"The George & Dragon Pub in Dartmouth is now Closed for Major Refurbishment and effectively Completely Rebuilding until Summer 2015".
|The Exciting New Design and Layout will also be announced here and on our Facebook page, as will the exact Re-Opening Date as soon as it is confirmed.
G&D Project Update: 5th July
- The Sika Sarnafil Flat Roofing guys from Western Roofing have been on site this week and doing a great job of getting much more of the build watertight now - One thing we have also found out in the thundery downpours recently, is that the Sika Watertight Concrete Basement would also make an excellent swimming Pool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Sarnafil membrane detailing makes us watertight all around the original building and our new extensions, forming and gulleys around the perimeter and up under the slate roofs as well – All looking good and well-sealed now, as is the new roof over the new kitchen and bar areas – just the new Main Entrance and upstairs Riverview Bar to go next – So the latest views here also for the new kitchen and Main Bar areas, plus the new Main Entrance stairs (from mayors Avenue side) and the walls up for the new upstairs Riverview Room!
All good progress with great teamwork and focus on a real top quality job!”
G&D Project Update: 1st July - G&D Refurbishment Project Pictures.
- From the Garden Side the façade and new extension really do now look like they have always been this way and all blending in to the surrounding Dartmouth skyline.
Here is also a clearer picture showing the old George and Dragon moulding in the façade render, now fully restored and resplendent in Black and Silver.
On the Undercliffe / Silver Street, the scaffolding has now been removed from what we call our historic façade, which has been painstakingly restored and made good, highlighting the original hardwood oak and elm (we think) structural timbers and window surrounds – on many of which you can now clearly see the original ‘Adze’ finishing marks (for anyone not familiar - An ‘Adze’ is a type of tool dating back to the stone-age, like a hand axe but with a flat or curved blade at right angles to the handle – see the pictures below that are of woodworking axes used extensively in shipbuilding from the earliest times right through the middle ages to the nineteenth century when power tools took over. Interestingly here is also a picture of timbers from the Mary Rose (Henry the VIII’s unfortunate flagship built in 1510, remodelled and then sank off Portsmouth in 1545) – and the Adze marks are almost identical to those on our main timber beams as you can see – It is in fact very likely that the G&D structural beams and other timbers did in fact come from the old shipyards next door (in what is now M&S and Travis Perkins), where as well as new vessels being built on the foreshore, old and damaged ships, including some from the Spanish Armada we are told, were broken up and recycled – nothing was wasted then – So old ships timber beams would have been ideal for building a Pub and Lodging House next door in the late 18th Century when Dartmouth was as big a shipbuilding town as Plymouth. If anyone knows a friendly dendroarchaeologist
it would be interesting to know just how old some of these the main beams and timbers are?
The corroded cast-iron drainage has been removed from inside the brick piers where it had rotted and extensively damaged the old façade from the inside, now replaced with modern drainage added with top quality lead work in the original style to keep water out in future, and with the additional structural strengthening completed inside earlier in our project, the beams and the structural frame of the new G&D should be good for another 200 years!”
G&D Project Update: 11th June - G&D Refurbishment Project Pictures.
- The Garden Side Façade is now rendered and looks like it has always been there, with the gable end of the extension and roof breakthroughs also now slated and all blending in very well to the Dartmouth 'roofscape'. Within the façade render, the old George and Dragon moulding has also been made good and will look much more striking now in Black and Silver.
The walls of the new kitchen, main entrance and toilets are also continuing upwards, the subfloors are all in ready for the new Main Bar, the main structural steelwork is in position for the new flat roofs - It is now the new flat roofs for these areas that are the next critical path item to make the building envelope watertight and allow the inside to start drying out. - Then we will finally be ready for the new services, finishing's and fitting out in a few weeks’ time. All looking good with a lot of well-coordinated input and effort from the whole project team - thank you everybody - looking good and really starting to take shape all around!
28th May - G & D - Major Refurbishment Project Update & Pics
- Well we now have some new windows being fixed and sealed into the building – New windows on both the new front (Mayors Avenue) and the historic façade side - and some of them even have glass in too….!
