The roof of St John the Evangelist’s Church in Northington, a Grade II* listed building constructed in the 1880s, had fallen into disrepair and needed specially made terracotta ridge tiles as part of work to restore it.
When Richard Angold, Area Sales Manager for Forterra, visited Northington to collect a sample of the old ridge tiles, he was surprised to meet with contractor Chris Newman, of TM Roofing, who was managing the project. The pair had worked together at another roofing firm in the 1980s.
Richard said, “I work in the area and was going to take the sample ridge tile up to our plant in Measham for our roofing experts to make a mould. I did a double take when I saw it was Chris who would be working on the roof, as I really didn’t expect to see him there, and it was pleasure to catch up with him.”
Richard took the sample tile from Chris and passed it on to the roofing experts at Red Bank, to make a mould from which around 100 new bespoke ridge tiles were made for the roof. The ridge tiles were delivered to St John’s over the summer, and Chris and his team completed the installation job in early November.
Chris Newman, Manager of TM Roofing, said, “It was a nice surprise meeting Richard again after all these years. We’ve both stayed in the construction sector but have come a long way since then. He and everyone else at Forterra were excellent to work with on this restoration project, and the results of the job are there for all to see.”
The restoration work on the church, which was built by Sir Thomas Graham Jackson, one of the most distinguished architects of the Victorian era, and is seen as the finest example of his ecclesiastical works, was paid for in part by a grant from the Heritage Lottery’s Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund and also by donations from local parishioners.
Michael Brodrick, Church Warden of St John the Evangelist’s, said, “I’m delighted with how the newly restored church roof looks and am very pleased with the speed and dedication of Forterra.
“It was essential to find a company which could provide an exact replica of the original ridge tiles because the Church has remained largely unaltered, both inside and out, since it was consecrated in 1890.”