"The restoration and redevelopment of the George & Dragon was officially handed over to us by BDS our Main Contractor on Friday 20th November – Specialist Trades and Finishing’s have continued through to the beginning of December – BUT FINALLY – We can now say “Yes we are Open” – The George & Dragon Inn – Bars, Café & Restaurant – Check it out as ‘The New Destination Venue in Dartmouth."
– Our new website is being completed (also now that we have finally got some finished pictures) and together with our Lunch, Dinner and Function Menus , plus any other useful information, this will all be posted here and on our FaceBook pages very shortly.
We also have a phone line for Table Bookings at long last – Please call 01803 832325.
G&D Redevelopment Project - Progress to Completion End of November 2015.
Many thanks to all of the exceptional Trades Men and Craftsman that have contributed in some way to the completion of our project – The high standards of workmanship and attention to detail are visible everywhere we look! Thank you especially to Paul and Rory from Building & Design Services, our Main Contractor that has successfully managed this complex project through from its inception to completion today. We will put more pictures of the completed and finished facilities on our new website but for now here are a few pictures of the job –just finished – Thanks again to everyone involved for your great support and achievements!
G&D Project - Progress Pictures to Friday 23rd October
Just a couple of pictures from Friday 23rd October - the start of Dartmouth Food Festival - and sorry but unfortunately we were still not yet open - but we thought it worth showing that we will add to the 'General relief' of Lady Dartmouth residents and visitors to such events very shortly, with the 4, - yes 4, 'traps' being installed in the new Ladies loo! - We also hope the girlies will like the colours and style of the top quality Altro wall and floor finishes being installed by the Neil Bryant Flooring team!
The external drainage is finished below ground and will soon be connected internally and so the external landscaping has finally begun - Aco Surface water drains are installed for the new Millboard walkway decking through the Garden into the new Main Entrance from Mayors Avenue, with granular sub-base (crushed stone) has been laid and compacted, with holes and formwork prepared for the huge reinforced concrete foundations required for the new Giant Umbrellas, rising wind-screen and front café-barrier all coming to the garden shortly. After these foundations and substructures the guys will begin laying the natural stone paving – black (really ‘50 shades of Grey’) limestone!
The new super quiet, kitchen vent-extraction and odour control system is installed on the roof to meet, in fact to exceed all of the recently updated and increased requirements of the 2014 Building Regulations and Environmental conditions. Also to update things to date, the floor screed is down for the Garden Bar (ready for next Summer really) and for the Giant Umbrellas coming to the garden shortly. Finally mirrors have gone in behind the Optic shelves on the Main Bar, as Goss Joinery put the finishing touches to the Main Bar, ahead of the beer engines being commissioned as soon as we can - We really can't wait to be open! - Sorry it all takes so long when you do things properly!
So yes we will be opening in November (And yes we do mean November 2015…!) – Date to be confirmed as soon as we know it!
G&D Project - Progress Pictures to Friday 16th October
And the site hoarding comes down and the doubters can finally see that - Yes the Beer Garden is in fact the same size as before! - just with all the work going on now, it will come together shortly and make it much nicer all together – and with a new Garden Bar for the Summer, plus lots of other cool stuff on the way now - just as soon as the drainage, gas pipes and other boring but essential Utilities stuff is finished and all signed off by the powers that be!
On the Historic Side in Undercliffe BDS have started painting over the original and repaired / replaced façade brickwork - we had tried to restore and keep it, but water damage and penetration over many years of neglect and lack of maintenance, means that it is not possible to do so any more, so black and white paintwork it will be – but his will blend in well and also be nicely in keeping with the rest of Undercliffe / Broadstone and the neighbouring properties.
Indoors there is still so much going on and to do – Talk about the never ending story! - The top quality Altro Safety Flooring is now being professionally installed in the Kitchen, Behind the Bars and in the Toilets, plus - Possibly most exciting for several people this week - The Chef's all new and serious technology models of kitchen equipment from the likes of Rational and Valentine, is being installed by Allsop and Pitts - the A&P Regional man Andy being the first to be caught on film in the kitchen! - And all of this in conjunction with the beast of a Vent Extraction system from Partridge Engineering - Looking good and coming together - nearly ready to test in a couple of weeks’ time - As we also now have a new gas supply into the building and a new and functioning gas meter – al now installed this week and ready for commissioning shortly!
Finally for this week’s update here are a couple of pics inside the top floor flat, as second fix electrical and plumbing is underway in coordination with decorating and soon the services can all be connected.
Busy, busy and it still seems like forever but only so many things you can do at once – and better right first time than rushed, a job worth doing is worth doing well – and we are nearly there now - Also as another clever bugger once wrote – “the bitterness of poor quality lasts far longer than the sweet taste of low price”!
So we will be opening in November (Yes in November 2015…!) – Date to be confirmed as soon as we know it!
G&D Project progress Pictures to Thursday 1st October
- Finally we are back in the ground and all of the new Mains Drainage is going in to be followed by the new Mains Gas and Water supplies.
- The Drainage and Beer Python Ducts are through and incorporated under the Floor Slab and so the new Garden Bar is starting to take shape.
- Inside the Main Entrance Atrium is coming together (..and the dragons have arrived, but more on that surprise later!). Inside the new Coffee and Dessert bar is coming together as is the new Main Bar.
- The high tech and extremely efficient extraction and ventilation system is going into the new kitchen, the new Cellar Lift is installed - No struggling up and down stairs for the G&D Crew!
