SPAB Working Party, Eastbury Manor - 11 - 15 July 2018
It was wonderful to join the SPAB again for their annual Working Party, this year at the Elizabethan manor house of Eastbury, in Barking. The Manor is owned by the National Trust and managed by the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham. There was a programme of vital maintenance and repair work to the important Tudor survivor, but in particular the Working Party focused on the consolidation of the brick walls in the east garden.
I thoroughly enjoyed gaining hands-on conservation experience, and practical engagement with construction crafts and repair. Building a lime kiln and making quicklime was a highlight. We were also given useful daily project intros and talks in Eastbury’s Summer Parlour, and the work was well sprinkled with tea and cake breaks in the Winter Parlour.
An essential component of any SPAB Working Party is - to me - the camping. The LBBD allowed us to use their old bowling green in Barking Park as our campsite, which proved comfortable if a little surreal - mid-city camping was a new experience, but didn’t deter the late night campfires and singing!
As ever, the Working Party provided “a unique opportunity for building professionals and enthusiasts alike to learn traditional conservation building skills through hands-on experience.”