We also have the breakthrough on the second floor making the connecting hallway between the old and the new gable ended roofs, the replacement slate tiling is nearly complete on both the gables and around the top of the building and sealing in to the parapets, Sika Sarnafil flat roofs are also well underway - Many thanks to Sarnafil Inspector Maurice on site for his additional advice on special detailing solutions.
And finally for today’s update, we also have the new block walls pictured from the roof that are going up fast to create the new bigger and far, far better Ladies, Gents and Disabled / Babychange toilets - A definite improvement for Dartmouth!
Saturday 16th May - G&D Project Update – Aerial Pictures by SkyPictures Drone
- Here is a small selection of still pictures taken by Paul and Kyle the 'remote pilot', from their Sky Pictures Drone flying from the sunny garden of the George & Dragon on Saturday afternoon of the Dart Music Festival 2015 – At least we could put it to some use whilst we are closed for the refurbishment!
The guys also took some HD video of the G&D during their take-off’s and Landings for their 6 x 6 minute flights and we will post this here on this site shortly, once it is edited – it will also give a fascinating perspective of the building and our location.
For the rest of the time the drone was piloted to fulfil its mission by flying high above the crowds enjoying the music on the Bandstand and around the town, also giving fantastic film with views over Central Dartmouth and the River, plus up to the College and out to sea! The Facebook version of the main DMF video is available as a link on the G&D Facebook page too https://facebook.com/gandddartmouth
Good kit and nice people – So if anyone has an idea and needs Aerial HD Stills and / or Video pictures taken, then the Camera Drone from Sky Pictures is ideal – their new website is here: www.sky-pictures.co.uk
Friday 15th May - G & D Project Update
- Firstly a huge apology that we are not open for Music festival this weekend, due to our major refurbishment and rebuilding works, but the weather looks set fair from today - So enjoy the rest of what fabulous Dartmouth and DMF 2015 has to offer!
In case any DMF visitors are not aware, we have been delayed by complicated Groundworks and structural engineering requirements that we could not access fully until we had demolished all of the old mis-match of outbuildings and previous extensions bolted on during the last 50 years or more - Actually pretty much everything before this was still good underneath and so will be restored and included in the new build as and where we can!
However now we are out of the ground and our Main Contractor BDS is progressing really well as you can see in the pictures - We aim to be open for the end of the Summer 2015, but the objective is to 'do-it-right' rather than to 'do-it-quick' - Much better for everybody in the long-term!
So here are a few pictures of progress to this afternoon - You can see the first pictures inside the new basement cellar and cold room (the smiling BDS Site Manager 'Rory Rocks' is included as a ruler for scale!), then the floor and start of the walls for the new Main Entrance (Garden Side) and toilets, then a look through into what will shortly be the new kitchen.
Then couple of pictures from the original front façade (Broadstone side) with the original hardwood timber features taken back and nearly finished being restored - In fact just this morning we discovered that the treatment brought out some of an original paint or stain that you may be able to make out reads 'WARFLEET ALES', which were made in the old Dartmouth Brewery in Warfleet Creek, Dartmouth (the Potteries), who were the original owners of the Pub since at least around 1823, before it was bought by Heavitree Brewery in 1926 and who are funding all of this this fantastic restoration work.
Then finally for this update a few pictures of the new Gable roof under construction over the extension, which is designed by our Architect Geoff Sellick and his team, to blend with the original, plus a couple of views from what will become one of the bedrooms of the new top floor holiday flat in due course.
Have great DMF 2015 to everyone!
G&D Progress Update to 8th May:
- A few progress pictures from Friday 8th May - lots of work completed again and we are coming on well now in many areas since the last update in mid-April. The extension is taking shape through the old yard and internal courtyard that was unused and almost inaccessible to use for most of the last 70+ years. Now you can see that after finally overcoming the ground conditions, in and over this are we have a new cellar, with the new bar above, and above this, the extended accommodation is also now starting to take shape. The new second floor gable roof beams are now going in before we create the break through to join into the original gabled roof with the historic ‘A’-Frame inside, which we have managed to retain and keep exposed internally on the top floor by using some expensive new insulation materials - A lot of blockwork wall building also going on all around the site and inside the building now, with dry-boarding, plastering, wiring and plumbing all underway inside - the windows are allegedly due to start arriving soon to replace all of the existing and for the new windows you can see formed in the new blockwork front and back - Plus also here are a couple of pictures showing what will be the nice view from the first floor accommodation lounge!”
