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  • Our Lady of Lourdes

New Toilet Facilities - 2

As announced, work started on the new toilets on 16th February and you will have seen the hoarding being erected to protect the site.

Once this was complete, work began on digging out the foundations for the new building which are just over 1 metre deep and produced nearly two skip loads of soil.

This phase was inspected and passed by Lewisham Council building control to allow the foundations to be poured.

Drainage routes were dug with routing stipulated by the council. This involved breaking into the existing drainage route from the Parish Hall to the church forecourt and included a new manhole inspection chamber.

With the drainage signed off by the council, the contractors moved on to the demolition phase. Before demolition of the old confessional room and the external bin store could be started, the doorways into the church from the old confessional needed to be secured.

Secured, the demolition of the old confessional was completed which then brings us up to date with building progress.

Work on site has been on hold for a couple of weeks now as identifying the bricks to use has been quite a major challenge. There was much discussion about whether we should try and match the brick colour to the nearly 100 year old weathered mucky grey and brownish colour of much of the existing building structure or to the original red brick colour. If you stand back and look at the whole church structure you will see a patchwork look of different colours. It was also important to match the texture of the existing brickwork, the mortar used and the style of laying the bricks.

After reviewing over a hundred brick colours and samples, with a couple shown below, and seeking views from our architect, a specialist in historic church buildings and several brick matching firms, we have settled on a rustic red brick style. We accepted that we would never be able to match the existing brick exactly but we believe the selected brick will show the toilets to be a new structure, which we cannot hide away from, but will blend in and in time weather.

The selected bricks shown below have been ordered and are due for delivery sometime in the week commencing 20th March and construction will commence shortly after and take about 4 days to reach roof level.

The next challenges we face are ensuring we match the roof tiles, which are a Dutch style, although not as visible as the brickwork. We are also working hard to match the black “Crittall” style windows with the coloured leaded light glasswork.

The next update will probably be issued once the roof level has been reached as work will then begin to be more visible within the church itself.

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