Repair work on south face of the Minster

27th June 2021


General view of south face project

Last year damage became apparent to the upper levels of the south face of the Minster with stonework falling to the ground and the area to the east of the port had to be fenced off
In May 2020 it became apparent that, within a small window of opportunity, funds might be available for emergency repairs through the Heritage Lottery Emergency Fund
The Minster’s resources were not sufficient to undertake a repair and the opportunity of utilizing the current Heritage Lottery Emergency seemed an opportunity which should not be missed. I volunteered to act as Project Manager for the PCC working with the Minster architect. My offer was accepted
The appropriate Heritage Lottery Emergency Fund which Philip and I located provided an opportunity with a very short time window of making an attempt to try and obtain a Grant from the fund. The aim was to address the disturbing fall of stonework which might put the public at risk from the South Face and to carry out any allied work from the last quinquennial which any such grant might meet
I reported on progress to the PCC in March 2021 as the project neared completion. It was successfully carried out with the wise advice of Philip Orchard, the assistance of Paul Spychal, the churchwarden, as my eyes and ears on the ground as I was still shielding and the liaison with Michael Hewitt our church treasurer
At the PCC meeting I reported the following

  • The stone renewals, together with pointing works had been completed. The completed work includes all pointing necessary to the south aisle parapet back along its complete length

  • While the scaffolding was up, I approved additional work, within the budget, but dealing with the painting of the south transept west ladder and rainwater pipe to save costs at a future date where scaffolding would have to have been erected again

  • On the same basis we also dealt with the painting of the south aisle rainwater pipe to the east of the porch together with additional south aisle pointing and cleaning out of the western of the two south aisle rainwater outlets where there is some building debris

  • Removal of larger pieces of stone likely to fall from the south aisle walling and windows in the scaffolded area was also dealt with

  •  Complete defrassing work was not possible, brushing loose material away from the work to remove loose or damaged material from the sound stone. This means that small flakes of stone and powder will fall from the new works until a larger more comprehensive repair project is undertaken around the area 

  • The scaffolding alarm had to be deactivated because of problems with the wind and I dealt with the Town Centre Manager following my arrangement with him to have the work covered by the town CCTV system as an additional security protection 

  • The project was signed off as completed by Philip Orchard as Minster architect on 19 March 2021 and the scaffolding removed

 I attach some photographs showing some aspects of the work which in a small way has reduced the ongoing work identified in the quinquennial in seeking an opportunity which presented itself to undertake a repair scheme amounting to £36,000 at no cost to the Minster
Michael Boon
South Face Repairs Project Manager St Nicholas Minster PCC

new buttress work                                                                         run of buttress below south roof



also published in Great Yarmouth Parish Life



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