G&D Construction Project progress pictures to Friday 17th April:
- We have the new Basement roof / Kitchen floor / Cellar walls going on and up, the new cellar entrance and hatch base slab steel being fixed, the final excavations underway for slab foundation (but only shallow ones with no ground issues!) for the new toilets and the new drainage connections - A busy week and some important milestones!”
Construction project updates and pictures from Friday 10th April:
- We have basement walls almost completed and ‘Out of the ground’ as you can see, plus over the Northern / historic Broadstone road end, the building structure and envelope including the upper basement dry storage area through the previously hidden old internal yard, is now at first floor level and rising, so real progress and everything moving ahead well and coming together now as you can see in the pictures:-
- The concrete floors and walls of the whole new basement have come out with a great almost 'ready-to-paint' concrete finish from Grants Groundworks using the Sika Watertight Concrete system, which creates the outer basement walls and giving us a huge new beer cellar, plus the large additional wet and dry goods storage areas.
- The new Main Bar area and first floor structure and walls are in position - a nice touch re-using reclaimed original Torquay bricks from the old chimneys to create the internal end wall finishes for the new bar - the Cashmandoo team thought they might be useful and so did a good job of cleaning and keeping them safely to one side throughout the initial enabling and demolition works!
- The first fix electrical wiring, the plumbing and drainage, plus the insulation and acoustic bars for boarding have also all started well and are making progress in the main building, working from the top down with the new stud partitioning for the walls and new floors - Well the ‘new everything’ apart from the original 200 year old structure, that is having to go in to our rebuild in-fact!
- All together a good job despite the unfortunate initial delays due to ground conditions and situations only uncovered during the necessary demolition works, but all now duly overcome with great teamwork and ably coordinated by Paul, Rory and the guys from our Main Contractor, Building & Design Services - under the direction of our Architects, Geoff Sellick and his team. Thank you everybody – we will get beer flowing from the cellar as soon as possible this summer!
A Final G&D Project Update for Friday 20th March:
A few more pictures to show that the new the basement / cellar walls are now in construction, as is the new Front entrance to the accommodation above, plus the old front façade is also undergoing restoration ready for the new windows. This was necessary because the old corroded Cast Iron drain pipes that were built in to the façade support columns have had to be carefully removed as they had deteriorated to such an extent within the old walls allowing water to go directly into the structure and cause more damage, so this has all been rebuilt and made good internally, so that it will all be watertight and insulated for the future, plus as you can see in the picture, the external façade brickwork has all been made good too, and using original ‘Torbay Brickworks’, the same as the originals that we have managed to reclaim on site during the enabling works at the beginning (thank you the Cashmandoo team) - Rebuilding and building is now definitely well underway and making progress!
George & Dragon Redevelopment Project - Onsite Construction Update Thursday 19th March:
Now here are the latest site works in progress pictures taken with Main Contractor Building & Design Services and their specialist concrete team from Grants Groundworks Contractors - All completing the works in the ground, up to and including last Thursday 19th March - A lot of good hard work, so another big thank you to everybody - A great team effort.
Now finally we have the Main Basement (for the new Cellar and Storage areas), the main extension and rebuilding structural foundations, the main below ground drainage and the watertight floor slabs concreting all completed, and with the watertight basement walls to follow shortly - So - the schedule for us to be 'Out of the Ground' in 2 weeks is now realistic, and then all of the building and rebuilding can really start to go full steam ahead - with just a little good luck and some more kind weather of course!
George & Dragon Refurbishment and Redevelopment Project - Onsite Construction Update to Friday 13th March:
Attached are the latest site progress pictures taken up to and including last Friday 13th March - Nothing Unlucky - All now going according to plan at last!
