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Back in Grimsby, our long-term project at Scartho Cemetery has seen some stunning progress.

Last year we talked about how we were removing tiles to getting stuck into the groundwork. This was followed up by some lime pointing and door frame work.

Clay Tiles In The Chapel Floor

After a rather cold winter of pointing and restoring the steeple, the scaffolding has come down. Our attention now shifts to the inside of the chapels. In order to get to the groudwork in the first place to fix drainage, we had to remove a lot of clay tiles. They were extracted as carefully as possible as we knew this very day would come where they’d need putting back!

We’ve put some LEDs under the grates which will provide a gently lit atmosphere when we’re all done. For now, it’s a delicate job placing the clay tiles back in place.

Site manager Mick talks us through the procedure in the video above. We’re using a lime screed to stick the clay tiles onto the ground, and very carefully placing them down so they’re completely level. With the drainage fixed, the lime applied, and the tiles level, the bulging will be a thing of the past!

The Lodge

That’s not the only good news – we can finally start work on the lodge! As a reminder, the lodge is one of the three buildings in this project, which sits by the cemetery gates.

Although we’ve been working on the project for months now, the lodge has been off-limits due to bats roosting inside during the winter. However, as spring and summer approach, we can start to make plans around the bats’ busy schedules. And we can start with the bottom course of brickwork around the lodge. Lee, one of our skilled brickies, talks about what the team are up to in that same video.

The restored lodge wall

New Bricks? No Thanks

Taking out old, ruined bricks obviously means replacement bricks are needed. But what is not so obvious is what kind of bricks need to go in. We had sourced some brand new bricks to sit in the bottom couple of courses. However, this created a problem rather unique to the world of restoration. As we were only replacing a few rows, we discovered the new brick sat totally out of place. Despite being the same style of brick, their newness was their undoing as they were just too smooth and shiny. In the same wall as a decades-old lodge with weathered, eroded and rough brickwork, it looked totally wrong. We found that your eyes focused on the new bricks looking out of place rather than the lodge as a whole.

A brand new, unsuitable, brick.
One of the brand new bricks we had to decline

The solution, oddly, was finding used bricks and cleaning them. Slightly worn bricks still contain their strength and are much stronger than the bricks we took out. With the “new” bricks removed, the “old” bricks were cleaned and put in place. Now, we had a much stronger wall which didn’t look out of place. Job done. Restoration isn’t always about bringing new things to site – sometimes matching type requires a bit of thinking!

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