll take a few photos tomorrow to show progress.
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Re: ILP Clarion House

Post by Stanley » 11 Jul 2017, 03:04

Lovely Ian.......
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Re: ILP Clarion House

Post by PanBiker » 12 Jul 2017, 09:59

Second working day at the Clarion, Main room, kitchen and verandah are clear. We hired two industrial sanders, a drum sander and a rotary edging sander. There are seven workers today

Main room on the first pass

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Here it is looking the other way and showing the original state. This is the original floor, you can tell by the architraves on the doors that it has not been replaced since the original build in 1912.

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Sally working on the verandah

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Bob finishing off first pass, Val on cable management. We finished of the first pass and the final 3rd of the main floor sanding the other way. You can see that the boards are no longer perfectly flat, not surprising after 105 years. We continued with another full pas but against the grain. Then went over any high spots again. The sander is most effective when being draw backwards on the pass as pulling on the handle pushes the drum down onto the surface, you have to hold it back on the forward pass as it will self propel and run away if not. The machine weighs about 1cwt and I am certainly feeling the effects today in my arms and shoulders of about 5 hours manhandling the machine yesterday.

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We had additional small edging sanders. Cath and Sally here going round the edges.

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Here is the kitchen after one pass. Lot of work done here with the big rotary edging sander as there are a few nooks and crannies. We had a bit of a faux pas in here with the drum sander. The bolts securing the keeper bar for the sanding sheet to the drum sheared of, it ripped the sheet of course, bent the keeper and stopped play for a while. We have an odd "run down" feature in the kitchen floor now courtesy of the sheared of bolts on the drum. We also had a loose wheel on the edge sander. It has two back wheels like castors so that you can tilt it to run up to speed. The wheels have a lock nut to tighten them down to the casting but it's under the wheel and needs a hooked spanner to get at it. Bob and Ruth took both of the machines back to Burnley Hire. They sorted the drum, sheared bolts and keeper bar, tightened the loose wheel on the edge sander and supplied us with the spanner for if it reoccurred. They were very accommodating and said it was not unusual for these kind of failures on high speed equipment due to the vibration levels during use.

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We started at 10.30, but had an hour out mid afternoon with the machine down time, we worked until 7pm. The floors are pretty good now, cleanest they have been in over 100 years. I think the team today may elect for another days hire of the edging sander there are just a few bits that need finishing on the verandah. After the across grain passes we went over all rooms again with the grain and a finer grit on the sanding machine, they all look pretty good now. We can't do anything about the odd water ingress points where the varnish has failed, thousands of boots and wet cyclists have used the main room and verandah over the last 105 years, it doesn't need to look new.

The weeks working schedule has been re jigged to cater for worker availability this week. Sanding needs finalising and then a main clean up, the target is to be cleaned down and get the first coat of sealer on before the day is out. We are not working today as it is Dan's birthday and we always walk. We will be back on the team tomorrow and I'll take some more progress pictures. Plan is for second and hopefully final coat on Thursday. Friday is repopulate the walls. Saturday is put benches and tables back in day. Sunday we will be open for brews. :smile:
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Re: ILP Clarion House

Post by Stanley » 13 Jul 2017, 03:51

Sally said that you were putting pics up at home when I saw her. Looks like a good job and a well laid floor in the first place.....Not surprising. A lot of love went into the build....
I remember Jack Iveson telling me and Daniel about the apprentices building the toilets. He said their enthusiasm outpaced their skill at times but I still like the result!
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Re: ILP Clarion House

Post by PanBiker » 13 Jul 2017, 12:31

It would be Stan Iveson Stanley. I know what he meant by more enthusiasm, I don't think they used a line on them or if they did they took no notice of it. :surprised: Stood the test of time though and we still get visitors to look at them, some stalwarts won't use the inside toilets anyway. They are flushed by the waste from the sink now. We had to take the tippler out as it was no longer functional. We use it as a planter now so it still has a life. :extrawink:

The work team yesterday got the first coat of sealer down. We will shortly be setting off for our stint today. It will be a short one today, once the next coat is down all you can do is shut the doors and leave it to dry. Bob took some pictures but I'll do some for on here.

Later....

Just a couple of hours today so home in time for dinner. We have given all three areas a second coat. Here is the Kitchen first so that you can compare it with the last photo from Tuesday.

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A couple of the Main Room after its second coat.

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The surround for the hearth will be brought home for sanding and re treating at some point.

The floor now puts the walls to shame but that will be a separate capital project and we will probably get a contractor in to do at least the ceiling as it really needs a portable scaffolding. The floor treatment gives 6 hour drying time for first coat, 12 hours for subsequent coats. We will see how it is tomorrow and may give the kitchen another coat as that area has the most footfall over any area. We intend to sheet the main room up as well as it takes two to three weeks to harden off completely.
Ian

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