The underpinning of the adjacent buildings and the corner of the historic existing G&D Building completed and steel-fixing ready for the main basement slab, plus the first section of precast beam and block installed to form the top of the upper basement and eventually the floor of the new Main Bar - roll on the day......!
G&D Project Hoarding Artwork – Stop Press Early Morning Friday 6th March:
Two J- Class Super Yachts have just sailed onto the Site Hoarding at the George & Dragon Project, to join the fleet of historic ships already there - courtesy of our friend and talented local artist Paul Barclay of course http://www.paulbarclaydesigns.com
A magnificent part of sailing history, the J Class of sailing yacht originated in the 1930s, and competed for three America's Cups in that decade. The first of what became the 75-85 foot J-Class yachts, 'Shamrock-V', was built at Camber & Nicholson's Yard in Gosport for Sir Thomas Lipton to race in the 1930 Americas Cup - unfortunately the American owners had another 4 of these 'J-Class built to compete against him and although he won 15 of the 22 races Shamrock V did not win the series to reclaim the cup.
Just 10 of these yachts were originally constructed in this period, six in the USA and four in England. Other designs were produced but not built. During this period there were never more than four J Class yachts racing together. Only three originals survived the Second World War - Shamrock V, Endeavour and Velsheda - but the latter two were left to go derelict, for years laid up, rotting in mud berths, until the 1990s and interest in their rebuild and rebirth as 21st Century racing Super-yachts.
With the formation of the J Class Association (JCA) in 2000, the possibility existed for replicas and new yachts to be built and race again. Several new J-Class yachts have been launched since and several more are now under construction around the world.
More information on the original J-Class yachts, the formula one equivalent of their day in the sailing world, is available here http://www.jclassyachts.com
G&D Project - Construction Update:
Attached are the latest site progress pictures from Friday 6th march, showing the majority of the necessary underpinning to existing and adjacent walls completed, allowing the main basement excavation to progress and the sub-base to be spread prior to the concreting works.
The new Sika Watertight concrete sub-floors for the bars have hardened well, giving us the ideal base to now build on inside, the external walls and penetrations have also all been Sika Tanked and where necessary made up with their waterproof render.
On the first floor, all of the structural strengthening and additional structural steelwork is complete, now we can proceed with repairing the facades and replacing ALL of the windows.
Also this afternoon, the precast concrete beams arrived ready to form the new kitchen and bar floors (beam and block) over the new upper and lower basement / cellar areas - all were unloaded by another huge crane that Rory somehow managed to get in the ‘garden’ - saved blocking the street and causing even more traffic chaos in Dartmouth!
Plus the GSB (sorry - granular sub-base - crushed stone) started to go back in the main excavation ready for the concrete blinding on Monday, followed by the reinforcement steel for the watertight concrete basement ‘proper’.
So - Many thanks to everyone involved for all the good works and achievements in getting to this stage, where we can actually now start to see real progress, and more rebuilding than demolition. So a big thank you to our Architects Geoff Sellick & Associates, Building and Design Services, our Main Contractor, and Grants Groundworks, their specialists taking care of our excavation and concreting works - Good job guys one and all - Thank you to everybody involved for the real team approach – as well as all of the effort!”
G&D Construction Project Update-2 from the 27th February
The ground floor bar subfloors have also been poured yesterday
- and whilst Grants Groundworks guys were on site to assist after they completed the basement wall pours – pouring pumped concrete floors with a flowable consistence is fast and thirsty work. They also used the free-flowing Sika Watertight Concrete for this as well – So there is no beer going to soak into these floors - we will have to recycle it!!!!!
Also now nearly all of the Internal sides of the external masonry walls have also been tanked with Sika Damp-proofing Slurry before the new insulation is installed (there never was a cavity or any insulation at all for the last 200 years. Main Contractor Building & Design Services have also used this tanking system to waterproof any other remaining stone and brickwork masonry which comes up through the new floors, but is not 'pretty enough' to retain as a finish, these will be redressed later on with the original 100-200 year old Torbay bricks that the Cashmandoo team reclaimed from the chimneys when they were removed during the enabling works at the end of last year.”