- Painting and Finishing works are also now underway throughout all of the new and greatly improved and enlarged Bar Areas, including the new upstairs Terrace Bar, which is nearly ready for the attention of our artist friend Paul Barclay, whose 'Posh graffiti on our site safety hoarding has been much admired during the build - thanks Paul.
- Nearly there for the G&D and a new identity now - Another few weeks and we can sit down and finally drink a toast to our Project Teams commitment to quality and everybody can see the fruits of their labours, a lot of hard work and a very complex project really coming together well now - Thank you Geoff Sellick, BDS and all of you guys!
G&D Project - Progress Pictures to Thursday 3rd September
- Amazing what you can continue to do with a bit of planning and your vans parked behind the hoarding for Regatta!
- We have a slated roof over the new Entrance (Mayors Avenue side) and rendering started on the lower rear façade.
- Inside the plaster-boarding and then energetic Plasterers on Stilts (yes 'Stilts') have been busy too!
- Painting of ceilings and panelling has followed., together with installation of the... Banquette seating frameworks - All in decent timber and ply - No MDF in here!
- The control manifolds are in for the Underfloor heating nicely hidden under the floor screed and behind the panelling - so no intrusive and obstructive radiators!
- Finally and most importantly for this week the ultra-hygienic Altro Whiterock Cladding is being installed in the new kitchen and the Main Bar has started to be installed - Real progress to be seen in all directions now!
- Great job and everybody on site working so well and cooperatively together - Well done Paul and Rory of BDS especially for all of the site management and works coordination!
G&D Project progress Pictures to Tuesday 18th August
- We have new windows and doors to the old front of the Pub in Broadstone / Undercliff, the brickwork has been fully exposed but unfortunately the face has gone from damp and deterioration over the years so we will have to make good and then repaint.
The Main Bar Areas are being plaster-boarded and panelled by Liam, Kevin and the guys from BDS - All of the natural stonework that we do not have to waterproof render, insulate and cover for Building Regulations is being restored by Cashmandoo. The new Main bar areas are being marked out, plumbed and wired ready to build shortly now.
Plus importantly we have been diamond core drilling holes through the Sika watertight concrete for the new services pipes, and most importantly the ducts to eventually (soon as we can - promise) carry the beer pythons under and into the new Bottom Bar!!!
Project Progress to Friday 24th July
- The new Underfloor Heating System is all laid out and tested prior to screeding in the main Bar and Dining Areas, then the screed is pumped into the building and laid to level with not a little effort - hard work but starting to look good - should be ready to walk and work on next week.
The Torquay bricks from the original chimney flues that were reclaimed by the Cashmandoo team during the enabling works, continue to be built into feature walls in the bar, plus some of the original external stonewalls that are now internal walls, will now be restored, where we fortunately don't have cover them up to waterproof and insulate them (better than being wet and cold inside of course!).
The new watertight cellar was prepared and has now received the special new resin floors from Mark Pritchard and his Sika Demonstration crew laying the Sika Purcem for us (more pics of the process from Brian our Professional Photographer next week) - This is a heavy duty floor finishing system to resist beer barrels being moved around, plus it is also totally sealed and chemically resistant to whatever gets spilled- from the beers (hopefully not!) to line cleaner (also hopefully not - nasty stuff!), and finally it is hygienic and easily cleaned, approved for foodstuff contact - the works! Great job Mark, Neil and Joel -see you for a reward when we are open!
G&D Redevelopment Project Update and Pictures from 17th July
- A lot has been going on and lots about to start as you can see.
K-Blasting have been in an shot-blasted the basement floors and walls ready for the PurCem Floor Screeds and Sikagard Wallcoat Epoxy finish - thanks Byron and Matt - Good job!
The New Front Façade (facing Mayors Avenue) is now up to its full height with the new front Gabled roof above over what will be the new Main Entrance. Recycling materials inside this will be the old beams and A-frame roof trusses from the late nineteenth / early twentieth century extension to form the old Pub kitchen - And before anyone else asks the question - NO we have not built over the Beer Garden or even further into the Beer Garden (except what was the old rear side entrance way and steps that got no sunshine at all) - The new façade is set back behind the line of the old timber and slate covered area and Bottom Bar, it is abit of an optical illusion and just looks bigger now because it is two storey and much taller of course.
The Sika Sarnafil roofing is also now nearly finished and the build is becoming more watertight every day as the guys from Western Flat Roofing progress around and complete all of the new flat roofs and detailing - They have also installed a large new Sarnalite Roof Skylight in the kitchen (wow natural daylight in a Dartmouth Commercial kitchen – spoilt Chef’s!), plus with visibly excellent watertight detailing this is bonded to the roof membrane - As they have also done making watertight detailing and connections to the pipe penetrations for the various coolers that will go out of the way on the roof, around the box-outs for the new Sun-Tubes that will bring natural sunlight into the Bar Area, plus to the box outs ready for the new Lantern Lights above the Main Entrance stairs and in the new Terrace Bar on the upper level - Again All a really nice professional job thank you guys!
Finally for this update there is inside lots of clear space inside on the ground floor bar, dining and kitchen areas, with lots of stress skilfully avoided with good teamwork to get everything out of the way and off the floor (despite there being almost nowhere else to put it at the moment - never an easy stage on a building project. and often the source of much grief) - All necessary in order to get the insulation and services through together with the under-floor heating pipes, which can now be installed on top of this - so the ground floors will be ready for the floor screeding to begin next week - work continues apace!”
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