Completion of the the lantern has had a long delay. Despite every
effort by the contractor a number of the original ridge tiles were
unable to be saved during the re-roof. An extensive countrywide search
for replacement ridge tiles followed but none matching could be found.
The solution was to have bespoke copies manufactured, which was costly,
but our only option. Fortunately Canford Environmental Ltd, one of our
two main funders (the other being the National Lottery Heritage Fund)
stepped in and offered to cover the cost of manufacture. The re-roof
and the lantern rebuild have now been completed and after 17 months the
scaffold finally removed.
It is wonderful to see the sky again through the lantern. A shame we
are currently unable to enjoy it!
The lantern frame has been re-installed and most of the glass fitted.
Originally the frame was fixed together with nails that over time had
become badly rusted. Not surprising after nearly 140 years! To ensure
the structure is now stable the main timbers have been fixed together
using stainless bolts and screws. There are a few small items still to
be done and we are looking forward to seeing the scaffold removed.
The repair of the lantern frame and the panels that hold the
glass, currently taking place at RT Carpentry workshop, is nearing
completion. To ensure the parts fit together properly the lantern has
been temporarily re-assembled at the workshop. The photo shows the
lantern partially assembled. The darker wood is the original and the
light wood is replacement. After ensuring everything fits correctly the
parts will be primed and and returned to the BNSS for re-installation.
The support post and the lantern base sill were very rotten and have now been replaced. The original post comprised three different pieces of timber and each had to be individually fabricated and put together on site. The base sill was partly rotten so only the part affected was replaced. The base sill had a complex profile which had to be replicated before being cut to size and attached to the remaining base sill. Each of the corner joints were reinforced with a stainless steel bolt diagonally across the joint.
Work is proceeding to repair the fame of the lantern and the
window panels. Rotten wood is being removed and the remaining sound
wood either filled or a new piece of wood scarfed in. Only as a last
resort is a complete member being replaced. Where necessary the joints
of each panel are being re-glued. A crucial part of the lantern, the
sill around the base, is extensively rotted and is being replaced with a
new sill shaped to the same section as the original sill.
With the approval of the Heritage Officer at Bournemouth Borough Council the panels and frame of the glazed part of the lantern have now been carefully dismantled and removed to RT Carpentry workshop for repair. A more extensive scaffold lid is currently being placed over the roof to enable work to start on exposing the rain water gully around the base of the lantern.