G&D Update Friday 27th February
Construction Project Update 27th February:
Starting to come out of the ground now with the first walls for the Upper Basement being formed, reinforced, prepared and sealed, then poured with Sika Watertight Concrete, which has also been used for underpinning what was the old kitchen wall and to support the new kitchen wall – Nearly 2 cubic metres of concrete have gone in this hole alone!”
G&D Update Thursday 26th February
The latest ship to drop anchor on the George and Dragon hoarding and courtesy of our artist friend Paul Barclay, is one of the historic Lightships built by Philip & Sons in Dartmouth, probably the LV Osprey or LV Kittiwake (they were almost identical).
- More info for the rest of the history and boat geeks amongst us: Dart ship builders Philip and Son Ltd built a total of 35 lightships in the mid-20th Century, including a total of 29 vessels for Trinity House. The South Rock Light Vessel was formerly stationed for many years in the hazardous waters off the coast of County Down in Northern Ireland; where over the years it was actually 3 ships that were rotated to carry the ‘South Rock’ lettering. They were from the last series of 5 lightships built in Dartmouth for duties off the Irish Coast, all 134 feet long steel ships, the “Kittiwake”, the “Gannet”, the “Skua”, the “Osprey” and the “Shearwater”.
The LV Gannet was built in 1954 and when decommissioned as a manned Light Vessel as such, continued in service as an automatic light float until she was the last one to be decommissioned in 2009. LV Gannet is now being restored by enthusiasts in the Hoo Marina (Port Werburgh), on the North side of the Medway in the Thames/Medway Estuary in Kent we are told.
The LV Osprey was built in Dartmouth in 1955 and was decommissioned and sold in 1975 to be used as a floating oil berth for a time; however today she is currently moored on the River Seine in Paris, is resplendent in ‘lightship red’ décor throughout and open for business as the ‘Batofar Restaurant’ – According to recent Trip Advisor reviews the ‘Starboard’ Burgers are excellent and good value for Paris at just 22 Euros!! – though why you would eat burgers in Paris is beyond us!
The LV Shearwater was built in Dartmouth in 1955, decommissioned and sold in 1976, unfortunately she went for scrap.
The LV Kittiwake was launched in in Dartmouth 1959, decommissioned and sold in 2005 and she is currently privately owned and moored beside the O2 (Point Depot), in Dublin, undergoing restoration.
The last of the series was the LV Skua launched in Dartmouth in 1960, which was decommissioned and sold in 2005 and is currently said to be ‘rotting’ at the North Quay of Arklow Harbour, to the South of Dublin. However, the "Blue Planet" charity is apparently seeking restoration funds to preserve her.
Funnily enough the first South Rock Light Vessel was commissioned in 1877 to replace the original stone ‘waveswept’ style of light house tower that had been built and completed on the South Rock in 1797, but by the 1870’s was considered somewhat unsafe and no longer fit for purpose. Funnily enough, although all of the manned lightships have now gone, this original light tower is still standing and a famous landmark off the coast today, albeit unlit and now un-lightable, as the original lantern did remain for many years, but it was stolen in 1972 – probably by the thieves practising to steal the Skerries Buoy Bell which they did off Dartmouth a few years later!”
Sunday 22nd February Construction update
Yes we finally have concrete and steel going into the ground at last earlier this week - Yay!
- The first pour of the Sika Watertight Concrete was completed this week for the necessary ring beam foundations and the upper basement floor slab with 4 readymix truckloads of around 6m3 each from Bardon (Aggregate Industries) plant in Kingsbridge and it was placed with a huge great pump that came all the way from Southampton on the day for some strange reason - Apologies for a few of the pictures being a bit dodgy - they were taken on a phone with the wrong settings as forgot the camera in all of the excitement – duh!
So now end of the week, initial formwork struck - a good finish achieved by Grants the Groundworks contractors for Main Contractor B&DS, who are now also nearly ready with formwork for the first wall pours and some more underpinning to the rear that is scheduled for Monday (tomorrow) when hopefully it will also stop raining – The below ground excavation has also now been able to move round the back of the historic building, working now through and under the old kitchen, toilets and rear entrance steps next to the newly infilled full height party wall with the M&S car park next door. This follows the underpinning and structural strengthening of the South West corner of the old building. Once the new basement and extensions are built this corner and its foundations will be taking and distributing a lot of the load from what at that point will be almost a four-storey building , which seems amazing all of a sudden!”
More Ships Arrive at the G&D – Monday 9th February
Courtesy of our friend and fantastic Artist Paul Barclay http://www.paulbarclaydesigns.com/index.htm
more historic and familiar shipping from the River dart has now arrived at the George & Dragon!
We hope these help to brighten up this corner of Dartmouth and our construction site hoarding, whilst the major refurbishment and rebuilding works continue inside that will also include more of Paul’s fabulous work.
Additional G&D Project Update: January 2015 - The Kingswear Castle Paddle Steamer arrives at the George & Dragon!
Our friend and Local Artist Paul Barclay has brightened up this corner of Dartmouth with a great picture of the Kingswear Castle painted on our site hoarding. Paul will also be helping us with more of his fantastic local and maritime illustrations inside.
For any techy, historical interest, ship or steam enthusiasts and engineering type people who may appreciate some more background information:
The Kingswear Castle is the UK's only remaining working coal fired paddle steamer, and she is now part of the National Historic Fleet. She was built in 1924 at Philip & Son Shipyards of Dartmouth and originally plied her trade between Totnes and Dartmouth until 1965. However her engines are even older and date from 1904; they were taken and re-used from her predecessor of the same name when she was broken up in 1924. In 1965 Kingswear Castle was withdrawn from service on the River Dart and was taken to work taking trips from the Isle of Wight, then fortunately she became the first purchase of the newly formed Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (PSPS) just two years later. After a great deal of restoration work she was brought into initial service again in 1985 on the Medway, and then following even more restoration, on 18 December 2012 she returned to the River Dart, under charter to the Dartmouth Steam Railway and Riverboat Company. She now runs seasonal passenger trips around Dartmouth Harbour and up the River Dart to Totnes - Another must-do on a visit to Dartmouth, before taking refreshment in the George & Dragon - when our own restoration is finished!
For even more information or to book a trip visit: http://kingswearcastle.co.uk/
Project Update: 31st January 2015
Here are the latest G & D Refurbishment & Rebuilding project update pictures taken yesterday at the end of January - unfortunately more dodgy Dartmouth ground conditions and the necessary discussions with all powers that be have continued to delay the works but now finally (fingers-crossed) we have agreement on the key issues that means we really can crack-on with the excavation and begin concreting and underpinning etc. for the new basement and foundations with Sika Watertight Concrete next week!
Elsewhere progress is good with the old ground floor removed and prepared for the new slab and insulation etc., almost all of the necessary structural steel supports and strengthening is completed and the areas clear to work in - looking good. The first-fix Electrical and Plumbing works can also now start shortly working from the top down. Externally the Cashmandoo Team are now working with BDS and have nearly completed the infilling raised section of the old natural stone Shipyard Wall adjacent to M&S - Nice looking job too guys - Thank you to all involved - a lot of work and a lot of progress despite the various 'surprises' thrown at us.”
Main Contractor On Site (Building & Design Services) – January 2015
Building & Design Services our Main Contractor are continuing to make progress now with structural strengthening with new steel supports resin anchoring etc., for upgrading and improving / altering the fabric of the existing G&D building. Cashmandoo is also now working together with BDS on the natural stone and masonry repair, rebuilding and extensions – the finished areas not sealed yet but looking really good on the M&S side of the wall. Internally the new structure is taking shape with exposed original character and features where possible and now insulation going in for the first time in nearly 200 years! Externally adverse ground conditions that we found in the only areas that we could not access to make exploratory trail holes during the enabling works (Murphy’s Law as usual) have meant around 4 weeks delay in the excavation and construction of the new cellar and additional foundations– But we are pleased to say that the engineering details and all of the necessary negotiations, agreements and approvals are now in place, so this will re-start and progress at a good pace beginning during this week – Pictures from Friday 16th January 2015.
Main Contractor On Site (Building & Design Services) – December 2014
Enabling Works Pictures – September to November 2014